As you know, I'm a big fan of blogging, not only for business and search engine juice, but also as a personal development tool. While I believe that a blog can help any business be more successful, it can also bog businesses — and business owners — down and become a noose around their neck. This is especially true if you are not in the actual business of blogging, or the business of providing services or information products that can be easily sold at your blog.
So what do you do? Not blog at all? Not a good option. (Here's why.) Or maybe you could just have a blog and let it sit there collecting dust? Hmmm, not so much. (Here's why.) There is another option. What if you just relaxed a little and blogged according to what naturally fits into your life and helps you connect with your customers? Let's see what that might look like by looking at some exemplary IBN member blogs.
- Blog once a week. You don't have to blog every day. While I do believe you should set specific days to publish posts, you can choose what those days should be. And it can be just once a week.
I love love love how my IBN member Katherine Corkill does this at her Sterling Minerals Blog. Katherine publishes a wonderfully informative post once a week, typically on Thursdays. One of my recent favorites is this one, about an interesting Shark Tank contestant.
Katherine works on her posts as time permits each week, and doesn't worry about blogging more than once a week. Each post is about something that matters to her, often issues surrounding women's health and beauty. I always learn something new when I read her blog, and I eagerly look for each new post. They are well researched and detailed. I get something consistent and informative, and Katherine produces worthwhile content each week without making herself crazy.
- Blog what you love. Don't worry about whether it's related to your business. Just blog what you care about. If you have a passion for a particular author, blog about that author and his or her books. If you have a passion for running, blog about your running experiences. You can always share a bit about your business here and there, and your sidebars can contain links to your ecommerce site or your FaceBook Page.
As you blog regularly without driving yourself nuts, you will find that your target customers will enjoy reading about your passion and getting to know you better. This will encourage them to trust you, and if they are predisposed to buy your products, they will be even more likely to do so because they find that they like you as a person. Similarly, as people discover you for your products alone, they get a bonus when they find out that you have a blog where you share something with the world that really matters to you.
A super example of this is Maggie Hanus of A Wild Soap Bar. Maggie generally blogs three or four times a month about life on her Texas farm and soapmaking studio. This post is about her sweet little newborn grandson, this one is about green living, this one is about the wild flowers growing outside her studio, and this one is about the bobcat she saw in her back yard (and there's a photo — gulp!). Maggie is very passionate about those things, but none of them are closely related to her business or the products she sells. When I read her blog, I am connected to her as a person. I am reminded of her commitment to creating great products, and I am encouraged to click over to her site to see what's new, or tell a friend about her.
As you can see, Maggie does not blog every day. She doesn't even blog every week. But when she does, she shares her personality and her heart. This makes buying her products a rewarding experience from the inside out.
- Blog the media that are easiest for you. If you hate the writing process, then don't write much at your blog. Of course you need a title for your posts and a few sentences, but the meat of your posts can be a photo, an audio clip or a video.
One of the best examples of this is Debbie Chialtas at Soapylove. I don't know whether or not Debbie likes to write, but I do know that she is a superior designer. She loves color and she knows how to use it. Her blog posts, while not frequent, always incorporate color.
For example, she includes photos she takes, videos other people create, and instructional soapmaking tutorials, like this one, that incorporate photos of the project as she teaches you how to make it yourself.
Katherine, Maggie and Debbie prove that you can have a super great blog without blogging every day and without killing yourself to write like Ernest Hemingway.
Having a blog is important now and I believe it will be important in the future. But blogging doesn't have to become bogging. Follow Katherine's, Maggie's and Debbie's example and blog what you love using media that make it easy for you to convey your passion to the world.
Question: Are you blogging, or bogging? And if the latter, does this post help you change that?