“To be or not to be, that is the question,” Prince Hamlet mused in the nunnery scene. These words resonated with Shakespeare’s audience when the play was written in 1601. Today, the words are more likely to be – “To blog, or not to blog, that is the question.”
Blogging is an excellent idea. However, you need to blog with purpose. You need to be very clear about why you are blogging. Are you trying to drive traffic to your company website either to share expertise or attract new clients? Are you trying to build your own brand, or to raise the profile of individual team members?
Perhaps you are hoping to make money from blogging. This is possible, but it is highly unlikely. Pat Flynn (SmartPassive.Income.com), Brian Clark (Copyblogger.com) and Tim Ferriss (Fourhourweek.com/blog) have got it right, but they are the exception. According to lifehacker, the vast majority of bloggers earn less than $3.50 per day.
If you have a company website blogging is a no-brainer. A blog is a powerful platform for raising your company profile and for building or raising individual profiles. If the infrastructure is in place, it only requires sweat equity.
Seldom used for this purpose, blogging is a very powerful skills development tool. It compels individuals, particularly young talent, to research and master a topic before blogging. It also teaches them to write concise, punchy, focused copy in the fewest words possible. The latter, is an invaluable skill in the workplace.
According to Statistica.com there were 350 million blogs on Tumblr alone (2017) and there are more than 1,8333,638,101 websites; the number of bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million in 2020. What does this mean? The message is very clear – there is a lot of competition. Esoteric ramblings, bland copy or waffle will not cut it. Content must be compelling, relevant, easy to apply and current. If you want your blog to stand out, consider injecting some humour. Many readers are frazzled at the end of a work day – they want to learn and be informed, but they want to do so in a way that does not feel like work.
Some interesting facts about blogging:
- Blogs with images get 94% more views
- B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads
- Companies that blog receive 92% more links to their website
There are some golden rules to blogging:
- Know your audience
- Blog regularly – a minimum of once a week. There is nothing worse that visiting a website populated with very dated blogs
- Write with personality
- Only publish quality copy
- Serialise articles – this will draw traffic to your website
- Use data to back up your claims
- Edit your post – less is more
- Do not over write
- Ensure that your writing style is effortless to read
- Finish with a call to action to sign up to an email list or to follow you on Twitter
If your company does not have a website, look for opportunities to guest blog. Alternatively, start your own blog. There is a lot of information on how to go about this on the Internet. Before you publish, always ensure that the article is not offensive – copy written in frustration or anger will come back to haunt you.