Thursday, 30 March 2017

Should you be blogging? ... How do you decide?

Just starting a business? Been told you should be blogging?

Many micro business owners or those just about to start out are bombarded with suggestions, recommendations and tools to help them.

I say help them very loosely. To the 'New' business owner these are yet more things to consider when there are already a million things to do.

When we are starting out the thoughts that will (if they haven't already) pass through your mind are...

  • How on earth am I going to learn all this? ... 
  • How am I ever going to work out how to use this in what I'm doing?
  • How is all this relevant to me?
  • Why should I spend my time doing this rather than that?
  • What is the best use of my time? ... I only have 'n' hours per day, what should I be focusing on?

What we often see standing or sitting before us is someone advising us that this is important and we should be doing it. What we actually need is some unbiased, independent guidance on whether it's a good use of our time now and whether we should adjust priorities accordingly... or is it just a nice to have, and can be introduced later?

To reach a sensible conclusion to any issue like these certainly regarding things you consider yourself to be naive about is to talk to someone knowledgeable who is helping you to find what works for you. So no vested interest in the outcome. Easier to say than do... and tough to find to be honest.

This post is about the subject of blogging... one of a thousand things you might do online. So let's get the basics out the way... (1) What is Blogging? ... (2) What can you do with it? ... (3) Should you do it?

Rembrandt House Watford
Rembrandt House c/o NewToWatford Blog

What is Blogging?


In very simple terms. A blog is a place where you can write your thoughts, with images and video (if you want) and then make available to others on the Internet (publish). 

In the old old days. If you wanted to put something on the Internet you had to be a bit of a technical wizard. Blogging makes it easy for you to write what you want, organise it so it looks nice (just "ok" if you are devoid of design skills like me) and then share it... importantly... in your own space... where just your posts reside. Basically a place for you to 'have your say' about anything you choose.

What can you do with it?


People use Blogs in all different ways. Blogs could be used by a Managing Director of a large corporate organisation to share thoughts on a hobby. Say Dogs, or Hang Gliding or anything. It could be used by a small business owner to share thoughts about their journey in Business in a "no nonsense this is what it's really like out there" kind of way... or... to demonstrate expertise... or just to convey some interesting information about life and experiences... the list is absolutely endless. The important thing to note in all of the above though is this. A Blog must have a purpose.. an objective... a reason to be. You must be wanting to share things to achieve something. 

That might be as simple as ... to improve your writing... to demonstrate you can write... to help others who might be experiencing the same challenges... to enable people to get to know you better... a whole myriad of reasons why people Blog... but you must have a 'WHY' otherwise you just won't do it... and it will be a waste of energy.

Should you do it?


The million dollar question... it isn't hard to blog... have you got 30 minutes a week to collect your thoughts together and the discipline to do it? ... you might want to do it daily... shorter posts (shorter than this one)... short pearls of wisdom... in a "less is more" stylee. Some people Blog because it is an oasis in an otherwise life of turmoil and the quiet reflective mode helps them, rather than for the benefit being directly for others... still a purpose to it though!


In Conclusion


There are lots of ways to blog... there are a few popular platforms on which to blog, selecting the right one for you is important. Are you wanting to have it laid out professionally like a website? ... do you want to spend any money doing this? ... or are you happy to do it yourself and develop it as your experience grows?

Is this going to be the main place you share what you are doing? ...or is it an adjunct to other online colateral you have? ... Is it business or personal? ... is it something for a discreet audience or would you want the world to know about it?

Now you know a little bit about what blogging is and what is possible then have a think about what you might want to talk about and why... to be absolutely honest this is the most difficult bit... if you want to have a chat about that or anything else to do with blogging... you'll find me at one of these events on this page...