If you have thought about using blogging to market your small business, perhaps you are concerned about the time commitment or just don’t see how it can benefit your company. Here are 5 major concerns about blogging people have and how to overcome them.
- Not enough time – Small business blogging takes time. If you assume you should post 2 times per week and each post takes you an hour, that’s 104 hours per year. It can be more if you decide to moderate comments and trackbacks. As with any marketing tool, you’ll have to weigh the benefits of blogging against your current time commitments, fears, and other ways to prospect. That said, if you usually spend a half hour or so reading the news, blogs, or websites, use this time as your research for that day’s blog post. If you can’t find 2 sources commenting on your topic each week, perhaps your topic is too narrow.
- Legal Issues – I strongly recommend that anyone considering blogging read the EFF’s Legal Guide for Bloggers, which will clarify any legal issues you might have.
- Negative Feedback – It’s inevitable that if you voice your opinion on the web, someone, somewhere will take issue with it. Sometimes, they’re just having a bad day. Sometimes, they truly feel passionate that you’re take on the issue is wrong. This can spark a very interesting debate, or you can agree to disagree. And a tiny percent will just want to cause trouble, so that no matter what you say, they’ll be hostile. The best thing to do is to create a comment policy that outlines what types of comments you will publish and stick with it.
- Spam – Comment and trackback spam is probably the most annoying thing about blogging. WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg has suggested that more than 9 out of every 10 comments left on blogs are spam. Trackback spam numbers aren’t quite as high, yet. The good news is that virtually all the major blogging software providers have spam filters that catch most of it. The bad news is that some do get through. Some of the most popular blogs don’t allow comments or trackbacks. Others moderate each post, so that only those that they approve are published to their blogs.
- Return on Investment – Since blogs are newbies to the corporate marketing toolkit, there isn’t a lot of data on how effective they are at generating new business. Bloggers measure their ROI in a number of ways such as number of comments left, number of people subscribed to their RSS feed, number of unique visitors per month, search engine rank for a particular keyword, or number of people who specifically say the blog was a factor in their hiring decision. It’s up to you and your company to decide which metrics are most appropriate for you and to establish ways to measure them.
Though blogging does take time, the benefits of small business blogging outweigh the disadvantages. Blogging is a great, cost-effective way to market your services.