Nope. You don’t. You can live a purpose-filled life minus a blog. Don’t let anyone convince you that you have to blog, just for the sake of blogging.
But you might want to blog. Whether you’re a small business owner, an author who’s looking to promote your upcoming book, or the CEO of a large corporation, you need to dispassionately evaluate whether blogging can and should be a critical component of your marketing strategy.
I’m going to help you do that. Right now. During the next two days, we’ll examine the pros and cons of blogging, with a particular emphasis on business blogging.
Let’s start with the eight most common reasons people give for NOT blogging:
1. Not committed enough to keep it updated
Time and lack of commitment are the two biggest stumbling blocks for bloggers. Take a close look at your weekly calendar.
- Can you carve out an hour to create each new post? (That’s how long it takes the average blogger to research, write, and publish a decent blog entry.)
- Are you passionate enough about this venture to follow through with updating your blog 1-3 times per week? If not, consider outsourcing your blog to a business that provides professionally-written blog updates (shameless plug for Blogging Bistro).
2. Don’t understand the point of blogging
Some folks assume that the only people who blog are losers with too much time on their hands and grandmas who post pictures of their grandkids.
“Blogging is a waste of the reader’s and writer’s time,” they say.
If you approach blogging with a laissez-faire attitude, it will be a huge time-waster. But if you approach it strategically, devising ways to incorporate blogging into your existing marketing plan, blogging has the potential to substantially expand your reach in ways that traditional marketing campaigns can’t.
3. Lack confidence to create quality content
No one wants to embarrass themselves by publishing mediocre content.
- Don’t have the first clue of what to write about?
- Don’t trust your ability to string together a coherent sentence?
Then don’t blog!
Or outsource your blogging to someone who will do the dirty work for you.
4. Fear no one will read your blog
Imagine walking into crowded room where everyone is shouting at the top of their lungs, trying to get everyone else’s attention. That’s the blogosphere.
- How will anyone but your mom and your best friend find your blog amid all the chaos?
- How can little ol’ you compete with blogs that get half a million hits per day?
You have to approach blogging with a marathon mentality, rather than a sprint mentality. Over time, as you discover and nurture your unique voice (and stop worrying about being #1), your blog readership will grow.
5. Not savvy about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or social networking
- It takes time and energy to join social networks and participate in other activities that will entice people to visit your blog.
- It takes savoir-faire-and a lot of trial and error-to determine how to use the all-important key words that search engines love.
Your blogging business plan needs to include not only time for blogging, but time for promoting your blog.
6. Fear of commenters
Many normally-nice people take advantage of the anonymity of cyberspace to rip you apart in the Comments area of your blog. If you plan to blog, you must be prepared to develop a rhino-thick skin, fast.
To protect yourself from rabid commenters, create and publish a Comments Policy (Iexplain how to do that in my e-book, Blogophobia Conquered).
7. Wary of harming relationships
- What if you rant from your bully pulpit a bit too vehemently and alienate the very people you hope to reach?
- What if you inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings?
Blogging is relational, and there’s always a potential for hurt feelings in any relationship. That doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you to whack readers over the head with your ideology while disregarding theirs.
Approach blogging with an open mind. Be willing to learn from your readers and have the grace to apologize when you’ve overstepped your boundaries.
8. Fear of getting addicted
Blogging can suck you into a black hole and drain the life out of you if you’re not careful.
- Schedule your blogging time so you don’t end up spending your entire day blogging.
Make blogging part of your day, not the ultimate goal for your day.
The bottom line
Most people’s reluctance to blog boils down to one word: Strategy.
They jump into blogging without thinking through:
- why they want to blog
- who they hope to reach
- how blogging will impact their schedule
- how their blog will make a difference in the lives of time-strapped readers
If you’re wondering whether you should start blogging, take the time to do some strategic planning.
I’d like to give you a free tool to help you create your blogging business plan. Just sign up for Bright Ideas Blogzine (the form is in the upper righthand corner of this page). As soon as you activate your subscription, you’ll receive a link to download a PDF of “Your Social Media Plan,” a detailed checklist to help you plan your blog.
Tomorrow I’ll share 10 reasons why you should blog. Stay tuned!
This article was originally published 10-21-08, on another blog I own.