Have you heard this before?
Someone you know, whether it’s a friend, family member or fellow business owner, has told you, “Sally? You. Need. A BLOG. Everyone is doing it!“
(What? That’s a totally normal form of peer pressure, Internetz.)
Perhaps you take a moment to pause and start thinking:
- “I know I should blog, but I don’t have time, don’t know what to write about, don’t like writing, and insert-other-excuse-here,” or…
- “I’m not really sure what a blog is or what it’s for, but if you say it’s important, and everyone else is doing it, then sign me up!
Now, you guys all know that I design plenty of custom websites with blogs, some of which can be found over here. Because of that, I’ve had countless meetings, Skype calls and e-mail exchanges with my web design clients addressing this inevitable question: “Everyone says I need a blog, but do I really?”
Now, like anything these days, this can be a loaded issue with plenty of research, statistics and gurus pointing everyone in every direction imaginable.
For the majority of my clients, whether you’re a product-based business like a cupcake shop, or a service-based business like an Yoga Instructor, blogs can be an amazing way to grow and promote your business because they allow you to:
- Share your personality with your dream customers through the topics you write about and the language and images you use
- Connect with your audience on a personal level so that they get to know you, which establishes a sense of trust
- Keep current and potential customers up-to-date on your latest projects, news, products and services
- Stay top-of-mind with your customers so they remember to keep coming back to you for more
From an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) perspective, blogs are HUGELY valuable if done properly and accomplish the following:
- They’re filled with targeted keywords that relate to your business, products, services, and/or location (if you’re a local business)
- The content is so compelling and unique that your readers share and talk about your posts on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+
- You publish enough content (750+ words, unique images, infographics, video, etc…) consistently that your site gets viewed as an authority by search engines over your competitors
So, all that sounds pretty great, right?
Well, put a hold on your twirling-on-a-mountain-top, Julie Andrews.
There’s a catch:
In order for your blog to accomplish those things, you’ll have to:
- Research some topics that your audience wants to know (and will care!) about
- Create some compelling graphics, video, etc… to go with the blog posts
- Write consistent posts, like once a month at a minimum
I know, right?
That sounds a lot like work!
And IT IS.
A truth bomb: It’s because of all this work that so many business owners have a blog on their website with only one or two posts on it, and they’re all dated six or more months ago. Without a plan for the blog, without time to devote to it, it just sits there. Sad and alone.
(Insert sound of deflated tuba playing in the distance…)
From a User perspective, it looks pretty bad to have an empty (or non-updated) blog on your site because it makes you look like you’re not in business anymore, or worse, like you don’t care about your business or your website visitors.
So, before you throw time and money into adding a Blog on your site that you may or may not use, here’s what I recommend:
- Crack open a Word Document and list 25 blog topic ideas your audience would want to know about that relates to the products and services you sell.
- Of those 25 ideas, pick the 5 best topics and write a complete post for each one, at about 750+ words a piece.
- If you can do that, then adding a blog to your website may be right for you. Bonus? You’ll already have ideas for 20 other posts you can now write about!
- If you can’t do the above, then maybe a Blog isn’t for you, which is TOTALLY FINE. I promise.
Look, I know that every business is different, and each of my clients has different time and energy commitments than the next. Before following the latest business and marketing advice, and/or funneling time or money into something you may or may not use, do the Word Document test above. Then, of course, get back to twirling like Julie Andrews.