If you are my client and we’re talking about your web content and social media initiatives, chances are pretty good I’m going to tell you not to have a blog. Except sometimes. Let’s examine the nuance.
Blogs are work. A good blog can be a huge asset, but only with the focus and dedication usually reserved for those who really love to write and/or do homework. Small businesses tend to have limited time and people-power to contribute to blog content. Which means that if you want a blog on your small biz site, you better have a lot of useful knowledge or a very bored intern willing to share an unhealthy amount of personal info.
The good news is I have a lot of useful knowledge. <whew />
These days, not having a blog is no big deal – many sites don’t. But even more sites have blog posts that stopped in 2016, or post every ~9 months. If you’re not able to contribute to your site in this way, you shouldn’t get on this train. Or, once you figure out you missed the train, recognize that it’s gone and honestly decide if you’re going to drive to the next stop to catch it or take the train off your website. That metaphor broke down at the end but if you realize you’re not posting, either recommit fully and immediately, or remove references to your blog on your site.
I mean yes, I can be nice to blogs too.
They’re great for SEO1. Assuming you do the work of writing accessible, informative posts, sharing and promoting them, and getting linked elsewhere so Google sees you as valuable, then yes, they can definitely help boost your SEO. This level of effort isn’t worth it for everyone or every company. But it’s a definite plus.
Blogs help maintain a connection to your site. It’s a good idea to login to your site at least every 1-4 weeks and make sure the lights are still on, and if you’re blogging you should be posting at least that often2. Getting into your site to blog is a good excuse to check for issues, update other content, etc.
Keep in mind that blog posts don’t have to be intense. While there are probably opportunities for long and in-depth posts about the very efforts which you’re currently undertaking (this is so meta), that’s not required. With apologies to the over-achievers among us, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the validation of getting an “A” for your efforts. Instead, try to remember that it’s very appropriate – and easier on you – when some of your posts are shorter commentary, lists of useful resources, or a quick alert about company events or updates. Not every novel is Great Expectations. In fact, only one novel is Great Expectations. Thank goodness.
And once you get good at this, or make new connections via your blog, maybe you can find opportunities to be a guest blogger! This is great for many reasons3: you may be able to reuse some of your existing content (less work!) and you’re making connections to other resources that will boost your SEO (and theirs!). In fact, we should all be guest blogging a lot more. Who’s with me!?
So there it is – my deep philosophy on blogs. Tl;dr: it’s work, but like most work, it can be worthwhile.
I hope this is useful, and if you’ve found your way here at a time when my most recent post is >3 months old do me a favor and call me out, ok? I appreciate you4.