There are over 600 million blogs in the world today, out of over 1.7 billion websites (source).
When there is so much content out there it can be hard for small businesses to think that blogging is anything but a waste of time away from selling their products or services.
…and you might wonder “is blogging still worth it?”
I’m here to say “yes it is!” with my 30 Day Blogging Challenge.
But first, let me give you a bit of background as to why I think this…
My Blogging Background
Clearly, it was possible to write about what you loved and gain an interested audience, willing to pay for extras like books or merchandise, and I studied the whole game very intently.
Blogs could make business superstars out of entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn and Tim Ferriss who took the time to write down their expertise into written form and I was keen to see if I could find success with it too.
I had a thing I loved – travel and I enjoyed writing and making videos.
I set to work and over 3 years was able to generate thousands of visits a month to my site and to my YouTube Channel which was a minor success and resulted in the odd bit of free merchandise here and there.
I had a basic strategy:
- Study what others who were more successful than me were doing and try to emulate it with my own style.
- Write consistently.
- Every post had a headline that conveyed what the content was about to the user.
- The content was useful – either in terms of helping the reader or entertaining them.
I did it to see if I could and to understand the mechanics of what blogging work for a website so that I could ultimately take this knowledge back to the clients at my day job.
It taught me that blogging works to help you build your website’s online authority for key phrases but only if you do it regularly and you write titles that answer your reader’s questions.
You need to turn up and write every day even if you don’t think you have much to say.
The very act of wiring helps you to form your voice and make you seek out content that might inspire so you start to pick up what works and what doesn’t.
It also makes you study your analytics and ask for feedback from your readers.
When you get that first comment from someone you finally start to write for an audience and not for yourself.
I had a lot of success with titles like:
The Ultimate Glastonbury Packing List (a useful post)
Driving Through Fire on an Indian Road (an intriguing title)
How to Kiss the Blarney Stone (useful again)
It was also a lot of fun!
Travel opportunities dried up for me when babies happened, and when I had time to dip back into the world of blogging I saw that in the niche I found myself in (motherhood) was creating opportunities for post-career women who wanted to find a creative outlet amongst the nappies and playdates.
Slummy Single Mummy and The Unmumsy Mum very savvy and media-friendly, creating content for women looking for friendly places to read about people who just like them.
They proactively reached out to PR companies for products to review and built email lists to drive to their blogs when they published them.
I was keen to understand if writing about being a mummy (I was ‘This Brighton Mum’ by the way) would bring me fame and fortune, but also if the world of blogging had changed much.
Through consistent weekly blogging using headlines that would appeal to my reader (most read: “Stupid Things I Said Before Becoming A Parent”) and creating content that was useful and entertaining, I was able i was able to get some free tickets to the local zoo and the occasional free bit of merch but I wasn’t able to capture the attention of readers the way I had 5 years previously.
By this point, most bloggers were trying their hand at Instagram – which has a bigger and nearly-instant audience.
Post something there and you could get recognition in minutes and not have to wait for Google to pick you up on one of it crawls…and maybe you might rank on page 2 for a search result about buying a baby buggy.
You could see the appeal and as I quietly shelved my mummy-blogging dreams, I moved to study how small business was using their website blogging function.
Small Business Suck at Blogging
When I finally started out on my own back in 2018, so many of the businesses I worked with had a starving blog on their website.
Maybe 5 posts would live there with the last being months previous to the current date.
I heard the phrase ‘well we have to have one don’t we?”
It seemed the abandoned blog was commonplace.
Out of all of the things that a small business owner has to do on a day to day basis, blogging was very low down on the priority list.
Posting on Instagram was other social networks was up though.
Even though it wasn’t resulting in much business, the new shiny object was a social network that didn’t take much effort i.e. you didn’t have to write much content – just post a pic.
Is this you by the way?
Have I described your blog?
I have a confession to make…I have described me and my blog!
I haven’t posted up since late 2019 (see here).
I have been focused on posting on social networks and building an email list, but I know the power of writing consistently for your website.
I know that it provides content for all of the other channels.
I know that it helps you to be found for the questions that you answer for your readers.
I know that i don’t always have to write 1000 word pieces like this, I can make make them much shorter or I can film a video.
I know that it still works.
…but it only works if I do it regularly.
I will create a new blog post everyday in June…will you?
I have this crazy plan to blog everyday this month.
I am going to use the time to create some content that you’ve been waiting for on search engine optimisation, website management, website analytics and entrepreneurship.
Plus I plan to talk about the process of blogging too just to go really meta.
I’ll even be doing this during my next 5-Day Challenge which is a big week for me but I figured that there will days where I may not want to blog and I need to find a way to prepare for those or else I’ll never be able to make this is a consistent strategy.
Do you want to join me?
I’ll be posting these in my free Facebook Group every day starting from today and you will be very welcome to take part.
Maybe you’ll need the accountability, I know I will!
Maybe you’ll want the company – it was be lonely writing for one…this way you’ll have an audience for your writing.
By the end of June we could have 30 blog posts on our websites.
30 pieces of content that you can use throughout your social channels to repurpose.
Website data that will tell you what topics your audience liked (or not).
If you’re in then come and join me me over at https://www.facebook.com/groups/onlinemarketingbasicsforbusywebsiteowners/
As it’s the 1st June today, all you’ll need to do with today’s blog post is tell us a little bit about yourself or share an existing post.
Watch out for the posts in the Group where you can share your content.
See you tomorrow!