I went to a presentation about blogging a couple months ago and I heard this statement, “Anyone can Blog – it’s easy!” This instantly caught the audience’s complete attention. Blogging’s easy? Blogging is hot! and blogging is the latest, greatest thing in online marketing! get yours today! Okay – the feel in the room wasn’t that frenzied, I’ll admit, but the spark of it was there.
I wish I agreed.
Blogging is hot. Its a great online marketing tool. If you are reading this then my point is proven. Blogging is easy -kind of. Blogging is easy to set up, its easy to get started, but it is really hard to do correctly, and even harder to maintain.
A blog isn’t any different than a website. A blog is an idea that is executed by various different types of code, products, vendors, etc. When you have a blog you have the idea of consistent portable content that people can respond to right now – that’s it. It’s not WordPress, its not Livejournal, its not Moveable Type – those are all mechanisms for executing your idea.
Those mechanisms are really easy to set up but harder to integrate into your traditional website effectively.
Most blogs have no value and fail faster than a small business. Why? They don’t have a plan.
Blogs needs regular content. They need a focused theme. The need a schedule for writers to post to.
Without focus, your business blog becomes just rambling and you don’t want to ramble to your clients to you? Your client doesn’t need to know about your dog, or your issues with in-laws, or how hard it is for you to deal with them. Blogs can be dangerous territory.
Without regular posting you blog withers and dies. There is no reason to revisit a blog whose content never changes – it’s like the business newsletter that always has the same three headlines – it becomes junk mail.
If you think a blog fits creatively into your business or your businesses’ marketing strategy then write up a mission statement, a growth plan, and a schedule of posting. Then sit down with your team – even if it is only you – and brainstorm the first dozen posts. Only then is it time to go look into WordPress or LiveJournal and get your blog set up.