Are Your Blogging Efforts Worth It?

Are Your Blogging Efforts Worth It?

When you blog for some time, you eventually reach a point when you begin to wonder whether blogging is actually getting you anywhere. Is it bringing you results? Have all the posts you’ve written been worth it? Is the strategy working out as expected? Are you getting anything back from your investment?

Those are good questions to ask. And sadly, not many bloggers ask them.

People like to be cheerleaders with inspirational rah-rah-stick-with-it-good-things-will-come-chin-up encouragement. It’s nice to boost people’s spirits, and we want to be seen as nice people. Very few openly discuss the bad side of blogging, for fear of being called a pessimist.

Staying positive is part of The Secret, after all.

Well, since I’m not a fan of that book, I have no qualms about talking downsides. When you blog, you need to:

  • Spend time and invest energy writing new posts and publishing them
  • Maintain your blog on a regular basis to keep it running smoothly
  • Invest money into improving and upgrading your site and design so it doesn’t become outdated
  • Stay consistent with the quality and usefulness of content to meet reader expectations
  • Continually market and promote, either via advertising (which costs money) or presence on social media (which takes time)
  • Stay inspired and creative so your posts always sound fresh and interesting
  • Present your best foot forward at all times to maintain a good impression
  • Change the game from time to time to maintain interest and continue to grow

You can’t skip any of the above if you want your blog to succeed. Well, you can, but you’ll soon find that your readership drops, your traffic dwindles and people don’t talk as much about your blog anymore.

Here’s a thought: What if that dropping readership, that dwindling traffic and that lack of discussion lets you invest your time in better projects, ones that help you get closer to your goals?

Hey, you get the luxury of asking yourself that question. We’re the early adopters of blogging, shaping it and changing it as we learn about its potential. Who says we’re doing it right? Maybe we’re not using it properly at all. Blogging has only been around for a few years, and people are still testing different methods to get what they want.

They’re constantly changing their game to see what works and what doesn’t.

Are you?

I think we emphasize blogging for the sake of being an expert far too much. I think too many people don’t realize, forget, or ignore the pain of blogging. It takes time, energy, skills, money, creativity and consistency to make it work.

And the truth is that most people don’t have these resources at their fingertips.

This is why you need to pick your pain and know why you’re subjecting yourself to it. This is why you need to choose which pain is best, and which is just masochistic. Think hard about whether blogging as you are now is helping you reach your goals.  Ask yourself how it’s working out for you.

Is there something you should change? What could you do differently? Would spending your energy elsewhere be better?

This doesn’t mean you should give up on blogging. But do analyze your game plan and figure out whether it’s working to get where you want to be. Revaluate your blogging methods and think about whether making changes to how you blog would have better impact.

And let me know what you think! Go ahead and share your thoughts right here in the comment section. Or ask questions. The more people we get talking about blogging, the better we can shape it so that we can all profit.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. This is a thoughtful post. I think a bunch of people get caught up in the validation they receive and feel fuzzy & warm about, via blog comments and readership… and doing this, they might lose sight of the actual return-on-investment the blog is creating for them.

    I think all small businesses should aim to ask customers: “What was it that *really* made you decide to hire me/buy my stuff?”

    If your blog isn’t influencing sales, then you might want to re-think what you’re doing. Unless of course you LIKE writing for free, just to spread your ideas around.

  2. Whoa Excellent post James.

    I think you deserve credit for writing the reality, that sometimes people ignore.

    I agree. It is important to access yourself and your blog. You have to see whether it’s working for YOU or not.

    I also agree that blogging may not be for everyone. So they need to look our for other options if it’s not working for them, as there are other models of a web business too.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

  3. This is a very timely post thank you! I’ve been blogging for a while but am now branching out into selling online, so am setting up a new website, while trying to keep up with my twitter feed, facebook page, flickr and also my blog.

    This is a great reminder to step back every so often to prioritise.

    Thinking about it, I’m starting to believe that, for me, a blog is great to compliment other platforms (such as a website) but it should therefore come second to setting that up.

