Should You REALLY Commit to a Blog for Your Business?
It feels like everyone and their uncle (and their uncle’s pizzeria) has a blog. And so, the first thing most small business owners ask us is whether they should build out a blog, too. But at Moxie Workshop, we recommend that our clients take a little time before they commit to blogging, to make sure they’re really ready to take that big step. (We’re a little like premarital counselors for websites.)
Because committing to a blog means that you’re committing to making consistent and constant updates to your website, finding fresh things to say that relate to your business, and being in it through sickness and health, richer or poorer — until death (or the end of the business) comes a-calling. You really don’t want to be that business with a blog that hasn’t been updated in two years — it makes people question whether you’re still in business.
We only recommend a blog in the following situations:
1. You have a LOT to say, about a business that’s constantly changing. If you’re in party planning or — ahem — digital content strategy, creativity and ideas are your livelihood. You really need to go out there and show off your stuff. If you’re a plumber or an electrician, you may not have those big, exciting new developments to share — or at least, not as often. And for a restaurant or bakery, you might be able to simply post your daily special to Facebook and run a Facebook feed on your site, keeping both places well updated in one fell swoop.
2. You can really, truly commit to writing on a regular schedule. Determine how often you plan to blog (maybe it’s weekly or biweekly to start), and stick to it. That means writing in advance of your trip to Cabo and scheduling the post to show up, and coming up with something to say when you’ve exhausted your initial list of amazing ideas. (Hint: You can hire a business like ours to come up with an editorial calendar, a list of story ideas that can serve as blog starters — like for instance, a plumber could write about avoiding frozen pipes for his January blog.)
Note: If you still want to have something on a blog, but can’t commit to a monthly blog post, consider turning off the date function of your blog, so the dates don’t display. That can help avoid the dreaded dead blog look on your website.
3. You don’t have another social media presence that could use these more timely updates. You can simply post a picture of that amazing centerpiece you crafted to your Instagram or Pinterest, or let your loyal customers know about a fall planting special via Twitter. These are often a much smaller investment in time, and can reap many of the same benefits as a more traditional (and lengthy) blog post. In fact, you can see if you’re ready to make the leap to blogging by simply trying to maintain a social media presence for a few months (sort of like how some people let their kids prove their responsibility with a fish before they move up to taking care of a dog). If by week 8 you’ve run out of things to Facebook about, just say no to a blog.
4. You really love blogging. Let’s face it: Writing isn’t everyone’s passion or forte. If it isn’t yours, you have to decide if you’re willing to commit to doing it every week — or to paying someone to do it for you.