I knew this was how it was going to be.
I knew there’d be seasons in which I’d get so busy I’d have to let my own blog take a backseat to my paid writing gigs. As a matter of fact, that’s why I’d been a writer without a blog for years; I’m usually blessedly busy doing this stuff for other people who deposit money in my account for the effort. So when I finally committed to starting my own blog—this very one you’re reading—earlier this year, I made my peace with the reality that busy seasons would come and I’d have to prioritize accordingly.
Though I’d prefer to never have a lag between postings, it’s reasonably acceptable in my case because…
- This is self-governed blog. Though I’m committed to writing for my readers, I’m not obligated to any sponsors, advertisers or clients who dictate my schedule on this endeavor.
- I’d established a good root system from the get-go, so the blog’s continued to be read even without fresh posts for a few weeks; I truly knew I’d be back on track as soon as my workload allowed.
- The blog itself led to some of the new work that, by necessity, diverted my attention. Thus, my goal with this blog—to share credible ideas that help small biz people and open professional opportunities for me—is already being achieved.
- Paying clients always come first, in a tie with my sanity. There’s only one of me, so something had to give over the last weeks!
According to Harper’s Index this month, 94% of all existing blogs have not been updated in four months. That’s a lot of cyber space going to waste. That statistic makes my four+-week hiatus seem relatively harmless. But what about your the blog for your business? When’s the last time you posted?
In these weeks that I’ve not written on smallBizBigtime, I’ve actually been blogging faithfully on behalf of clients for whom it would not be reasonably acceptable to not post in a month, let alone four.
For branding and business blogs, it’s not okay to be among the 94% that are out-of-date and stale. When you consider the reasons and strategies for blogging for your business, it becomes abundantly clear why you should commit to consistency.
A business blog will help you…
- Establish credibility: become the authority/the resource/ the idea generator/the facilitator, become the company that’s quotable and ‘repostable’
- Raise profile and visibility: create fresh content to bolster web presence (SEO), use content throughout the social web to become a regular and welcomed fixture in customers’ lives, cross-pollenate with other sites/pages/online networks
- Inform, educate and motivate: engage customers, inform in a timely fashion, invite interaction, earn the right to sell, make special offers
- Craft your message, build your brand: be your own publisher, establish your own look and content style, communicate within your own guidelines…to your own, targeted audiences
- Maximize content: heighten other PR/marketing/promotional efforts by reusing content in other forums, ensure consistency of message, increase frequency of messaging, offer content to other media outlets (with assured attribution)
Obviously, there are many great reasons to not only start a blog, but to commit to one. If you haven’t begun one yet, weigh it seriously before you dive in. Are you prone to be momentarily motivated or intermittently committed? Do you rarely have enough to say for your monthly newsletters? Do you loathe writing? Are you perplexed by social media in general? Then maybe a company blog isn’t for you. Or perhaps you should delegate the task to another employee or hire the help of someone like me to get you going.
And if you do take on a blog, give at test run of a month (or two) before you promote it to the world, to make sure you’re going to be able to create great content on a regular basis. Also note, there’s no rule about how frequently you must post, though “once a quarter” just won’t cut it. Start realistically; slow and steady will win this race.
And if you’ve already got a blog but haven’t posted in a long while, consider whether or not to pull the plug. Few things look less professional than a four-month old blog on your website. If you aren’t ready to abandon ship, consider investing to get the help you need.
I’ll soon be starting a new blog on behalf of a client. To get her rolling, I’m going to set up the blog—the account creation, the name, look and customization. Then, I’ll write one post a week for her. She can supplement as she has time or feels led throughout the week, but she’ll always be assured one healthy post per week. We’ll be able to push that content out through her Facebook fan page, LinkedIn group and her company’s website. I’ll be writing in her style and voice, so the brand will be enhanced in tandem with her credibility.
This approach will cost her more than the total do-it-herself plan, but she knows full well she likely wouldn’t always do it if it were up to only herself! But she believes a blog is another great way to take her small biz big time.
Thanks for reading today, and I promise it won’t be another four weeks until we meet again!