    Once that’s up and running a blog gives an extra insight into the website, but shouldn’t be at the expense of quality on the main site.

    Hmmm, think I need to move my focus for a minute! Thank you James, Elle

  4. I don’t believe blogging has to be all or nothing. Blogging can be a great part of your online presence, but if you’re spending a lot time ‘working’ your blog and you’re not seeing a lot of results, ie new clients/jobs, then it’s probably time to cut back on time spend on the blog and start looking at other avenues to bring in business. I mean, that’s what we all want right?

  5. I’m sure I’ve had a conversation with ‘someone’ on this very subject just recently, LOL.

    I cut back my blogging from three plus posts a week to one post and one interview. I was spending nearly all my time writing my own posts, and not time for actual marketing, product creation, client appointments etc – all the things that actually bring in the money.

    So far I’ve noticed a drop in traffic, however I’ve actually got time to get things done now! Marketing has increased, my time spent creating has increased, my stress levels have decreased significantly.

    Blogging is great for keywords, marketing, attracting readers. But I think there comes a point where the owner has to say Enough. I know I can spend hours reading through old posts on this site, and I’ve been reading Men with Pens for nearly two years. There’s still posts here that I haven’t read. How much information is enough?

    I think we’ve taught people to expect blog posts often and continually, we’ve trained them to want it for free. I did a survey last year and one person requested that I increase my posting to five posts a week – because the information was so useful for building her business! I think that comment was what made me realise that my knowledge was worth paying for, if it’s earning my readers greater profits then they should be able to pay for the information.

  6. I am really glad you mentioned the Return On Investment issue. I started a thread on LinkedIn last week asking, What is the best answer to the question How do you measure ROI from social media? I was quite surprised to get back a slightly patronising answer that explained I needed to understand that social media was social. Well I do understand that, I have been working with social media for some time and I do get it – I spend a lot of time teaching my clients to get it too – it’s just that clients want to know the answers to the ROI question.
    If what I am doing is not working we all need to know!

  7. James, thanks for this post. My laptop crashed and burned last week and I had some unplugged time to reconsider my business model and strategy. It will result in less blogging, more repurposing of content, and more time to create products that generate income. I love blogging and writing, but it is time consuming and can set up the expectation that the useful info is all free all the time. Blogging for blogging’s sake and hoping there is profit in it is not a productive use of time and resources (at least for me).

  8. James,

    You’re preaching to the choir here! 😀 http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/03/09/feeling-blogged-out-10-pro-bloggers-share-their-advice-on-what-to-do/

    After writing 300+ blog posts, I decided to solve my “blogged out” feeling by (DUH) starting a daily email instead – I figured the shorter post style would be just right for my busy life. Um, WRONG. LOL.

    I was spending more time writing, uploading, formatting, sending, replying to comments and promoting than I was with *my own kids*.

    So, I’m taking Dave Navarro’s lead – each week, he writes one awesome, meaty post (often with accompanying worksheets or video tutorials) and that’s it. THAT is a blogging schedule I can sustain and one that will still truly help my readers AND allow me to be “mom” for most of the week and not just “the mogul”.

    Thanks for raising the tough questions.
    Heather
    p.s. Yes, I know you asked me if I was *sure* I wanted to start a daily email. LOL.

  9. I see a cool case study course in here. 10 people who are regular bloggers (though not all necessarily getting the most from their blogging efforts) apply to be on the hot seat and a master blogger (meaning someone who has proven a measurable return on investment) breaks it down as to what’s working, what’s not, what are some other ways to focus time and energy and whether or not blogging is in fact one of their best paths to getting where they want to go.

    There’s so much watching – we are in many ways so intimate with what others are doing but very few know the real truth about how all of the visibility is resulting in profits. There are people with scads of comments and interactions but it doesn’t translate to business dollars and there are many whose blogs look rather quiet but their few loyal readers buy from them left and right. I’d love to see a no holds barred, down and dirty blog breakdown course focused entirely on case studies.

    I love this article. Blogging somehow turned into the “must do” category but many feel more obligated than inspired.

