Launching a business blog is an exciting time. The opportunities that open up as a result of blogging for your business are positively staggering. There’s no way to predict specifically how blogging will impact your business – but if you give blogging for your business a six month commitment – you will no doubt witness some form of benefit that more than justifies the time and expense.
Perhaps you’re like a lot of business owners and one of the reasons you haven’t started blogging for your business is that you’re afraid it’s a never ending commitment. If the prospect of making an open ended commitment to business blogging makes you nervous, take heart.
Every business owner who maintains a business blog will have to answer the question, “Is it time to stop blogging?”
Jim Kukral is a blogging superstar. He’s an author – a speaker and a consultant who began blogging way back in 2001. Blogging has helped to establish Kukral as a sought after speaker, author and business thought leader. Last week – he announced that he has quit blogging and his announcement has created quite a stir. Many have offered their take on Kukral’s decision to quit blogging. Jonathan Fields writes in his post “Should YOU stop blogging”
[T]he bigger message we should all take from his announcement is not that blogging is dead, but that:
- We need to examine why we’re doing what we’re doing on a regular basis, then
- Respond and evolve to accommodate change, both external market-imposed change, and internal shifts in where we want to take our businesses and lives.
We’re all hostages to the constraints that time places upon us. We all have a mere 168 hours available each and every week. Work – play – sleep – all have to fit within the confines of 24/7. It’s no secret that launching and maintaining a business blog takes time and we all have to budget our time effectively.
We make dozens of” time budgeting” decisions daily – many of them without much conscious thought.
I like to equate blogging with exercise because both require a regular commitment and the benefits tend to accumulate over time. When we say that we’re “too busy” to exercise – what we’re really doing is valuing the benefits of other activities over the benefits of exercising.
There’s one key difference.
The benefits of business blogging don’t stop when you quit blogging.
Stop exercising for three months and your body will definitely tell the tale. On the other hand, assuming you’ve created a solid business blog foundation – you can take 3 months off from business blogging and come back to find a business blog that is stronger – not weaker – as a result.
The time you devote to business blogging today will continue to benefit your business long after you’ve stopped blogging.
Lisa Barone over at Outspoken Media gets it. In her blog post, she is encouraging business owners to ask the right questions about using social media. She writes:
- What are your business reasons for doing X?
- What actions are important to help you see a benefit from X?
- What are the rules for the organization when participating in X?
- Is X the best thing for your business, or could you see a better reward if you switched your focus to something else?
I love the way Lisa phrased these questions – because they’re questions that every business owner needs to ask about EVERY business activity – not just business blogging.
One of my clients recently let her membership to the local Chamber of Commerce expire. She enjoyed the networking activities but her business is “bigger” than the small Tennessee town in which she resides. As her practice has grown – she has had to evaluate whether the time she spends socializing at local Chamber events is the most profitable use of her time. This year, her answer to whether to remain active is”No”. For her, that 2 hours a month is better spent finishing her book and blogging than socializing.
For Jim Kukral – when he asked those questions – his evaluation of the time he was spending blogging lead him to quit investing time in creating new blog posts.
But notice – he is NOT taking DOWN his business blog.
That’s not what Jim means when he says he is “quitting blogging”. There’s a big difference between taking DOWN your blog and choosing to stop actively creating new content for your business blog.
Over the past nine years, Jim has created hundreds – perhaps thousands of blog posts. Even though Jim won’t be creating new blog posts, the posts he has created in the past will continue to serve him well. When visitors arrive at Kukral’s now static blog – they will still be able to click on the links in the sidebar – they’ll still be greeted with a pop-up window to ask them to sign up for Jim’s newsletter – they can still become a “doer” and part of his private inner circle.
In other words, Jim’s blog will continue to do what his blog has been doing for the past nine years – building trust, establishing his expertise, collecting leads and selling his book. The point is – now his blog has reached a point where he doesn’t HAVE to keep adding posts. He can simply let his blog continue to do what he created it to do.
One of the biggest”fears” I hear expressed about business blogging is that business owners confuse business blogging with “blogging”. Business blogging does not require that you post three times a day 7 days a week. The only reason for blogging on that type of schedule is if your primary competition is the 24/7 cable news networks.
For most business bloggers – posting one or two articles a week will result in a robust offering of informative articles about the benefits of doing business with you. Two blog posts a day for five years will yield a “website” with over 500 pages of content.
That’s 500 opportunities to share 500 different ways your product or service has been used to solve your target audiences problems.
So when is it time to stop business blogging? My answer would be when you’ve stopped offering new products and services and you’ve covered every possible angle on the products and services you currently offer.
- Stop blogging for your business when you can’t think of another way to illustrate the value of your product.
- Stop blogging for your business when every consumer in your target audience knows why your the natural choice.
- Stop blogging for your business when you run out of ways to share with potential consumers the benefits of your product or service.
Of course, you won’t achieve any of the above in five blog posts or less. The act of blogging is easy – the art of packaging your products and services into a a cohesive marketing message is the hard part.
Of course, in order to stop blogging for your business you have to start – and for many business owners – they have yet to clear that hurdle.