Last week we talked about why blogging for small businesses is so important. Today, I want to continue that trend by challenging a few very common beliefs about blogging that hold a lot of people back from getting started.
Blogging Myth 1: Blogging Is Too Expensive
A lot of people assume that setting up a blog is an expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, getting a custom-designed theme built with a ton of options might be costly, but that simply isn’t necessary when starting out. In fact, if you just want to test the waters and find out if how much you actually like blogging, there are a number of free options available. I wouldn’t suggest relying on those free options long-term, but it’s a great way to get started with no cost.
Blogging Myth 2: It’s Too Hard to Setup
The best way to setup a blog is to have it seamlessly integrated into your site. That way it has the same navigation and branding, and your customers won’t feel any sort of disconnect when clicking the link to your blog. That said, having a blog with a different design is fairly common, especially in the short term. If you have to choose between not having a blog, and having a blog that looks different than the rest of your site, go with the different looking blog. You can always integrate the design down the road, but it’s hard to make up for the time you’d lose by not starting.
One of the fantastic things about blogs is that they’re relatively easy to move. Even if you’ve started off on a third-party solution, you can integrate it into your site later on.
Blogging Myth 3: It Requires Too Much Effort
Most people assume that maintaining a blog takes a ton of work, but this is simply not the case. The work of blogging tends to fall into two categories: writing and maintenance. Let’s tackle maintenance first.
There was a time when hosting your own blog required a bit of work to keep everything up-to-date, but today it couldn’t be much simpler. Take WordPress, for instance. It automatically updates you for all regular releases, so the only time you need to get involved yourself is for major releases, and updates to your plugins and themes. Even then, all it takes in clicking a couple of buttons and waiting for a few seconds as WordPress updates everything for you. There are also a lot of plugins available to help with the other aspects of blog maintenance, like the wonderful Akismet plugin, which keeps your blog free of spam.
Writing, on the other hand, does take a bit more work, but even then it’s not a deal breaker for most. Yes, it can be intimidating and difficult to just sit down and hammer out a fantastic blog post, but that’s not exactly the best way to approach blogging. If you take a little bit of time up front and put some systems in place, you will find that writing becomes much, much easier. The first thing you should do is figure out how frequently you plan to update, and stick to it. Start small – maybe once every two weeks – so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Once you have your schedule established, start breaking down your blog posts into the major ideas you want to hit. Outlining your posts will help you think through what you want to say and organize your thoughts. It might seems like more work, but it will definitely save you time in the long run.
Blogging Myth 4: I’m Not a Good Enough Writer
I’ve spoken to quite a few people who reject the idea of starting a blog for their business because they don’t think they’re a good enough writer to pull it off. My response is usually two fold.
First, you don’t have to be an amazing writer to blog well. That’s one of the wonderful things about the blogs: they democratize the web, allowing people without a lot of copy writing skill to talk about their passions and gain and audience.
Second, writing isn’t something you’re either good at or bad at. Yes, some people have a natural talent for it, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us are out of luck. The more you write – and read – the better a writer you’ll become. You first couple of posts might be a little shaky, but as you get better and more confident, you can go back and edit those earlier efforts and bring up the quality.
Blogging Myth 5: I Can’t Keep Coming Up with Ideas
To many of us, there’s nothing more intimidating that a blank page. Sitting down and having to come up with something to write about is difficult and frustrating, so I recommend you avoid it as much as possible.
To make blogging easier, you need to maintain a list of topics you want to cover. Better still, flesh out that list a bit by outlining the major points you want to address in your post. The great thing about this is that it takes very, very little effort. Simply start a list – Google Drive is a great free tool for this. Every time you think of a topic that might make a good blog, add it to the list. When you’ve got a bit of free time, look at your list and try to expand a few topics into different talking points. By doing this little bit of work up front, you’ll find blogging a much more productive and enjoyable experience.
We’ll talk more about planning and outlining blog posts in a future article.
As you can see, most of the excuses people have for not blogging are outdated, untrue, or easy to work around. With all the benefits blogging can bring to your small business, what are you waiting for?
If you’ve got more objections, share them in the comments and I’ll do my best to bust those too.