There are several pros and cons to having a blog and blogging. I’ve had a blog for about seven years and have been writing pretty consistently now for about three years – it was a bit hit and miss at first.
Why do I blog?
I’m a small business marketing consultant and also a freelance writer, creating content for businesses. So, it makes sense to have a blog to give articles that will help educate my audience on how to market their businesses. The information I give is free and I know it has helped lots of people to get on track with their marketing.
I also enjoy writing, so it’s a challenge to find a new subject to write about every week, but I never seem to run out of ideas as my subject matter is vast. My blog also gives potential clients the chance to see that I can write, so they are seeing regular examples of what I can do.
These are my reasons, but what are the more official pros and cons?
The pros of blogging
Blogs are a great source of information and in this digital age, if anyone wants to find out something, they search online first. Blogs can help give the information they need. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty:
- First of all, starting a blog is easy. I use WordPress and they have several templates to help you when you start. Adding posts is simple and straight-forward and you don’t need to know any HTML or other code to do this.
- Blogging is a great creative outlet. If you love writing, you can get started immediately and write about any subject you want to. If you love travel, for example, then you could write about all the places you’ve visited, with advice for people who are thinking of going there. If you love food or love cooking, you could start a food blog, giving recipes and adding video to show people how to make something. The possibilities are endless.
- You don’t have to be an expert – if you’re interested in a certain topic, that’s enough. You can write about what you do know and research the rest. You’ll learn as you go and your writing will improve with every post. The trick is the same as everything else – just get started. Your first blog post won’t necessarily be fabulous, but you’ll grow as you write more and more.
- A blog is the perfect reason for people to visit your website. Mostly, websites are pretty static and you don’t constantly add or change content. Adding a blog means that your site is constantly being updated, which ensures people come back for more. You can also link to other blog posts that you’ve written in the past from the one you’re doing now – backlinks.
- Blogging can be good for your business as it can be a way you’re your business to be found on Google. Generally, people will connect more with other people than with a brand, so your blog helps potential clients out there relate to you. It helps them get to know you.
- Writing a blog will also set you up as an expert in your field. If you consistently publish blogs that are useful or that people want more of, every time you publish a new blog, you’ll get more followers. People will share the blogs they like and then that opens you up to a whole new audience. The key here is to provide valuable and useful content that people need and want.
- Blogging is really good for those of you who are more introvert. You can write in private and have your content reach thousands of people. If you don’t have the confidence to speak publicly or do presentations, blogging is the next best thing. And the good thing about a blog is that it is there permanently, so if people want to come back to it to refer to the information you give, they can…any time of the day or night.
- Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll realise that you are constantly picking up new skills. Blogging is a lot more than just writing. You learn how to use WordPress, for example, and how to build a website; you learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Social Media marketing, as you have to promote your blog; Email marketing; improve your written skills and learn about images and graphics.
- You can also use blogging to get into freelance writing. Your blog is your portfolio, which demonstrates you know how to write, source images, do extensive research on a subject etc.
- Finally you can make money with your blog. If you write about certain products, you can sell them through your blog posts. You can also do affiliate marketing, get an income from Ad revenue or sponsored posts. To make money on your blog, you will need to constantly put in the time and effort to keep it going, but it can be very lucrative.
Of course, as well as a host of reasons why you should be blogging, there are some cons. It’s always good to know, so you can make up your mind as to whether it’s right for you.
The cons of blogging
- You need to be very disciplined to stay on top of your blog, especially if you are going to be doing it for a living. I blog once a week as it suits me and is an aid to my business. I don’t use it as an income, but if you intend to, you will need to write much more frequently and consistently. It takes a lot of time, effort and perseverance to be noticed and is a very steep learning curve. If it was easy to do, everyone would be doing it. It does take months, years even, to really get noticed and to have enough content to prove your expertise.
- Because of the reasons above, time etc., you’re not going to make money overnight. And if you do make money from your blog, it isn’t going to be a regular income – it will fluctuate month on month.
- Blogging is also a lonely life – you spend hours at your computer and it can be quite and isolating existence. You won’t have the interaction with colleagues face to face like you do in an office, but it does also give you freedom to pop out if you have to. It’s swings and roundabouts!
- You need to be good with change and be prepared for technical issues. Sometimes servers crash, there are glitches in your website, which you need to sort out. You could have internet problems, so can’t get online. And of course, the algorithms for the various social media channels that you’ll link to, plus algorithm changes on google can impact who sees your blog and who it is shown to. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that changed back in 2018 had an impact on being able to just send your blog out on email – your audience had to sign up and give their permission to receive it by email. These things can change at any time.
- You need to be organised and have a plan, so you know what you’ll be writing about and how for at least a few months in advance. And you need to invest money into your blog, so you have the right apps to promote it, use paid ads etc. Your website will also incur hosting costs, keeping up with the latest training costs money too. If it’s really successful, you might even want to employ a VA to help you getting your blog onto all the various social media sites.
So, now you have all the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision – to do or not to do a blog!
If you do, please share the link with me and if you have any further questions or need help, feel free to drop me a mail.