“We need to have a blog!”
These simple words are enough to chill the blood of many digital marketing consultants. It’s not that having a blog is a bad thing, quite the opposite, just that the expectations of starting a blog aren’t always the same with managing one and keeping it going.
Starting a blog is easy. It’s an easy decision and with software like WordPress a fantastic looking blog page can be created in minutes. For a change, the technology is the easy part. What’s hard is to get over the hurdles of always having something to share with your ‘audience’. Actually, the first major hurdle isn’t about writing a regular ‘column’ as much as it is able getting past the feeling that no matter how much you write or how brilliant your blog posts are you can’t help but wonder if you’re simply writing for an audience of one – yourself.
When I have a client who wants to start a blog I strive to make it clear that having an effective blog is not unlike pet ownership. That cute puppy you brought home is going to end up a full grown dog at some point and apart from needing to be fed on a regular basis will also cost plenty in vet’s bill’s over the years, will chew on things it shouldn’t and will seemingly go out of its way to vomit on the carpeting from time-to-time. That dog can also be a fantastic friend, companions and source of joy and amusement. It’s a commitment of time and money and it’s really hard to walk away from. But, like a blog, if you only fed the dog when you remembered, or played with it once in a while, it’s probably not going to be a very enjoyable relationship for you or the dog.
The bottom line is that to be an effective blogger you need to show up even when you don’t want to and share even if you think nobody is paying attention. And you may be right when you first start out! It’s not uncommon for a new blog to be a bit more like a journal. But sooner or later you will get a bona fide reader who will show up because of some sort of serendipitous connection between you, some key words and your reader. From there a relationship can grow. But you need to keep on keeping on.