If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur you should be asking the question: should I blog?
While I’m a big proponent of blogging, I don’t believe that any marketing campaign is right for all businesses or all people.
There’s a value vs. cost equation that only you can answer. Will the time and effort you put into blogging be returned in business gained? Can the time you spend on blogging be better spent elsewhere? How can you measure success with blogging?
The Costs of Blogging:
- Time. That’s the big one. Especially when you get started you need to carve out time every week to post multiple times. I also recommend budgeting time for reading and commenting on other blogs. While there’s no hard and fast rule on this, you might want to budget 2 – 4 hours/week for the first 1 – 2 months.
- Stress. I’ve had those weeks where I can’t figure out what I’m going to blog about. Or I look back and realize I only put up one or two good, non-self-serving posts in a month. Sometimes it can feel like just another thing on your plate.
- Money. This isn’t a big one. Blogging is an extremely affordable marketing campaign. If you can’t afford a TypePad or WordPress blog you’ve probably got bigger problems.
The Value of Blogging:
- Establishes Your Expertise. People are always searching for help on the Internet. As I look at my flyte blog stats I can see that people have found me while searching on "business blog ppt," "why can’t I find myself on Google," and "hardware and software for creating podcasts" among hundreds of others each day. If you’ve written a blog post that answers their question, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say.
- Increases Your Search Engine Visibility. See above. Every blog post is a new Web page ready to be indexed by the search engines.
- Warms / Generates Online Leads. I have set up some Google Analytic Goals that helps me determine which traffic converts at the highest rate. My flyte blog and my Internet Marketing 101 blog consistently convert at the highest rates.
- Leads the Media to Your Door. I’ve been interviewed by local newscasts, local newspapers, and national magazines (Inc. and BusinessWeek Small Biz) for different stories. Almost always it’s because they were doing research for a story and found my blog.
Whether blogging is right for you is a decision you have to make on your own. Luckily, you can get started pretty easily. Unfortunately, so can your competition.