Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 18, 2010
It seems strange to some people whenever I refer to the “business of blogging.” That’s because for people who don’t blog, they still think most of it is personal diaries and not something that can be used for business.
Truth be told, even blogs that are more personal than business related have a business aspect to it. There are few people who aren’t famous that can write a blog and hope people come to it without doing anything else for it. For the rest of us, though, we can’t just write a blog and think we’re going to be famous. Actually, few think we’re really going to be famous, but most people think if you write it people will come; this isn’t a Hollywood movie.
Yes, I’ve written lots of posts on blogging and on driving traffic. This is a little different, though it may end up covering some of the same territory. However, I’m writing this one because I was asked a question at a meeting on Friday by someone who didn’t quite understand how blogging could help her business. Even after all these years, this question still comes up. So, here we go; the format will be a little weird, but stick with me.
1. Blogging can definitely help your business. Blogging gives you an opportunity to show your competence in your particular field. Blogging doesn’t have to be about business, but it can certainly help.
2. Blogging won’t help your business if you aren’t consistent in writing posts, if you’re not consistent in your message, or if you never talk about things you do in business. I tend to tell people not to niche too much, not because it won’t help for SEO purposes, which it will, but because people who niche to finitely run out of things to say way too soon.
3. What does consistency mean? If you only write one post a month, how do you think you’re going to build up an audience of any kind? Sure, some people will subscribe to your feed and they won’t notice all that much if you’re not more consistent, but that doesn’t really help your business much at all. If you can’t write, or have someone else write, at least 3 posts a month, don’t bother at all.
4. It’s okay to have someone else write your blog. If it’s for business purposes, it’s more about marketing and advertising than being pure. However, blogging isn’t only about writing the blog, and if you think it is, you’re going to learn quickly that kind of thing just doesn’t work.
5. Why not? There are two things that will work against you.
One, if people stop by to comment on your blog, they’re going to want some feedback on their comments, otherwise they won’t stop by all that often, even if they’re interested in what you have to say. You’re not Seth Godin (whose blog I won’t visit because he doesn’t take comments; personal thing with me), which means people aren’t just going to stop by and be impressed by your acumen. So, if you pay someone else to write, you’re also going to be paying them to comment to responses.
Two, having someone else respond to comments for you can be dicey if they’re not in the business. For instance, I write blogs for other people. I can easily comment on a post I write, even without knowing tons about the subject, mainly because when I have to write on other things, I do have to do some research. But if I were asked a detailed question I’d be lost because I’m not a true expert in the field. Sometimes, the answers given to a blog post can be as important as the post itself.
6. While you’re at it, you might as well know that you’re probably going to have to go out and “troll” for visitors. Actually that’s not quite a fair term, but let’s go with it. Most of us learn pretty quickly that to help drive people to our blogs, we need to go out and visit other blogs, and then comment on them whenever appropriate. “Experts” will tell you to only comment on blogs where people are talking about the same thing you’re writing on, but that’s not necessarily true. Sure, there should be some of that in there, but if you’re an electrician and you visit electrician blogs, the best you can do is either agree or disagree with what the person said. It’s probably a rare thing where you’ll be able to expound on something where the comment makes any real contribution without making the other person look bad.
However, on this blog, I get people who write on all sorts of topics visiting, and I visit blogs on many different topics as well. True, I get to use 3 different accounts for commenting on blogs, which allows me to decide if a particular blog fits one of the other two topics better every once in awhile, but even if it doesn’t, the act of commenting encourages different people to stop by, and every once in awhile they’ll comment on my blog as well.
7. The final piece of the pie is personality. Sometimes it’s hard to get if you have someone else writing your blog, unless you don’t mind them showing their personality in their articles. The other problem is if you’re a small business and the personality of the blog writer doesn’t match the personality of the employees if you get a call for services. This one is a small problem, though, because if your blog generates sales, either online or brick and mortar, then its done its job, and you’ll finally see the benefits of a blogging business strategy.
8. And if you’re not writing a business blog, all these other things still apply to you as well. If you want visitors, you’re going to have to work for them. If not, then go on with your bad self and enjoy writing.
Just to scare you, this is only the beginning. There’s lots more to do or that can be done. Hey, you needed to know.