One of the questions we get asked a lot has to do with gauging just how much time someone who runs a company can devote to their corporate blog. It gets scary when you start considering creating a blog and you hear that you can end up writing your blog for a year without so much as a comment on any of your entries. A year? You probably think with alarm, how am I supposed to keep updating something on almost a daily basis for an entire year without anything to show for it?
The process seems daunting. You may agonize over that first blog entry for weeks. In times past, we here at K Squared who have had clients come to us excited about starting a blog. They then spend two weeks writing their first blog article and come back to us with a huge 2,000+ word effort that looks as if it is their Magnum Opus. They then ask us for advice on how to set up the blog and post that blog. We then seed the link around to the social bookmarking site, or advise them how to do it, and then, after about a day, they come back to us disappointed. Why are there no comments? Why do I not see my blog or article when I do a Google search? Why are my phones not ringing off the hook?
The sad news is that a single blog entry will not behave like the field in the movie “Field of Dreams.” If you build it, they may not come, at least not at first. Building a blog is like building a house. You have to establish a foundation by creating a number of strong, timeless (or “evergreen” as has become the popular term) articles. Those then support the rest of the blog where you talk explicitly about your business and those wonderful sales or specials you have going on. It takes strategy and it takes a lot of analysis.
Writing a blog article that seems to get no response is not necessarily a bad thing. People often feel that if something does not behave as they expected, that it is a failure. They forget that, in science, failure is often something to celebrate. Thomas Edison reportedly went through thousands upon thousands of different methods before hitting on the light bulb as we know it today. He did not despair. Each failure, he knew, brought him closer to success. A blog that garners little interest may pick up down the road, or provide you with a different kind of road map, namely, one that shows you what not to write about in the future.
Of course, that still does not answer the question: how long should I spend on the company blog? That’s because that question is not always easy to answer. The real and true answer is as follows: you should spend as much time on your blog as will allow you to succeed with your blog. However, this is hard to quantify and business is all about quantifying things into easy-to-understand numbers. So, let’s break it down.
A blog, in the beginning, for at least the first six months to a year, should be updated a minimum of once a week (in truth updating it daily will yield results faster, but let’s stick with what may be manageable). Before you write that blog entry you should take the time to think about what you want to write about. You should probably do a little research about your topic and then spend a little time writing, editing and re-writing your blog entry. Then, you should post it and then seed the link for the latest blog entry to various social bookmarking sites, your Facebook page and your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
So, the question becomes, how long will it take you to do all of that? Maybe half an hour? If you take longer to write things, maybe a couple of hours? Or maybe you are already thinking that it might be best if you could hire someone else to write the blogs, post it and seed it to the social bookmarking sites? That way, you might be thinking, maybe I just have to talk to the writer of the blog for about 15 minutes a week and then he or she can do all of the work?
That’s the great thing about the times we live in, however. Writing a blog may seem like unbearable amounts of work for you, but to some who have grown up around blogs, writing a blog article is second nature. For them, what takes hours for your to do, might take them just a few minutes. They already know about social bookmarking and they know what “key words” are and how to use them. They can do a quick search through WordPress’ reporting tools to tell you what articles have been getting the best response.
So, the question really needs to be directed right back at you. How much time can you afford to spend on your blog? If the answer is, “geez, not very much” then maybe you need to get help so that your blog doesn’t go stale. Fortunately, the help and the answers are right there, if you are willing to ask for it.