It brings traffic. It establishes you as an expert to your audience. It gives you necessary content on your website. We’ve talked about blogging from just about every angle here on our own blog, laying it all out in plain terms, giving you reasons to blog and all the ways to go about doing it right.
But, when it’s all said and done, maybe you shouldn’t blog.
There are several reasons you shouldn’t have a blog for your business. Despite all of the very real benefits a blog will bring you — traffic being a very real and big one — it might be something you shouldn’t do. Why?
You Have No Idea
We’re not talking about lacking individual ideas to blog about. We’re talking about not having an idea about blogs at all.
You were told to have a blog, someone set you up with a blog, dropped you in front of your keyboard, and that’s it. You’re not motivated to do it, it wasn’t your idea, or your only instruction was to sit down and write something. While sitting down and writing is a big part of it, that’s by no means all of it. You need to learn how to plan, schedule, organize — the habits and work of blogging. Instead, you have no idea how to promote your blog, or what to do to bring in readers.
You have a readership and idea count of exactly zero screaming at you and while you don’t know what to do about it, you don’t have any plans on getting training or help to change that fact. You’ll get help with your accounting and other “legitimate” aspects of your business, but your blog? You don’t put any kind of investment in it because you don’t take it seriously.
You Take It Personally
Or maybe you take it too seriously.
Perhaps you haven’t learned to respond well to negative reader reaction. Any negative feedback on your blog or about your blog launches you into an out-of-control response that will hurt you more than any great post will ever help you. Perhaps you haven’t learned to sort through which comments need a response and which ones will merely exist as a monument to a reader who was having a difficult day and decided to use your blog to relieve some stress.
Or worse, you turn your blog into a place where you rant and rave on things that will upset and polarize your audience. You might get away with that on a personal blog (if no clients ever find it), but definitely not on a blog for your business. That kind of blog hurts more than it helps.
Your Audience Is A Mystery
Speaking of audiences…do you know who your audience is? Don’t start blogging until you do, because your audience isn’t any and everyone. You can’t possibly know what to say if you don’t know who you’re saying it to. You can’t possibly know how to say something if you don’t know what your audience requires or wants.
You need to know two things about your audience:
- Who they are in general. (i.e. people who like classic American cars)
- Who they are in specific (i.e. my dad)
The first helps you know what topics to write about. The second helps you when you actually sit down to write. If you have difficulty figuring out the first, you’re in serious trouble. The second is easier to come by; all you need to do is pick a specific customer or person you know would read your blog, and write as if to them directly.
And The Number One Reason Not To Blog?
You have no intention of doing anything with it.
You kind of care, but not really. As in, you’ve set it up, it looks great, and you’ll never write there again. Now you have a link that takes visitors to a place where the most content (in what should be new content) happend months ago or, even worse, years. You have no long-term goals, no benchmarks, no plan, and your blog falls away into cobwebs. You just don’t care. You don’t think it matters, so you’re carrying dead weight instead.
Nothing screams “we’re inactive!” to your website visitors and potential clients like a stagnating website, and nothing screams stagnating website like a blog with never-updated content.
If you have a blog, use it. Get training on how to make it better. Have a better-qualified team member write it if necessary. Make it a team effort. Plan, determine goals, and treat it like any other serious part of your business. The benefits of a blog are very real, but if you aren’t going to do it right, you may want to rethink having a blog. There are other ways to get involved in social media, and if it’s clear you’re not going to be able to follow through on a blog, focus on something else for traffic to your site.