Every now and then I do have to ask myself if all the time and energy that I spend blogging is worth it. I have written 88 blog posts in the last 13 months, on average I spend about 1 hour writing each post – not nearly as much time as I should spend researching, writing and editing. In time and effort that’s over $10,000 of billable hours. So, has the Onlinexpert blog brought me over $10,000 worth of exposure or client work? No, I don’t think so. So why do I do it?
Blogging has definitely brought me confidence. I mostly write off the top of my head, referencing some other article I’ve read recently that inspired me to comment. I’ve felt a little guilty about this. I thought that I really should be sitting down to seriously plan and research and agonise over what I’m publishing, rather than reading an article, geting fired up and punching out my own rendition. But I’ve started to realise that I couldn’t just write off the top of my head if I didn’t know the content. And I cover a lot of wide ranging digital and online marketing subjects in this blog. And now I realise that I know a lot of stuff and I know it well, it is engrained in my DNA.
Blogging also brings me credibility. When I am pitching for new business, the blog is a point of reference that potential clients and referrals can read and it helps them decide if I am indeed knowledgable on the subject of digital marketing. Another little bonus it offers is an insight into who am I, how I think and how I interact with other. I am a straight talker, honest and opinionated marketer who is not always the best fit for every organisation. When people read my blog my personality comes through and this can help prospective online marketing clients decide whether I am a good fit for their business.
Blogging brings me satisfaction. By starting my own blog I have become a contributor to online content, rather than a passive user. As someone who is passionate about online marketing and an advocate of its use by businesses large and small, I wanted to be a more integrated part of the digital environment and now I am. I’m not changing the world and I definitely haven’t achieved some targets that I have set out for myself in reaching thousands of readers, but I enjoy the process of sitting down at my computer in the morning, staring out the window at the rising run and listening to the birds chirp away or the wind chimes blow in the wind, and thinking and forming a narrative in my head that I can share with whomever chooses to read it. I blog for myself, there just happen to be some residual advantages.
Blogging provides a new digital marketing experience to add to my repertoire. Most forms of digital marketing I have performed throughout my career, some more than others but I have engaged in and experienced search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing (eDM), display advertising (banner ads), mobile marketing, eCommerce, social media, website planning, design & build and of course digital strategy. And many times in my career I have recommended a blog or blogging as part of a social media and digital communications strategy – but I had never actually been a part of a blog. So I needed to learn first hand what the pro’s and con’s of blogging were, how long it took to build up a readership, what type of posts were most popular and shared and how to best promote a blog. 1 year in and I am still learning about this and there are times I question the return on investment but overall, I have gained so much more out of blogging as a digital media channel.
Blogging does take time and energy. It requires a level of commitment that many businesses are not prepared to make. But I still advocate that a blog is definitely a productive, yet challenging strategy to undertake. Blog contributors will learn much more than they anticipate and the writing experience, while at times strenuous, will be rewarding and more times than not elicit a feeling of pride.
So if you’ve been thinking about blogging but haven’t got around to it, I urge you to take the plunge.