Starting a blog can seem like a tremendous amount of work. We at K Squared Communications have helped clients start their own blog, or join blogging communities and websites where their blogs are featured. We have had tremendous success with them, helping and coaching them and, at times, outright helping with the writing, publication and promotion of the blog.
The problem is, blogging takes a lot of work. It happens all of the time. A client comes and says, “Hey, I have a great idea, why don’t I start a blog?” Most of the time they have been doing some light research and come across the success stories of people who were blogging for years before they finally achieved some kind of success with their blog. However, most people tend to miss the part of the story where those successful blogs were written and posted for a long time (sometimes years) where NO ONE read them before they became huge.
So, we help them write that first blog article. We send them messages about how to use keywords and about social bookmarking. Then they click on their hit count and search their comments section and come back to use wondering why no one is reading their blog. “Have you posted a second blog article yet?” We ask. Often times, the answer is no. After weeks of agonizing over that first blog article, they now realize it is going to take many, many more blog articles before they even make a dent.
First off, if you are planning to start a blog in hopes of achieving some kind of huge financial success either for your company or yourself personally, I suggest you buy a lottery ticket. Your chances of huge financial success are more likely there than they are with a blog. For every one blog that has turned into a financial wind-fall, there are thousands upon thousands that have not. No, the purpose of your blog should be to reach out to your customers, vendors and others in your industry. It should be to connect with those people and that audience, not achieve some kind of online publishing dynasty.
There is a great article at Ragan Communications’ by a man who has been doing blogging and helping others blog for a while now, Mark Schaefer. His article is here: http://www.ragan.com/SocialMedia/Articles/42755.aspx
Mark has some great tips about how to take that blog from boring to cool. He also discusses some of the routine stages he sees companies go through when they start a blog. Too many, he says, start out stiff and boring, using the blog just to publish press releases. They become very formal and the higher-ups are paranoid about the content, often running the articles past Legal. Then there is disappointment when those hits don’t come. Then, gradually, as the blog continues and the articles keep coming, there is a kind of acceptance.
This is all too true. Any blog should consider publishing with little to no ripples in the blogosphere for at least six months, and most for a year. We here at K Squared have had people who started their own personal blogs and only after a year of daily publishing did they even start to merit any kind of ripple in the busy world of blogging.
There is still a place for blogging in social media. Although many people are turning to Facebook and Twitter, and the number of blogs is starting to dwindle, there is nothing like having your own publishing arm right within your own company. But, you have to stay with it. You have to keep putting out quality content.
As always, if you cannot do it alone, or you seem lost amidst the world of bloggers, there are companies that can help you. Maybe your blog needs to change tone. Maybe it needs to have content published more rapidly. Maybe you just need better writers. Professionals can help.