Clearly, I talk to a lot of people about using a blog to market their business. One of the most common concerns expressed by business owners is that it will take too much time. It’s not too much of a secret that blogging can be a very, very powerful tool in your marketing plan. Here are some reasons why:
- It’s highly cost efficient.
- It enables you to reach a huge number of people effectively, personally and quickly.
- It gives you the power to reach NEW customers that you would not have reached otherwise.
- It makes possible NEW revenue streams that you may not have ever considered before.
- It puts a powerful publishing tools at your fingertips…you can promote your business 24/7, as often as you want, and the cost doesn’t increase the more you use it.
- A well-designed and maintained blog will establish you as an expert in your field, building credibility and trust with your audience, an invaluable asset to your business.
These are just a few ways that a blog is a highly recommended marketing tool for your business. So it’s easy enough for me to argue, can you afford NOT to have a blog? And that really should be enough. However, it’s reasonable to consider the time issue, because no tool is going to work for you if you don’t use it. In other words, a blog doesn’t write itself, and if you don’t do it, it’s not going to do you much good.
So, How Much Time Should You Spend Blogging?
Here’s the bottom line: you get out what you put in. The fact is that most highly successful blogs with an immense amount of traffic, making big money from advertising, etc…are powered by individuals (or even teams of individuals) who put a LOT of collective time and energy into the site.
Do you even WANT a high traffic blog…one that is considered to be highly successful by traditional standards? It’s an important question. Here’s why: I’ve argued from the beginning of this blog that high traffic is only one of many ways to make money with your blog. It’s very possible that promoting your blog doesn’t have to be a big deal at all. It’s very possible, in other words, for you to have a very successful business, make a lot of money and have a blog at the center of it all…powering a lot of your sales, without it having to be a very big time commitment.
It’s very important to have accurate expectations however. If you do not work your blog every day, build your community every day…if you do not moderate comments and respond to inquiries aggressively and promptly, and if you do not do these basics every day over time, it’s unlikely you’re ever going to have a blog that gets 100k visitors a month.
What Are Your Goals?
When considering how much time you want to commit to blogging, it’s important to consider what results you want to get from your blog. You can probably tell at this point that there’s not going to be a hard and fast rule about how much time it takes to be successful blogging. Simply, you need to do as much as is necessary to reach your goals. So what are your goals?
Do you want to have 100k+ visitors a month and make several thousand a month in advertising revenues? If so, you’re going to need to work it full time, period. Blogging is going to have to be your full time job. It doesn’t mean you cannot start part time and build up to that point, but to acheive that type of traffic, it’s going to require a concerted effort on your part.
Do you want your blog to simply serve as a powerful and convenient way for you to interact with your customers? Do you want to build a good, targeted list of customers over time and use your blog as a way of gaining market share, getting new customers and building your brand? All of this can be accomplished over time with only a part time effort. Let me be clear, it will still require a consistent effort over time. But it hardly needs to be something that consumes all of your time.
I believe most professionals and business owners fall into this latter category. Blogging can be an absolutely impressive and powerful way to extend your business and market your products or services. And it doesn’t need to take a lot of time.
What About You?
What are your goals? Do you have a blog already? How much time do you spend using your blog to market your business?