Blogging – A Reality Check
If you own a business, you’ve probably heard that a blog is a great way to add regular content to your site and that it will help get you found by potential customers who want whatever it is you’re selling. Both points are true.
But you want to know what else is true? Your blog won’t “make it big” overnight. Your blog might never make it big, depending on your definition of “big.” And if your blog does make it big, I can guarantee you one thing: it will require a lot of hard work, even after you make it.
Want proof? Here it is:
I recently stumbled on Young House Love, a husband-and-wife blogging team that has turned what started out as a simple blog to keep friends and family updated on the couple’s home improvement projects into a marketable, enviable brand. These are two beautiful people who are in love and doing beautiful work, so I was quite pleased when I read this honest assessment from Sherry on her blogging adventure, and I quote:
We’re not gonna lie – it’s the hardest job we’ve ever had. The biggest misconception is that our blog is a part time thing that we spend a few hours a day on. When friends and relatives picture me out on the patio with a magazine and a cocktail I snort with laughter. It’s hard to put into words how we manage to spend every waking moment working on the blog, but we’re essentially writing over 45 posts a month AND taking and uploading photos AND running an online shop AND offering design services AND coordinating giveaways AND answering up to 100 email and comment questions a day AND making & editing videos. Not to mention actually doing the projects on our home that we then photograph and write about. It’s pretty much a never ending to do list! In all honesty, I’m a million times busier than I ever was in my old New York City 60+ hour a week job. We work nights, weekends and on vacation (after all, the internet is 24/7!) so sometimes it can all be very exhausting. And I don’t make as much as I used to. I actually took a pretty hefty pay cut to see this full-time blogging thing through.
Sherry also makes another important point: she didn’t set out to write a blog that would fill a niche. She and her husband simply wrote about what they were passionate about, and the followers, slowly but surely, began to flock.
This point is worth repeating in Copy Bitch clarity: passion-filled blog posts will attract more followers than writing around keyword phrases and creating optimized titles. Ideally, you should do both. But start with your passion. Unleash it. Let it lead you.
So you wanna blog for your business and have the sort of success YHL has experienced? Well, be prepared to:
- work your ass off
- write about things you really, really care about
- do it regularly – yes, even when you don’t want to; yes, sometimes on weekends; yes, maybe even some holidays; yes, possibly on vacation
- make mistakes
- learn from your mistakes
- ignore critics (well, most of them)
- write, write, write
- oh, and write some more
I realize not everyone is looking for their blogs to go ga-ga like YHL. But you know what? Even if you’re not looking to make it big like them, the bullet points above still apply, even for your modest 3-times-a-week business blog.
Update: It’s July 2017 and YHL took a major blogging hiatus a few years ago. They’re now doing a podcast and the occasional blog post.
My point: your blogging life will evolve. I’ve seen people hot-and-heavy with their blogs for years, and then they hit a wall. Others, continue on slow and steady.
So does your business need a blog? HubSpot and other marketing gurus say all businesses MUST blog. I hate “must” directives. You shouldn’t do something just because someone tells you to. Understand how your business *could* benefit, understand the drawbacks, and be realistic about what you can and can’t commit to. Blogging is a big part of my business, meaning I do lots of blogging for clients who are too busy to do it themselves. This a great compromise. Learn more about my blogging services here.