“Should I blog?” Practical thoughts to consider
As a writer, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Should I blog?” I don’t believe there is a definitive “yes” or “no” answer to the blogging question. Instead, I think you need to ask yourself, what are you trying to do for your business?
I find that the “should I blog?” question is on the minds of many business owners that I meet.
Often, they’ve been to a marketing seminar or website workshop in which the speaker tells them that their business must start blogging. Other times, they see their peers blogging and decide they need to do it too.
Here’s the thing.
If you’re like many business owners, you have a finite number of hours and budget to juggle all your marketing activities.
You need to be strategic in how you spend your marketing time and dollars. You need to focus on the tactics that give your business the biggest bang for your buck.
With that in mind, I believe there are a few, fundamental questions to ask yourself before you can fairly answer the question, “Should I blog?”
Questions to ask yourself before starting a blog
These fundamental questions include:
- Business objectives: What are you trying to do for your business? What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
- Audience: Who is the target audience you’re trying to reach?
- Marketing tactics: What are the best marketing tactics to achieve your goals and connect with your target audience? Where does a blog fall on that list?
There is no question that a blog can add value in many ways.
A blog can help you attract potential customers to your website, give people a reason to return to your website, share your subject matter expertise, establish your credibility, grow your followers, connect with other experts, create a community…
The list goes on.
But there are other marketing techniques that may be just as effective for you.
I recently met with a Denver business executive who is trying to add new customers. She wants to establish her subject matter expertise with an audience of senior citizens.
Through public speaking events and seminars, she has had great success attracting new clients. She earns two to four credible leads from each speaking event, and she has a high success rate of converting those leads into business.
Her website is not an essential part of her marketing strategy. As such, she puts her time and dollars into tactics other than blogging. In this case, her strategy works for her.
Ultimately, the answer to the “should I blog?” question comes down to what you’re trying to do for your business.
Practical considerations when deciding to write a blog
For sake of discussion, let’s say you’ve decided that a blog is a wise investment of your time and resources, given your business goals.
The next step is to ask yourself some practical questions:
#1: Are you willing to commit to blogging on a regular basis?
And by regular basis, I don’t mean three times a year. I mean, are you willing to write with some frequency: daily, every other day, weekly, every two weeks, etc.?
If you know you’re the type of person who starts something, but quickly loses steam or gets pulled in other directions, you need to factor that into your “should I blog?” decision.
You don’t want to unintentionally communicate to prospective customers that you don’t follow through on things.
#2: Are you a good writer?
I have a client − a small business owner − who is a master at what he does. He’s a true artisan in his field.
As he would tell you, though, his mastery does not extend to writing.
Consider the blog he was writing… He was too close to his own story. He used too much industry jargon. He didn’t have a clear sense of what he was trying to convey through his blog posts, and that haze came across to the reader.
Without intending to do so, his writing made his business look less professional and polished than it actually was!
#3: Do you enjoy writing?
You may be a great writer…
But that doesn’t mean you enjoy it.
If you don’t like writing but you believe a blog is essential for achieving your goals, you may want to partner with a professional copywriter or a blogging service (a team of dedicated bloggers).
Many search engine optimization companies offer blogging services, as well.
#4: Do you know how to write for the web?
Writing papers or customer correspondence is different than writing for the web. There are special web writing techniques that can make you more effective in engaging your audience and keeping their attention.
If you aren’t familiar with web writing techniques, you may want to partner with a professional copywriter who is.
Parting thoughts about blogging
Whether you’re deciding whether to start a blog or you’re considering another marketing tactic, always keep sight of one question:
What am I trying to do for my business?
There is no better question to guide you on your marketing journey.
Until next time!