    Thanks,

    Melani

  10. Andy Fogarty says:

    I was just having this conversation the 3 days ago with my mom. I was trying to explain to her why I put so much time and energy into it without seeing (what she would consider) a big payoff. Of course to me, I’m having a huge payoff. I’ve recently been able to find a harmony between what my readers want to hear from me and the content I enjoy putting out. As a result there’s been more engagement and the community is growing more everyday.

    Trying to explain the “why” to folks who don’t do it is like talking to a brick wall. It is tough, most definitely. I think a big problem is that folks still kinda see it as part of that whole web-2.0-just-start-a-blog-website-thingy-and-make-easy-money-all-day-every-day idea.

    A blog is a job. It’s a part of your business (if your trying to make money). Just like any job or business, there will be up, downs, successes, and failures.

    Good stuff.

  11. I don’t think it’s easy to measure the ROI of blogging.

    Expository posts that allow your readers to better connect with you on a personal level don’t always spell increased subscribers / inbound links / etc – but I’ve often found that, just when I think this kind of writing and networking may not be driving business, something positive and surprising will unfold. It often comes from a personal connection with a single person, and I’ve never been able to anticipate/measure it.

    I also think the writing+shipping habit is important to cultivate as a goal in and of itself.

    Part of my goal is to grow into a stronger writer every day. So just planting my ass and getting it done matters.

    While I don’t publish every day, maintaining a blog is a good way to keep daily writing geared toward publishable and value-rich content, not just journal-style musings. (Those are important too, but they don’t do much to expand your social horizons.)

    I think “worth it” is a moving, fuzzy target. From an growth mindset, every stumble is worth it, every post that falls flat is worth it, just as much as the posts that get shared, discussed and linked to. But the is to stumble less over time (or at least not over the same stump twice).

  12. Timely post, James! “Pick your pain.” I love it.

    Change is essential as a small business owner. Evaluating what OTHERS say you should be doing vs. what YOU think you should be doing is also important. I think folks get caught up in “Everyone’s blogging, so I should be blogging”. The truth is, it’s not prudent across the board.

    Thanks for putting this into perspective.

    Shannon

  13. Hi James,

    Yes this is something I’ve been dealing with for awhile now and if you remember, we had a short discussion on this topic a little while ago where you asked me if I should reevaluate my plans to reach my goals.

    I have realized that to obtain my goals in the best way fitted for me, I cannot worry about RSS counts and maintaining a full time blogging gig with all those bullet points you mentioned.

    To obtain my goals… my dreams, blogging is part of it, but not my primary focus. My path is a little different.

    Hope that makes sense, it’s really early for me this morning.

  14. I think one of the major traps that people get caught up in is the idea of reading tons of advice, but never implementing any of it. So, as a result they don’t get that much ROI from their blogging efforts. I would say every week if you aimed to implement one idea, and see what the results were, after a year you’d have about 52 new tactics you’ve tested and each one would actually give you enough to write about to create an ebook or product. Some great pointers in this post.

  15. James, I’ve recently cut back on the time I spend blogging and on social media in general. I’m still active, I’m just more selective — fewer blog posts, fewer blog comments, fewer tweets.

    I’m using the extra time for creating new products and enjoying summer. And I’m happier.

  16. Amazing post! Very insightful. I do think that my blogging efforts are worth it if I can just build up my platform.

  17. You know how I feel about this, but instead of commenting about my philosophy, I’m going to do something about it and just show people what I mean.

    Blogging is the new cubicle (you can’t steal it, I’m already writing it!) and furthermore, I’m struggling to find unique ideas and products. As a consumer, that bothers me.

  18. Staying creative and changing the game plan are KEY.

    Your loyal readers won’t be that loyal if you sound like a broken record and keep rehashing the same stuff day after day. Your new readers will like to see that you have a variety as well.

    Plus, it makes it more fun for you when you write. Your passion, or enjoyment for a topic shows through in your writing. When you are bored with a topic, guess what? So is your audience.

