The New Year is here and although I prefer to eschew the concept of New Year’s resolutions, I find myself with a nagging voice in mind head telling me I need to blog more starting this year.
If I’m going to have one resolution, that’s it.
Because I know that there is value to blogging, but I’ve been avoiding it.
Let’s be honest: Blogging is hard
Some people seem to find their way with it easily, but for many it’s a bit scary.
What should I blog about? Who cares what I have to say? What is it I should say anyway?
Let’s be honest. It’s time consuming and doesn’t seem like a priority. It’s easy to let it slide.
Up until now, I’ve mostly been interested in the mechanics of building a blog. But once it’s built, it’s not really very useful unless you keep at it.
Even with the limited blogging I’ve done I know that the right posts do connect with the right people. And when you get it right, you see the value of having a WordPress website.
Engagement is important. Blogging is a great way to engage.
Blogging can be useful
It’s one of the things I advise my clients when they want to get more traffic to their websites.
But it’s not just about driving numbers. It’s about shaping a picture of what your brand is about.
So, if I’m going to blog more, it has to be more about the things I think matter to my clients and to me. That means adding topics about: Working with WordPress, Creating a web presence for your business, Using the internet for small business, and the general topics of visual design/ photography.
These are things I know a lot about. More than I give myself credit for. I should be sharing that knowledge.
When clients ask me what they should blog about or write in their newsletters, I tell them to think of the conversations that they have most often offline, with clients or colleagues. These are your areas of expertise. Start with what you know, and what you believe is important within those things.
Just having a blog doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t connect with an audience. It needs to have a voice and needs to be authentic. Starting with what matters to you is a great place to start.
Isn’t having a blog kinda futile?
Writing? Ick. Am I right?
I think that’s the scary part. In person I can prattle on at length on many topics and I know I can be very informative.
But I go to write it all down and immediately second-guess myself. Who cares about my opinion? No one in is listening anyway. Is it a futile exercise?
No, actually. It’s not.
If you can create a post on a topic that someone out there is searching for information about, and you’ve helped inform them in any way, it’s not futile.
I think about all the blog posts I come across randomly when searching the web for knowledge and opinions, I realise that I have just as much to offer as any of them. I also see areas where people aren’t talking about things I think should be talked about.
Even in this world of way-too- much information, there is still room for good content and useful opinions.
Like most things, the difference is in the doing. At some point, you have to just stop having ideas and actually out something out there.
Writing and finding a way to communicate what is important to your brand is something I find many website owners and business owners struggle with. I definitely do.
But like anything, it just takes work to overcome.
Blogging can be valuable
You have to use your website to get the most out of this fast-paced online world.
It’s like getting a car. If it sits in the driveway all the time, is it the car’s fault you don’t go anywhere?
A blog is a tool. When you use it, it has more value.
How often you should you use it? Experts will tell you that you have to blog often, and stick to a schedule.
That may be true for some, but I think you have to find the balance of what works for you.
Make it relevant and it will be valuable.
An older post that has lots of good content will continue to get traffic long after you post it.
So, rather than focussing on quantity, stick to quality. Stay focussed on how you can help visitors solve problems.
Good information remains good for a lot longer than fluff.
So, to blog or not to blog?
Well, for now, it’s to blog.
Here we go.