Let's face it. You're in business to make money, and time is money. How is this "blogging" stuff going to help you make more money in your business? Is it realistic to expect that prospective customers are going to find your blog and potentially hire you as a result of reading it? Is this really the best use of your time and energy?
I hear these sorts of questions regularly. It is particularly challenging for business owners who don't consider themselves Internet-savvy or who don't know how to write well. However, anyone can blog, and every business owner should. You might think to yourself, "I don't like being on the computer too much." If that's you, I have a question for you. Do you like making money?
I'll share with you some hidden advantages to blogging here, but first, let me dispel a common misconception about the point of blogging. The point of writing a blog is not to generate sales leads for your business. That might happen, and it's great if it does. However, in my experience, it's not something most business owners can count on, at least not for a long time. Also, the goal of a blog is not to generate advertising revenue from banner and tile ads on your web site. While this is possible and many bloggers do it, it's not feasible for a small business owner, unless you are a writer and you're willing and able to make a serious long-term time commitment to your blog.
The point of a blog is to increase the amount of referral business you receive by strengthening and deepening your business network. How does this happen? It happens a number of different ways. When you read the blogs of other business owners that you meet at networking functions, they will appreciate the fact that you took time to learn about their businesses. When you leave comments on the blogs of other business owners, they will see that you are paying attention. Even if you never write a blog of your own, you can still make use of this as a strategy to keep your name in front of people's faces.
Have you ever lost a referral to a competitor simply because you failed to be in the right place at the right time? Have you ever had the experience of a close friend, relative, or business associate hire someone else instead of you, simply because your name didn't come to mind at the time when they had a need? Have you ever lost business because someone didn't recognize you as the right person for the job, even though you would have been perfect for the job? If you said "yes" to any of these questions, blogging is your friend.
Contrary to popular belief, you can write a blog if you're not a writer. You can take a photo of your recent work and write a short comment or two about the photo. You can comment on a recent event in the news. Blog posts don't have to be long, and in fact, it's better if they're not. If you do nothing else this year in your business, make a habit of writing one short blog post per week, and reading one other person's blog each week. The total time invested will be less than 30 minutes per week. If you do this consistently and make it a habit, I guarantee you that you will increase your referral business.