    Many times when you do this, you get rid of the excess “baggage” in the process, such as people that are just on every list for the free stuff.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  19. Whether or not blogging is worthwhile greatly depends on what we want our blog to achieve and to what extent we’re getting closer to that goal. Some measure the success in terms of the number of comments or retweets. Others look at the conversion rate: the number of visitors that take the desired action. A third group is watching their ranking on search engines like a hawk. My neighbor just likes to blog because it’s a creative outlet. He could care less about readership.

    One thing’s for sure: if we don’t have a clear destination, we’ll never be able to tell if we’re moving in the right direction. But once we’ve identified why we’re blogging and what we want our blog to accomplish, it becomes a matter of testing what works and what doesn’t (based on our criteria). If we’re not getting any closer to our goals, it’s time to change our approach until we get where we want to be, or we should adjust our goal.

    Of course it’s easier said than done. Ultimately, a blog is only a means to an end. Unfortunately, not too many bloggers seem to have a clear picture of what “the end” is supposed to be. I suggest we go back to basics before we start twisting and tweaking our content and layout.

  20. Hi James,

    I really appreciate this post and your ability to take the truth serum. Many bloggers can feel the high only for so long before they wonder whether it’s worth all the time, money, energy, opportunity cost and ccommitment. I particularly liked this: “This is why you need to pick your pain and know why you’re subjecting yourself to it.”. We should constantly be asking ourselves if the pain is worth the rewards. Just like with anything else, maybe you need to re-examine and see if blogging is actually what you want to be doing with your precious time on earth. You don’t have to just decide to give it up, but the option is always there – after careful consideration. I’m not at that stage, luckily, but I’ve noticed that others are.

  21. Absolutely correct. Blogging just to blog without a purpose or measuring results doesn’t make a lot of sense when you could be investing that time in other resources that make you money directly.

    We have a lot of clients come to us thinking they need blogs, but not knowing why exactly. I ask them if they’re willing and able to commit the resources to do it correctly and in many cases, they aren’t. And that’s ok!

  22. Great piece, James!

    I loved your point that most emphasize blogging for the sake of being an expert far too much. I’ve read post after post that seem as if writers are marketing to colleagues instead of to clients. While we need to establish credibility, we often miss the human element even as we’re waving that flag to our clients.

    In blogging, as in so much else, we need to find our personal rhythm…and move to it.

  23. Asking those very questions* led me to dropping the blogging and focusing my creative energy on my real love – fiction writing which is paying off in so many different ways, but most importantly in happiness.

    So yes, be pessimistic and ask the “is this worth it” questions – because they’ll take you to where you really want to be (which may of course be blogging, but with added enthusiasm!”)

    (*via many Gmail chat sessions with James)

  24. @Peter – I think more people should ask where their customers came from. They might be surprised to learn that a large percentage weren’t even blog readers to begin with.

    @Nabeel – Heh, thanks. I’ve been known to toss out a rebel post or three in my time. Always fun to take a stand!

    @Elle – Try to figure out how much time you spend on each focus – how much time on your blog, how much on social media, how much on marketing, etc. You’ll be better able to see where you need to trim or reprioritize.

    @Heather – I wanted a Mazarati, but hey…

    @Melinda – *grin* I bet there’s about 40 people who’ll show up to say, “Yeah, James, you and I had a conversation about this…” I talked to more people about making sure there’s ROI in blogging than I thought I did.

    And look at you – the perfect example of what you can get done when you trim in the right places. Now you’ll be able to see what your new efforts bring back to you, and decide with facts backing you up.

    (Fast fact: MwP has over 900 posts…)

    @Lucy – I would’ve been surprised to get that answer back as well. Social is great! But it never paid the bills.

    @Susan – Ahhh, forced downtime! I’ve had that happen once or twice and after pacing for six hours, I usually decide to enjoy the time off – and yeah, you tend to have a good think about what you do in your uptime, eh!

    @Heather – Hee, there’s another of those “James, you and I were talking about this…” Yeah, I’m glad you’ve made that shift – I think you’ll notice that your biz becomes more fulfilling to you as well because of it.

