Does blogging still make sense for your business? Is a business blog worth the time you need to research, write, format and publish quality content?
Some busy professionals ask me if it’s worth it to blog or would keeping in touch with people through social media sites work just as well? It’s a good question, particularly for small businesses, coaches and consultants who don’t have staff and a lot of time.
Publishing a quality blog requires time and effort. The average person needs at least two hours to complete all the tasks necessary for one blog post, and should be publishing 2-3 times a week.
Ten years ago, when I first started blogging I declared a blog to be “The best darn marketing tool on the planet!” It was if someone had handed me a microphone and people across the globe started hearing what I had to say. I started getting found online and boosted my business revenues exponentially.
But ten years later, there are a lot of ways to spread your word and publish quality content online. Communication is possible everywhere. Clients can be reached through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter – the list goes on.
Lee Odden, from TopRankBlog, has written a great post addressing the issues. Lee started his award-winning blog the same year as I started this one, and he’s one of the few search geeks I know who speaks clearly about tech issues. Here are some of his excerpts worth paying attention to:
- Business blogging is alive and well. When I started blogging in late 2003, there were about 1.5 million blogs (Technorati). It’s actually hard to say how many blogs there are currently, but WordPress.com alone hosts 75.3 million blogs in over 120 different languages world-wide with 100,000 new blogs being created every day. WordPress.com blogs publish 40.5 million posts and attract 50 million comments per month. Over 400 million people view 14.4 billion pages per month.If you look at Tumblr as a blog platform, there are over 170 million blogs and nearly 76 billion posts published. Of course, I’m not even counting the millions of blogs hosted on their own domains like this one and most of the business blogs that are online.
- Marketing is not the only reason companies can get value from blogging. I started blogging to explore the platform and soon discovered an incredibly useful tool for communicating directly with prospects, the media, potential employees, current clients and our own staff. Any reason a company has to communicate can be supported by a blogging platform.
- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth annual study of corporate blogs in 2013 recently reported the largest year over year increase of Fortune 500 corporate blogs (34%) since they started tracking them in 2008.
- In all my years as a marketing and PR professional, business blogging is by far the highest yield investment I’ve ever made for: marketing, public relations, and recruiting.
- Rather than blogs being replaced by social networks, media and apps on mobile devices, successful companies will incorporate blogging into their digital marketing mix. Blog content can be consumed with any device and for companies that want a destination on the web to curate their own Vines, Instagram images, and other types of mobile-created content, blogs are a great fit.
- Blogs that are supported by a solid, customer-focused strategy and that are integrated with social media efforts still have every opportunity to help a brand become and stay “the best answer” for topics that matter most to their customers. As a hub for brand publishing for virtually any kind of content, I can think of no better fit than a business blog in 2014 and in the future.
What do you think? Does it still make sense for companies to blog? What about professionals like coaches and consultants, speakers, writers? I’d love to hear about your experiences with business blogging.