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Overheard on #Blogchat: Blogging is Hard (@griner)

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Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This Week’s Theme: Blogs versus Facebook Pages for Businesses

I love the fact that this week’s #blogchat wasn’t purely for established bloggers – it was for small business owners as well. The topic, in my opinion, lent itself well to some awesome debate, since you could make a case for blogging or for using just Facebook – or for the need to do both as a small business. This week, @griner (David Griner) was the co-host, so I wanted to highlight something interesting her said:

griner: Bloggers need a reality check: What they do is hard. And doing it in corp. bureaucracy is far harder.

Most of the people participating in #blogchat are bloggers, so a lot of the advice being thrown out there was stuff about how you need both Facebook and a blog to succeed, how you can leverage one to increase the popularity of another, and so forth. But let’s not forget that the vast majority of pages on Facebook aren’t for blogs are all. They’re for brands.

And, at least in my opinion, not every brand needs a blog. What David says makes a lot of sense – blogging is super hard. It takes a lot of time, and for a business, that time might be better spent on another promotional tool. I love blogging. I really do. But your business might not need one.

Here’s the thing – if you own a small business, what would your goals be with a blog? There are some corporate blogs that are awesome. They give updates on the company, they teach their consumers something relating to the niche, or they otherwise give the business a unique way to interact. There are some really bad corporate blogs, too. They are updating infrequently because there is little to announce, they serve mainly as a promotional tool without giving away any value, and they are otherwise uninteresting. Sometimes, blogs can hurt your brand.

Facebook, on the other hand, gives you a way to make quick announcements and interact with your fanbase without having to commit to writing blog posts regularly and do all the promotional work that comes along with building blog traffic. For example, let’s say you run a small photography studio. Sure, you could start a blog that gives photography tips or makes camera recommendations, but is that kind of thing really going to bring you more business? Probably not, especially since you have a local customer pool. On the other hand, if you have a Facebook page, you could use that page to post pictures, announce upcoming specials, highlight special services you might have, and more. As fans like your stuff and interact with you on Facebook, their friends will see that activity and could decide to check you out, and there’s a higher chance that these new people coming to your page will be local. That could very easily spiral outward to bring in new business.

Of course, if you want to start a photography blog because you have interesting ideas you want to share with the world or want to run an online business through your blog, go for it! I’m not trying to suggest that small businesses shouldn’t have blogs. It can definitely work in some cases.

Just don’t feel forced into it. Sometimes, social media is really the best route to help promote your products or services.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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  • David Griner

    Great post, Alli. That comment came from one of the real turning points in my writing career. As a newspaper editor, I was complaining about readers who took part in “astroturfing,” or putting their names on pre-writter letters to the editor during political season.

    One of the other editors turned to me and said, “You take the ability to write for granted. For most people, writing is difficult and terrifying. It’s a rare skill, but you’re surrounded by writers, so you don’t appreciate it.”

    I think bloggers often fall into the same trap. Working with corporations, you realize how few people in-house can really write consistently and engagingly on a corporate/marketing topic. And in most cases, those few people simply can’t support a blogging effort that would be scaled big enough to support a major company.

    Thanks again for the writeup. Glad you joined the chat!
    David G.

  • Judy Helfand

    Thanks for writing this. I could not participate last Sunday, so I appreciate, as always, your willingness to grab one idea and develop it. I worry about all of the “abandoned” blogs that you can find “out there.” What impact they might have on someone’s business.

    I am going to give this more thought and find the transcript from Sunday!

    Judy

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