Most business owners I talk with will tell me something like this, “I’d like to start a blog, but how can I know I’m going to get an immediate return on my investment?” OK, maybe they don’t say it exactly like that, but that’s the idea. And as a business owner myself, I understand that mindset. But we have to get past the idea that starting a blog is the same thing as placing an ad in the local newspaper. That’s what we WANT blogging to be, but that’s not what it is. We want to fire it up, put in very little work, and proceed to watch the phone ring off the hook and our inbox fill up with orders, right? If you want to place an ad, place an ad 🙂 Blogging works differently. It requires an ongoing effort.
Is Blogging a Good Marketing Investment or Just a Waste of Time?
So if blogging requires an ongoing effort and does not produce any immediate benefit, how could it possibly be perceived as a good investment for a business? Good question! Here’s the thing: marketing works differently now, in case you haven’t noticed! Consumers respond to things differently, and we need to learn to engage them in entirely new ways. Placing ads in print media has become one of the biggest wastes of money you can imagine. Yes, you can see an immediate result, but that result is getting smaller and smaller. Immediate, yes. But significant? No. Not anymore.
Yet as business owners, we’re hooked on that immediate result. We want to know that every dollar we spend on marketing is producing a result. It makes sense. But continuing to spend more and more money for less and less of a result doesn’t make sense, does it? And that’s exactly what’s happening with traditional advertising. Traditional advertising has become SO ineffective, that I know many small business owners all over the world who have discontinued ALL print and television advertising, and many of them report that it has had little or no negative effect on their business. That’s how ineffective it has become!
Blogging is the New, Cost-Effective Alternative
So what is the alternative? The alternative is to embrace the rules of blog marketing and learn to engage your market in new and creative ways. Yes, it will require that you learn new things and learn to think about your marketing differently and measure your results in new ways. But doing this will enable you to engage a larger number of people than ever before, for less money than ever before. You’ll be able to engage prospects in new places you’ve never thought of before and make money in ways that you’ve never considered before.
Many business owners feel they don’t have time to blog. That’s very understandable, but I’d encourage you to not think of it as an extra effort. You’re likely already producing all the content you need for your blog. You’re already an expert in your field, right? You just need to channel your expertise in new ways. The memos you write to your team, the content you cover at sales meetings, the questions you answer for customers every day, the conferences you attend, the employees you hire, the new products or services you release…you’re doing ALL of these things already, and they are all AWESOME content for your blog. It just needs to be channeled in an efficient manner.
Yes, it WILL take time. It’s not completely free, and I’d be the last one to say blogging can be set on auto-pilot. The point is that it’s a simple extension of what you’re already doing as a business owner. The more engaged you are with your blog, the more engaging you’ll be with your readers, and of course that’s the whole point. Why would you ever want a blog that didn’t take any of your time? The POINT is to take some time…connect with your people. If you do it consistently, you’ll be rewarded.