Should I start blogging or not?
There are conflicting opinions about whether blogging is worthwhile or not. Some say it’s a shrinking market; a time waster and you get nothing from it(1), whereas others attest that you can earn money, new followers and more attention on your website. Let’s explore the pros and cons and what needs to change about the state of current blogs.
First things first, what is a blog?
A blog is ‘a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style’. In other words, a blog is anything you want it to be.
From “web log” came the term “blog.”(2)
WHAT NOT TO DO
Don’t…BE BORING – Is it Groundhog Day?
- The blogging scene is as overcrowded as any other market today. Where there is over-saturation there is repetitive content. Whilst doing my research, it became clear that a lot of material was recycled and unoriginal. I may as well have read the same thing over and over again, and I don’t need to explain why this is a bad thing. I’m not insinuating that you have to write a ground-breaking blog every week, I’m just suggesting that a little more thought and research should go in to what you write. Try and find something new to say or, failing that, something interesting with your own insight.
- Post different content. Post long blogs, short blogs, story blogs. Be creative, it will attract a wider audience. If all of your posts are similar it will get boring very quickly(3).
- If you’re looking to promote or mention your business in a blog, make sure that you don’t shove it down people’s throats. The last thing that people want is to be sold to. People want to read something interesting that makes them think. There’s nothing worse than opening a blog and reading a sales pitch.
Steer clear of: ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME…
That being said, don’t be afraid to throw a few lines in about what you do.
Don’t…WRITE ‘NOTHING’ PIECES
- Do you ever finish reading something and think, ‘what was the point of that’? Nobody wants to read a nothing blog…if you’re not telling me something interesting or making me think about what you’re writing about, I won’t stick around and neither will anyone else – It’s the Internet. There are already millions of articles, comments, posts, videos and blogs churned out quickly and carelessly on a persistent and uninterrupted basis – don’t let yours be one of them – there’s no rush to write 50 blogs in a week. In this instance, quality over quantity is everything. Take your time to research and find a topic to write about. If nothing pops in to your head, leave it.
With this in mind, Forbes uploaded this video recently – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTjnHzjYzgU (4). It’s a well-made video and I liked it. BUT, there was an explosion of comments about the message. As one user pointed out, ‘this is how you keep yourself busy while accomplishing nothing’. Think about the output. More importantly the quality of the output.
WHY BLOG IN THE 1ST PLACE?
REACH ANOTHER AUDIENCE
Blogging is one of many ways to find and reach an audience(4). The more you broadcast your content, the more likely people are to engage with it (hopefully). Some websites proclaim that Google Plus is a waste of time because fewer people use it than more popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are 111 million active users on Google Plus(5). Yes, the engagement rates may be significantly lower than that of Instagram, but that doesn’t make it obsolete. You need to explore all of the available avenues to find which platforms work for you. It’s better to have thousands of engaged followers than it is to have millions of disengaged followers, but how will you find out where your engaged followers are if you only post on one site?
If you have a blog with a regular readership there may be opportunities to monetise your entries(5). There are plenty of ways that you can make money from blogging, even if it’s not directly through your writing. Advertising, events and offline business are just a few examples(5).
Don’t take my word for it: ‘It seems like everything began when my monthly hits were hovering right around 20,000 a month or 700 – 1,000 hits a day. The emails started coming in from advertisers and I began to be accepted into networks and such.’ – Amy Renea. See the full blog here: http://www.anestforallseasons.com/2012/02/how-much-traffic-should-you-have-before.html (6).
Note: If you want to make money, success won’t come quickly or easily. Don’t expect to make a million pounds or gain a million followers overnight. Put the effort in, stay consistent and you might earn a small fortune. Dream big but start small.
IT’S FREE (7)
What have you got to lose? Blogs cost nothing and require all but some brainpower and a machine to write one. Blogs can be convenient ways to convey a message or to share an opinion. They’re also a great way to challenge yourself. When it comes to reading things online, people bounce from site-to-site and usually don’t read the whole thing. I do it all the time. Think about the last time you read something online that commanded your full attention. See if you can make people stay.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog about blogging dos and don’ts. We’d love to hear your feedback about our blog. For more blogs like this come back in a few weeks. If you’re tired of the word ‘blog’, follow us on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for something a little different.
Written by Anna Hill