    @Melani – Whoever gets that case study going… I’m in. :)

    @Andy – My mum’s the same – different generations than we are, therefore different values and focuses. ‘Tis only normal. But give her some credit, eh? If she sees her son spending time in something that doesn’t seem to make him incredibly happy… well, it might be the reason she speaks up :) A job’s a job, but you still have to love it!

    @Shannon – Yeah, that’s it exactly. It’s good to check in and see what others are doing, but I think it’s smarter to evaluate whether that wagon’s the right one for us to jump onto – and also know when it’s time to jump off.

    @John – “Yeah, James, you and I had a conversation…” *grin* I think your path is awesome. Walk it. Then invite me over for beers once you hit the end.

    @Srinivas – Thing about implementing 52 tactics is that they pile up on one another. I’d say switch every week versus add every week – that way, you’re always only rotating one new tactic.

    Problem is, by the time the year is over, the first tactic will probably be obsolete 😉

    @John – Rock on with that. Also, great pic.

    @Nathan – “James, you and I had a convo…” Aye, I had you in mind when I wrote this. Well, that and my swanky chrome and glass office in Montreal that I’ll one day be working from…

    @Joshua – Dumping excess baggage is awesome. I highly recommend it.

    @Paul – Agreed. Knowing your ultimate goals is very important. The problem is, most people don’t recognize what they’re goals are. “I want to have a blog.” That’s not a goal. “Why?” “Uh… to have readers.” Okay, then what? “Well, to make money…” How? “My readers would…. Uh… buy…” Blog readers don’t buy. So what exactly are you blogging for again…? “Uh. I’m… not… sure?”

    @Karen – Exactly so – you don’t have to give up anything you enjoy. You just have to figure out if you enjoy it, if it brings you what you want and how much of it you need to do.

    @Naomi – Same here. They think they’re just supposed to have one, but many don’t realize how much commitment a blog can be. Sometimes when they hear about it, their jaw drops!

    @Glenda – The good news is that you can usally figure out quickly who’s just trying to be “an expert” and who actually gives a damn. You can’t hide that kind of stuff for very long online :)

  25. ALEX!!! *leaps pounces hugs*

    *ahem* Sorry. Good to see you here. :)

    And yes. You and I had several chats about it… and I’m very, very, very glad you made the choice you did. Kudos to you for following your dream.

  26. This was very thought-provoking. Blogging is a lot of work everyday, and at times the endless social media market machine seems too noisy and vast.

    You reminded me of a caveat from my accountant when I mentioned I was starting a blog. He couldn’t understand why I would give away 10+ years of experience in my industry freely…

    I need to get started on more product development and ‘finding the right class’ to enroll and invest my energy.

    Thanks James!

  27. Hi James,

    Yes, great point & post: blogging isn’t for everyone. I don’t think there’s any magic formula we need to follow as much as we need to find what marketing works for us and what we feel comfortable doing. There’s more than one way to get from here to there.

    I blog once a week. It doesn’t take up too much of my time and I enjoy it!

    Thanks. Giulietta

  28. The balancing act of my FT job, my book in progress, and my blog posts (for my blog and guest posts) is one that I always fail. The book I’m working on usually gets the lowest priority because it takes the most concentration. What I am doing now is turning some sections of my chapters into related blog posts to test reactions and make sure I’m on the right track. But I know I don’t blog or writer enough.

  29. James,

    You know what would be really fun – find a dozen profitable small businesses that DON’T have a blog and interview them about how they drive their business without one and WHY they don’t have one.

    😀

    Heather

  30. There is always the uncertainty of whether putting time into your blog is worth it, but that also breeds the excitement of posting new content everyday, which I’m sure keeps most of us going.

  31. Good stuff to think on, for sure. I’ve been blogging (mostly casually) for 5 years so I definitely follow you. Thing is, I didn’t have a goal at first. At least not the monetary kind. I just needed to write, so I worked toward other things, like the fun of telling stories for friends. Mastering some cool, geeky, creative stuff when I discovered WordPress. Getting back to writing after some time off. I rarely had many comments–though on one blog when I got the comments they were heartfelt because of the subject matter, which was my dog’s battle with cancer–but it didn’t matter. I was mostly writing for myself, for many reasons.

