Mar 4, 2009 by Marissa Berger
It sounds like the small business world is starting to realize there’s a new decision to be made: to blog or not to blog. On the one hand, we hear about young bloggers making money writing about their passion; on the other hand, we hear about people blogging for months and not getting a single comment… other than spam.
So, should you or shouldn’t you? It depends.
Yes, a blog can create wonderful traffic for your website and can help you sell your products/services. The blogosphere has become indeed very powerful. But you have to do it right and it takes time: both time spent blogging and time waiting to see how it works.
In researching about blogging for business, I have learned that for a blog to work, one has to post at least 3 times a week… and that the blogs that work are posting new content daily and even more than once a day. When I started this blog, the first few articles took me about an hour each. Now I’m down to about 15-20 minutes. So, you can do the match and decide if you have the time or the internal resources.
But, what do you write about? This is blogging for business… not to keep your friends and family up-to-date on your latest adventures (unless they’re business adventures). You have to do your research. The same kind of research you do for search engine optimization. What do people want to know? Just like a website, your blog is not for you… it’s for your audience. So research the key phrases people are actually typing into Google and write about that.
Next, I believe you have to change your frame of mind. Purposely coming up with topics every day can be hard, really hard. Be open to being a blogger. Every day we are all exposed to conversations and interactions with others. Now, when you hear something interesting or something you disagree with, think of content for your blog. I have come up with several ideas from actual client meetings. If you keep in mind that you’re blogging now, you will be surprised to realize all of the writing ideas around you each day.
Having said that, you do have the option of hiring writers. Many business blogs do. I recommend doing the math. How much does the writer cost versus how much time will it take you and the opportunity cost of having you write… meaning what is your billable rate and can you actually afford to do it yourself. Remember that doing it yourself does not equal free.
Finally, write because you want to help others. Blogs are informational and educational. They are not about hard selling. The rewards will come if you keep this in mind… and if you’re patient.