I have a degree in professional writing. My friends know me as a true “word nerd” who loves to turn a phrase. Writing content is a core component of my business and an important way I generate income. When companies like yours seek blog content for your websites, that can mean more potential work for companies like mine.

Regardless of all that, I’m here to drop a truth bomb on your blogging-for-business aspirations: Give it up, already!

Yes, you read that correctly. It’s time to get real, folks—and that means you should nix blogging, at least until you set goals and buckle down to do it right. To blog is to slog. It’s hard work to do well, plain and simple. If you don’t make the effort meaningful for your business, it will be a time-sucking, wasted effort that bears no measurable results.

You may be thinking “…but wait, what about SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing?”. It’s true that blogs can drive traffic to websites. They can help sites show up in search because Google favors fresh and abundant site content that’s keyword rich and relevant. Content is considered foundational in any marketing program in our digital age. In fact, some biz gurus will tell you content is so much the king that it’s the most important thing you’re peddling even above whatever it is you actually sell.

Yet I still say to hit pause, and let’s look at this strategically and realistically. Blogging can be very effective, yes. But it takes lots…and lots and lots…of time and effort, as well as skill, to work effectively.

Did you know that some reports indicate you’d need to blog somewhere between 11 and 16 times per month in order to measurably improve your SEO compared to companies that blog 0 to 4 times per month? Another report noted that a business would need a bank of 401 blogs on its site to double traffic. Better SEO and much higher site traffic are important and will result in more leads, but think about what achieving those goals through blogging means in a practical sense. That would require that you have someone skilled in writing, digital marketing tactics, and the nuances of your business churning out between 2.75 and 4 articles each week—or more than one blog per day to exceed the aforementioned 401 mark in a year’s time.

I listed the necessary skills of the person writing the blogs because those attributes matter in order to create the right kind of content that would move the SEO needle meaningfully. You need a pro to ensure blogs are written well, chock-full of keywords (which means somebody in the mix is attuned to your Google Analytics to know what search terms and phrases are driving people to your site), and targeted in message and tone to reach and connect with your key customers. That pro will also need to know how to upload and optimize the blog content on your site, making sure it looks good and is packed with all the correct metadata, alt text for images, and so on. And I keep referring to this “pro” because I doubt you or others on your team have time to do all this highly refined blogging 11 to 16 times per month. To get the level of skill and know-how needed to build a blog that will build your business, you’ll have to be prepared to compensate a professional accordingly. However, based on sheer volume of content required, it may be cost prohibitive to hire at the level you need.

I don’t say all this because I’m anti-blogging. I say all this because I’m in favor of working smarter, not harder, to achieve your business goals! Blogging can be effective, but you may find that Google Adwords, email marketing, or paid social advertising take less effort and money yet provide equal or better results. I know many companies that don’t blog at all yet are wildly successful.

Let’s get real and be smart about all this! Depending on the type of business you run, the goals you have, and your available resources, you may find blogging to be a top tactic, secondary effort, or not necessary.

You should consider an aggressive blogging strategy (high frequency posting of optimized content) if…
– you’re engaged in e-commerce/online selling,
– your website serves as your only lead generation source,
– your business exists entirely online, or
– your business is new and has no established online search history.
If you fit into any of the scenarios above, it’s likely you should devote the time, money, and person-power necessary to blog at least 11 times per month and support that effort with thorough digital marketing tactics. For you, blogging in great quantity and with excellent quality is a viable method to grow your biz, as all the hard work and investment required will align with your goals.

If your business doesn’t fit into any of the categories described above, look at blogging in a different light. Consider these situation-specific insights to determine what approach may be right for you.

“We don’t have anything to say.” “We do not have (time/staff/money) to manage a blog.”
If you feel you simply don’t have news, ideas, or takes on topics to share with any real consistency or you know you aren’t prepared to manage it well, perhaps you should forego a blog altogether. A sparse and outdated blog can make your biz look less than professional, so why go there if you know you’re not ready?There’s no rule or requirement that you have a blog on your website.

“We have plenty to say but aren’t ready to blog consistently.”
If this is you, considering sharing your news in other ways, in other places—namely through social media—at least until you get a groove for creating content. Have you ever used the Notes option for posting on your Facebook business page? This allows you to share longer form content in an attractive post; it’s pretty cool and often overlooked. If you’re a LinkedIn user, you may find “write an article” to be a good alternative to traditional blogging. You can go with either of these options and then share the links to posts/articles on your other social platforms. Once you get a hang of sharing content with consistency, you may be ready to move forward with a dedicated blog on your main site (and, good news: you can repurpose the stuff you already wrote on your new blog!).

“Yeah, it’s time. We need to blog, already.”
When you know you’re ready, approach the effort realistically and with the right intention. Pinpoint a responsible party to take the lead. Commit to posting one or two times per month out of the gate; just be consistent and focus on quality over quantity. Most importantly, always write for your core audience—those you hope to attract to your website because they need what you offer. That will ensure your blogs are useful and engaging with those who matter most.

Still not sure what’s right for your business? Don’t presume it’s required that you slog on a blog! Think it through and make the smartest move for you and your team. If you need help choosing an approach, reach out to me here. It is possible to find an approach that’s practical, tactical—and beneficial—for your business.

Blog on, fellow Indie Biz Insiders!
Irene Williams head tilter and marketer