    Anyway, it’s all starting to pay off now. Long story but there have been some huge benefits though not all are monetary but some lead that way…and that’s been my goal recently. So…it’s all good! Just have to watch how much time I spend on other people’s blogs lol So addictive.

  32. James, – great post on the realities of blogging. While it’s important to understand the upside of blogging – more content = more value = more conversations = more clients (or at least that’s the general idea) – it’s critical to understand the effort that’s involved. For every “social media guru” out there who’s touting blogging as a “get rich quick” scheme, I hope there are many, many of us who are, like you, and telling it like it really is – hard work, lots of time, constant vigilance, tons of research and writing, writing and more writing.

    That said, keep blogging :-)

  33. @Linda – Good to see you here! And that’s kind of funny. We should all go ask our accountants if they feel we’re making smart investments… I bet ¾ would scream, “No! NO!!”

    @Guiletta – I’m glad you’ve found the pace that works for you – once a week seems to be what everyone would like to do, interestingly enough. Works for me!

    @Daree – Tsk. There’s no such thing as failure. I’d say you juggle and struggle, but fail? You do what you can, the best you can, with the time you have. And you have a great idea with that blog/chapter idea, too.

    @Heather – That wouldn’t be hard; just look offline :) What’s interesting is that offline business are dealing with the big cash. Think about that!

    @Robot – That’s… a curious take. I really don’t think the excitement of posting new content is a high priority for many people. If it works for you, though, that’s great!

    @Leah – There are indeed non-monetary benefits, and those count a great deal in the equation of how much to blog, if at all. I’m glad you’ve discovered yours!

    @Roohi – LOL, no worries, I’ll keep blogging. Gives me a place to rant and show off 😉

  34. Good Points! I hate it when I’m searching for info on millions of blogs out there, just to click and read something written for the search engines. I believe these writers can fool the search engines but it can only take time until karma catches up. In the end, it’s all about respecting the readers that count the most – nothing more or less. Cheers!

  35. Hey there, James!

    As with everything else in life, one must be clear of one’s goal. Somebody who blogs for pure fun or self-expression, or to become a recognized authority, will approach blogging very differently from somebody who blogs to find prospects or sell a product/service.

    When the goal is clear, then it’s easy to determine whether blogging is worth it or not. Is it bringing you clients? Is it helping you make more sales?

    The problem (pain) arises when a blogger is unclear of his or her goals. Or has too many goals and they’re all muddled up with each other. The posts will reflect this, and so will the results.

  36. I learned LOTS here, especially from all these great responses.

    I have a confession… I blog for selfish reasons. I’m building authority and credibility for my main business. I’m supporting my main site with links. I’m adding an extra layer of business differentiation by being SM savvy. The list goes on.

    My blogging may not offer any direct profit at this point, but it sure as heck supports my profitable business. The bonus is blogging allows me to practice something worthwhile – writing copy-driven articles.

    I don’t know if I’ll still be blogging 2 years from now, but I do know I’ve gotten tons out of it in these past 2 months.

    Joe :)

  37. I thought of something else that I’d like to add here…

    Look at your read stats and copy what people like. Craete more versions of the posts that your readers really dig and STOP writing the types of posts that they can’t stand. This seems so simple, but there are way too many people out there that just think “if you write it, they will come,” no matter what.

    You have to write what people want to read in the way they want to read it, just like selling a product.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  38. Ayush Kashyap says:

    hi James,

    nice article, provoked me to think round it.. to be frank i am not in blogging as of now but my writing instincts were shaping up and i thought i should be on this platform

    … so to start with i read a bit round what to do and what not to do while blogging and it all poured like “instructional manual” over me and special mention to instructions like “3 blogs a week is a must” which left me wondering “hey!! do i have that much time available with me?” In the end i decided not to have a blog as it needs lot of time which is a big luxury i can’t afford..

