Everyone has a blog these days, right?
The giant corporations.
The deli down the street.
It’s seems like a must-have now for all businesses, and if you don’t have one your businesses is not authentic enough and you’ll probably go bankrupt within the year.
But some of you are (wisely) raising an eyebrow and wondering if all that extra work is actually worth it.
“Do I REALLY need a blog for my business?”
The short answer is no, you don’t need a blog on your website to run a successful business. However, nearly all businesses can indeed benefit from a blog. The real question is whether the benefit you get from a blog is actually worth the time you put into it.
Because let’s be real—writing decent blog articles takes a heck of a lot of time.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to give your life to blogging in order to reap substantial benefits from it. A blog can serve different functions depending on your business model.
To make this easy, I’ve broken up this post into three categories:
The businesses that shouldn’t have a blog,
The businesses that could reap some benefit from a blog but don’t need one, and
The businesses that should DEFINITELY get a blog on their site.
Those who SHOULDN’T start a business blog
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Who 100% shouldn’t spend time creating a blog?
If you’re expecting me to list off a bunch of boring industries, hold up. Because a blog can work in any industry.
The differentiator isn’t industry, but rather your own personality. Whether you’re a sole business owner or you’re leading a team, you will vastly impact the success of your blog. And if you’re not ready for that, you shouldn’t start one.
A bad blog makes you look bad. So, here’s when you should not create a business blog:
You’ll write one post and never write again.
Put that post on LinkedIn instead, where it has a higher chance of reaching readers and it’s not an everlasting beacon calling attention to your lack of follow-through.
Harsh? Maybe, but that’s how your customers will see it. Even if you write only a little bit, be smart with that content and send it off to a place where it can get you some results.
Your writing skills need a lot of work.
A poorly written blog can definitely be worse than no blog at all. Luckily, you have a few options here:
- Get an editor. Yes, blog post editors exist!
- Post videos on your blog instead of long text posts.
- Start a podcast.
You don’t need to write to benefit from a blog. The main idea is that you’re sharing helpful content, regardless of what form it takes.
Your blog will consist of nothing more than product updates, company photos, and sales announcements.
This most often happens with small retail companies and businesses in more traditional industries. Product updates, company photos, and other “look at us!” posts are fine to include in your blog, but they can’t be the only thing there. You have to provide value if you want people to read.
If you’d still like to share your “look at us” content, put it on social media and share it with your email list. Both channels should also be accompanied by helpful, valuable content, but you can do it with less overall investment.
Those who should CONSIDER starting a business blog
In general, a blog has the potential to serve three roles:
1) Attract new visitors to your site
2) Build trust with visitors (regardless of where they came from) to turn them into leads
3) Establish authority in a given topic
Which of these benefits do you want your blog to accomplish? You can start blogging in-depth every week to accomplish all three, but chances are you don’t need all three.
Here’s the thing: You might be getting most of your website visitors through referrals, and that might work well for you. Many, if not most, freelancers work this way.
In this case, you don’t need to worry about making your blog posts search optimized, because you’re already getting enough traffic. Instead, you’ll use your blog to build trust with the existing visitors and establish your authority, both of which will help you turn those leads into paying clients. That means you can post less frequently, write shorter posts, and still reap some great benefits.
Those who should DEFINITELY start a business blog
On the other hand, maybe you’re trying to build an online community through your blog. By “online community,” I mean your fan base, your email list, the collection of people who jive with your brand and will eventually provide the majority of your revenue for a long time to come.
If you’re trying to build an online business that scales beyond one-to-one services, you’ll likely want to build an online community.
In this case, a blog is a perfect fit with your goals. You need to attract new readers/community members, build trust, and establish authority.