Designers who are small business owners hear it all the time: These days, having a blog is non-negotiable. But is it really right for every business and every business owner? The answer is, it simply depends. On what, you ask? On your business goals, your level of commitment, your budget and a host of other things.
We’re the first to admit that blogs are an amazing business tool for several reasons. It’s a great way to show your business’ personality and share your knowledge and expertise with your target audience. It’s also a smart way to promote your products, news and upcoming events while helping drive SEO for your website. Maintaining a consistent blogging presence is a really solid strategy for keeping your business top of mind with customers while positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
On the flip side, maintaining a blog can be hard if you’re short on resources. It’s time-consuming and after a few weeks or months, you may find yourself struggling for topics. Best practices maintain that you should blog at the very least once a month, but once a week or more is ideal. When you’re not getting paid to blog or seeing an immediate direct return on your investment, it can be easy to let your blog fall to the wayside while you prioritize other things.
So if you’re a business owner who’s trying to decide whether to invest your time, energy and money in a blog, here are a few things to consider.
What’s got blogging on your brain in the first place?
Is it because you actually feel you have worthwhile information to share, or is it because every other business seems to have one too? Maybe your competitor has a blog and you feel you could do it better. If you’re purely trying to keep up with the Jones’, blogging may not be right for you unless it’s part of your marketing budget and you have the resources to pay someone to do it consistently. If you’re a small shop and it’s just going to be you and one or two other business partners in charge of blogging, try this exercise for one week to gauge your true interest and commitment level: Start a new note in your smartphone or tablet, or grab a pen and paper. Write down: Blog Ideas. Over the course of the week, jot down every single blog-worthy idea that comes to your mind, no matter how small it may be. At the end of the week, review your list and see how man blog post topics you can manage to squeeze out of it. The result will either motivate you to get going or make you want to never write again.
You know yourself better than anyone. If you are planning on being the sole contributor to your blog, is it in you to keep a consistent writing schedule that your readers can count on? If you’re the kind of person who sets a goal and sticks to it no matter what, or you’ve had the blogging itch for quite some time, make a plan and dive in.
Evaluate your business goals.
Ask yourself: What are you hoping to get out of your blog? More website traffic? More organic searches? More orders placed? Or are you simply trying to establish yourself as an authority in your industry? These are all really, really good reasons to begin a blog — but a blog isn’t necessarily the only way to accomplish them all.
Evaluate the alternatives.
The endless social platforms available to us today means there’s more than one way to spread the word and engage your audience. If your business is driven by visuals, whether you’re handcrafting dolls or cooking, Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest may serve you better than a blog. If sharing industry news is high on your list, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook might be your best solutions. If what’s in your brain are more “tips” versus full-blown articles, maybe what you’re looking for is more of a social media presence, versus a blog.