Owning or managing a business means spinning a lot of plates. So, if you're thinking about adding another into the mix, you need to carefully consider whether it's going to be worth your time and effort.
Some marketing guides out there claim that, in order to improve the online visibility of your business, having a blog is absolutely necessary. But, here at Glass Digital, we've found that this one-size-fits-all approach doesn't always work. It completely depends on your situation — having a company blog can be very beneficial for certain businesses and offer little value to others.
If you're a sole trader or only work with a small team, remember that spending time writing blog posts could mean neglecting other tasks that really need your attention. Or, if you decide you need to hire someone to manage your blog, this will be an additional outgoing. So, if you're interested in publishing this kind of content on your site, you need to be confident it's going to have the desired effect — namely that your blog posts will attract more people to your site and, ultimately, convince them to pay for your goods or services.
To help you decide whether setting up a company blog is going to be a good use of your time and money, we're going to set out five questions you should ask yourself first. These should help you to make the best decision for you and your company.
Do you have the time to keep it updated?
The first thing you need to think about is whether you're going to have enough time to update your company blog on a regular basis. Successfully running a blog can take a lot of work, and there are many people out there who do it as a full-time job. So, if your workload is already quite heavy, there is the risk that starting a blog could be a step too far.
In order to keep your blog up to date, you'll need to have a content plan in place so you can ensure you're always publishing relevant posts. You'll also have to put the time in to write them, source the images, and then promote your content to drive traffic to your site.
Small businesses will typically see the most success with their blogs if they post one to four times a week, while you'll often see larger companies posting daily or even multiple times a day (HubSpot). So, you need to be sure you have the resources to get the most out of your blog.
Will you have enough topics to cover?
You also need to think about whether you're going to have enough ideas for blog posts — especially if you're planning to post multiple times a week.
Depending on the type of business you run, there are lots of different types of blog posts you might be able to produce. You could write about new product launches, create news stories about what's going on in your industry, or put together timely advice-led pieces. You just need to make sure that any post you put together is relevant to your business and offers value to your target customers. Finding a natural way to promote your products within your blog posts is important, too.
Will your posts offer value to your target audience?
As I've mentioned, you need to consider whether each blog post you're planning to write is going to offer value for your customers. And, you also need to make sure there's someone on your team who has the necessary skills to create professional-standard blog posts that will reflect well on your business. Some companies make the mistake of churning out content to keep their blog updated, without really thinking about the purpose and target audience of their posts, but you'll struggle to get the results you're looking for with this strategy.
Just like you did when you first set up your business, think very carefully about who your blog is going to be aimed at and what they might want to take away from it. Consider what problems they might need you to solve or what they're interested in hearing about.
For example, while you might be excited to tell people that you've appointed new members of staff or attended an industry event, these topics are unlikely to appeal to your typical customer. Instead, think about whether you could teach them something new about your products, give them useful information about what's happening in your industry, or provide them with a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of your company.
Is your content going to be timely or evergreen?
A blog works best if your content is timely. So, for example, if you're writing posts that centre around trends and news, these would have to be published at a very specific time. If you're thinking about producing more evergreen content, such as how-to guides and FAQs, it might be worth creating a knowledge hub instead.
Knowledge hubs and blogs are quite similar in that they should be populated with articles and guides that are relevant to your business and customers. But a knowledge hub is where you'll put long-life content that's always going to be relevant. For example, you could write about how your products work, explain any laws and regulations that might be relevant to your customers, or answer the most frequently asked questions.
A blog should be updated more frequently with timely information. It's where you can cover seasonal topics, news, and products that you might only stock for a short time.
If you're considering starting a blog, it's important to consider whether a knowledge hub might make more sense for your business. If a lot of the post ideas you're coming up with are evergreen, you won't want these to get lost on your site and begin to look outdated. So, an advice and guides section on your site could be a better option.
Do you have a strategy in mind?
In order to get the most out of your blog, you need to have a strategy in mind. You should know what you're hoping to get out of your new blog, how you can give people what they need, and how you're going to drive traffic to your posts.
Putting together blog posts takes a lot of time, but it's only part of the picture. You also need to think about where you're going to share your posts, how you're going to track their effectiveness, and how your blog is going to play a part in your overall goal of making more sales.
You can fill your blog with interesting posts, but that doesn't necessarily mean people will find them or that they'll have the desired results. So, we would highly recommend having an overall strategy in mind before you begin and, if you don't have the time to dedicate to all of this, it might be best to wait until you do.
There are a lot of articles out there that claim every business should have a blog, so you might be feeling pressured to start one. But successfully running a company blog takes a lot of time and energy, so you might not be in a position to take that step just yet. We would recommend asking yourself the questions we've posed above to decide whether it's going to be the right move for you.
If you believe having a blog could truly benefit your business but you're not sure if you have the time or expertise to keep yours updated with timely and relevant information, we can help! Our content team run blogs for many of our clients so, if this is something you're interested in, do get in touch to see what we could do for you.