6 Things I’d Tell Someone Who Wants to Start a Business Blog (that I wish someone would have told me)
Here’s a quick list of things I wish I had known when setting out to create a business blog:
- You should write everyday, but writing everyday doesn’t mean publishing everyday. You should constantly be thinking about what you’ll write about, and you should be writing down whatever comes to mind. Every now and again that might come together into something you can use, often it won’t. The point isn’t to blog on demand, but to occasionally knock out a post that demands to be read.
- Just because you posted something to be read doesn’t mean it will be. Post quality isn’t what gets readers, its what retains readers. I know, I know, it sucks. If it makes you feel any better, you’re going to look back on the stuff you’re writing now in a few months and want to delete it all. If you write daily, you will get much, much better. You have no idea.
- You need a crank for generating readers. If you can’t turn the crank on demand but rely on events like a once in a lifetime ad buy or something, you don’t have a process, you have pixie dust. Find a number of effective methods for driving incremental traffic and work the process. There are some very basic and ways to promote your new blog without spending money, without including topless pictures in your posts, and without trying to out-hack Google’s Search Ranking hackers.
- Temper your expectations about readership. Your daily blogs about the solar cell you invented that will result in free, renewable energy for all of mankind will get .000001 of the traffic that a post debuting a picture of Britney spears not wearing makeup for the first time will get. I’m sorry, its not personal, it’s just the internet. If you’re blogging about a niche topic, be the best blogger in that niche.
- Blogging is great because there’s very little barrier to entry. Blogging is horrible because there’s very little barrier to entry. If your blog only took you 20 minutes to set up, it probably looks like it only took 20 minutes to set up. Think about how much time you’ll put into writing for and promoting your blog. You are not just a writer, but also a publisher. Make it your own. Be proud of it. Get comfortable there. It’s your new office.
- Other bloggers aren’t your competitors; they’re your partners, your readers, and your sales and marketing channel. The average blog is about 300 words long and takes about 90 seconds to read. Anybody who went to all of the trouble to find your blog buried in the corner of the WWW isn’t going to read just one little lonely blog post. People don’t read from just one blog and they wouldn’t need an RSS feed if they did. You’re not competing for eyeballs against other bloggers, even within the same space. The blogging audience is hungrier than you can possibly imagine.
These are, by no means, the only things to know about blogging. There are lists and lists of lists. But these are some key things that, having known them, I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy.