A good friend and frequent partner-in-crime asked me the other day whether he should have a blog for a new business he’s launching. As someone who frequently reads blogs, strategizes about blogs, and contributes to blogs, my knee-jerk reaction was about as predictable as NBC’s prime-time programming: “Hell yes, you should be blogging.”
But, wait. Let’s think about this. After all, I want a new car, but do I need a new car?
So we ran through a few questions that helped him decide that its probably not the top priority for him.
- What’s the editorial focus of your would-be blog? What’s it about?
- Who is really going to read that blog?
- And how will you make them care about your content again and again?
- How often are you hoping to publish something on the blog?
- OK, now really: how often will you publish something to the blog?
If these simple questions take the wind out of your sails, I hate to say it, but creating a compelling and powerful blog and keeping it fresh just isn’t going to happen for you.
If you want to use a blog as a business-building tool, it takes massive amounts of discipline and creativity over a long period of time. It also helps that you are a decent writer, but more importantly, that you enjoy writing. Without that, it will most likely die on the vine.
My wife and go-to website designer, Hailey Day, fits this mold. A few years back she started a blog for her business, HeyDay Creative. She doesn’t really enjoy writing, and at the time, didn’t really know who her audience would be. After a handful of posts, she discovered that carving out the time to write about graphic and web design was taking away from billable work. So her marketing strategy shifted to SEM, and she hasn’t looked back.
Blogs are easy to underestimate — both in terms of man-hours and the creativity they require to keep it interesting. Having said that, the inverse is true: the power of a great blog and its ability to build customer loyalty (and organic traffic to your website) can also be easily underestimated. Start with these questions, and you’ll begin to get a sense on whether blogging is worth it for your unique situation.