A customer wrote us recently questioning whether blogging really matters for his business. Here’s an excerpt of his concern:
I am questioning whether or not a blog really matters for my business. I’ve been blogging for a long time, and I must confess, I don’t get business that way. I run a small web design agency, and I don’t think my customers will find me by searching for blog posts that I write.
The likelihood of a decision maker finding one of my blog posts and following my blog and buying my expensive web design and SEO packages from this interaction are much lower, in my view, than my chances with outbound prospecting – which I already know how to do.
I already know how to blog fairly well, too, and I know the time and effort it takes for me to write a good blog post. It’s 2-4 hours per post. I’ve just done a dozen of those, to a targeted audience, and I only built a really small list, and sold almost no product.
With web design, when I look at the likelihood of getting clients through blogging, and the likelihood of getting clients through outbound prospecting, I see my website as nothing more than sales collateral for my prospecting campaign. I feel like putting the time and energy into blogging on this domain would dilute my prospecting efforts, and take away from the time I could be practicing my craft, and delivering on my services.
After spending six years blogging all the time, it feels strange for me to turn my back on it — but I just haven’t gotten good results, and I see a better path to getting clients by spending my time on outbound prospecting instead.
Am I way off base here? Somebody talk me out of it, because I really do like blogging, I just haven’t gotten the results to merit the time I’ve put into it.
All businesses need one thing: access to customers.
A blog is simply one way to reach customers. Our blog (The Sparkline) happens to account for ~35% of all new leads for Fizzle as a business. Many (I’d say the majority) of our Founder Stories guests rely on blogging for customer leads. Lots of other Fizzler-run businesses rely on blogging for a big chunk of customer leads.
But blogging isn’t a silver bullet, and it isn’t your only choice.
In the Fizzle Roadmap, Stage 5 (Audience), we talk about “audience channels.” There are many ways to grow an audience and find customers. Content marketing (blogging, podcasting, making videos) is one channel. The others are: hustle & sell, established platforms, advertising & sponsorships and partnerships & affiliates. There are several others we don’t even mention, like press and walk-by traffic (for in-person businesses).
If blogging hasn’t been working for you, there are three likely causes: 1) your blog posts and topic (or the way you’re writing about it) aren’t interesting or useful to people, 2) you haven’t been promoting your blog posts effectively, or 3) blogging isn’t the right channel for reaching your target audience.
There’s no shame in deciding blogging isn’t for you, but make sure you have another plan for reaching customers. Also keep in mind that the reasons why blogging has failed you so far may also apply to other channels.
The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business
Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.
One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »