Everyone these days knows that, to run a business, especially a small business, you need to have a blog. From the independently –publishing writer of fiction books for Kindle, to the guy trying to run his consulting company out of his basement, one of the best ways to reach people is through a blog. The word itself seems so small, how can it possibly be the source of so much frustration in the world? The concept itself seems so simple: post my own thoughts on my own site and interact with the people who read and leave comments.
Of course, running a business takes time and energy. Often, that energy gets used up just managing the day-to-day aspects of running a business. When that happens, the easiest thing, it seems, to put on the back-back-back-burner is writing the next blog entry for the company blog. Of course, this means you are then missing out on a great opportunity to reach your potential audience or client-base. The blog that sits empty soon gets forgotten by readers and vanishes from things like Google searches. Only the active blog, where posts are consistent, gets the attention.
Then, when you look around at other blogs, by other companies, you see some that have posts at least once a week, sometimes multiple times a week, and sometimes every day. Then, if you dig deeper, you find that some of these companies even have enough time in the day to post tweets, update their Facebook page and to participate in LinkedIn forums. How could they find a way to do that? You may wonder. It may result in something that we are calling “Blogging Envy.” You want to be able to blog consistently, but you just can’t.
How do the other companies do it? Are they just bigger and, therefore, able to hire more people to do the blogging and social media? Well, in some cases this may be true, but there are those who run small businesses and don’t have a large staff of employees and they still manage to update their blogs consistently.
First, it does take dedication. Starting a blog is a commitment. It means that are you saying to the world that you are starting something you are going to contribute to often. How often is up to you, but setting a schedule and sticking to it is essential. This is like having your own publishing company, and your blog is like running your own online magazine or newsletter. You want people to come back to the site, or sign up for your RSS feed, and then be happily expecting your next issue.
Second, it takes some confidence in your writing. Remember, no matter how much you try not to let it happen, your blog will become, in some way, your brand. People will associate what happens on your blog with your company. That is a good thing, not something to be afraid of. People who read your blog should immediately think about your company, associate what you say with your company, and then consistently relate whatever topic you write about with your company. So, if you sell vacations to Paraguay, and write about that, the next time someone wants to go to Paraguay, they should think about your company.
That being said, if you are not exceptionally comfortable with your writing skills, you may want to consider getting some help with the writing. You can still write the blog, but you may want to get someone to read what you wrote before you post. Or, you may just want to jot down ideas, but use someone else’s writing skills to get those ideas onto your blog. It can still be your voice, but you need to make sure you are writing clearly, concisely, and coherently.
Remember, there are people out there who can help you on multiple levels. Do you want someone to make your blog look nice? There are people who specialize just in that. Do you want someone to just offer advice and general consulting about the direction of your blog? There are people who can help with that as well. Do you need someone to step in entirely, help you get the blog set up and then help you get the blog posts written, posted and seeded to social bookmarking sites on a consistent basis? Again, there is help for that, too.
Your blog is an investment and you need to think about it the same way you would any expansion or your business. Would you just knock down a wall and build an addition on to your offices without first making some hard decisions about whether or not doing such a thing was the right move? And, if you had never hefted a hammer or soldered wires together, would you not consulting carpenters and electricians to make sure the addition was just right and wouldn’t collapse the first time someone set foot into the place?
Just because your blog is online, does not mean it is not an addition to your company. In fact, it should be. It should be an extension of you and your company and products. So, why would you throw together a haphazard blog and then be frustrated at the haphazard results? Wouldn’t it be better to invest the time and money necessary to keep your blog running?
We like to call the asking for assistance when it comes to blogging “Blogging Without the Flogging.” Don’t beat yourself up over asking for help. Consider it a wise investment that lets you keep your online presence, expand your potential audience and client base, all while you are capable of doing the things you love to do, which is probably running your business.