    Then i came round your article (through linkedin) and its like a ray of hope for me .. because here i have people who are thinking on different lines … i must congratulate you on the mentioned lines “We’re the early adopters of blogging, shaping it and changing it as we learn about its potential. Who says we’re doing it right?”

    It was a tight slap on my face :) “i can blog, with my own terms, without following the manuals”

    So now i am planning (once again) to have my blog soon ..very soon … provided i should have time which i hope i will.

    heartiest congratulations for this thought provoking article

    take care

  39. You hit the nail on the head with this post, James, and I’ve certainly had that very conversation with myself often over the last 3+ years. In fact, I started blogging (back in the day), then stopped for a while when I was getting virtually nowhere with it, and felt I should be spending my time that had *slightly* better ROI.

    Now that I’ve been back blogging actively for the last nine months or so, I still find myself having the conversation…but at least now I’m seeing some favourable results.

    I think we need to acknowledge that not everyone’s a blogger, nor does everyone want to be a blogger. And hey – if it’s not pulling its weight, then pull the plug.

    It might just be the best business decision someone could make.

  40. Hey James… since I’ve been blogging a whole 8 weeks (yes eight weeks) now, I’ve been asked that question, if fact today at our coaching association meeting: “why should I blog and do social media?” My answer to that was, don’t do it unless you have a reason, a good enough reason (a big dream) and you want to use blogging and social media as a tool to accomplish that big dream. Thanks for your post… I’m glad I dropped by.

    Coach Freddie

  41. This article came at just the right time. I check my analytics to see for traffic and I see people come to my blog, but no one ever comments except those dumb generic ones by spammers. =*(

    It’s so hard to measure the ROI of blogs..

  42. For a business where blogging is not your sole form of income, I think one blog per week is enough. Blogging however is not just about return in investment, it’s about return in engagement so this is what you should be measuring.

  43. Great post but I would love to see people work in reverse of what MANY are actually doing. This quote hits the spot…
    “Think hard about whether blogging as you are now is helping you reach your goals”
    People start blogging and then try to decide if this is actually helping them reach their goals or not.
    If you are going to blog or do ANYTHING else with social media, you need to create the goal FIRST, then figure out what needs to be done to reach the goal. Blogging may or may not be one of them. That way, you don’t waste any time or money

  44. Thank you James, I needed that

  45. I’m afraid I’ve found most of these responses a little depressing.

    Maybe I’m some sort of deluded idealist, but does no one write blogs to entertain, or read blogs to be entertained? It seems not, which is probably why we are now wading up to our armpits in so many deadly dull preachy blogs. What about the pleasure of the written word? Both as creator and consumer? Does everything have to be quantifiable in ROI? Do we have to be so didactic in all our web dealings?

    There is only so much packaged-up, search-engine-friendly sermons that a person can take. There should be a 10-year moratorium. It will take us that long to consume the backlog of studiously keyworded sagacity.

    • I’m with you Andy.
      I enjoy seeking out blogs but most of the blogs – and groups – found on Linked In seem to treat the exercise as a sales opportunity. Blogs purport to be giving great tips or guidance on how to do x, but you don’t gain any better insights than if you Googled the topics. There is very little pleasure of the written word.

  46. Andy, the responses on this post are from people who are blogging as part of their business marketing strategy, and that’s exactly who this post was written for. It’s about business, and the use of our resources – the major one being our time.

    I personally read a lot of non-business blogs purely for their entertainment value, and I have my own personal blog for the same reason. I don’t care if no one else ever reads it because it’s not paying the bills.

    My business blog is a part of marketing strategy that does pay my bills and for that reason I need to know that I’m getting a respectable ROI from my time and energy that I put into it. If you’re blogging for business then you need to have a purpose and intention for your blogging. If it’s not contributing to your bottom line then why are you doing it?

    We’re talking business here, that can be entertaining and it’s great when it is, but entertainment is not the primary function of a business blog, unless you’re in the Entertainment industry.

  47. So worth it for me. I’m too busy to sit down and put pen to paper (remember the old fashioned way?) But I love to write and write and write.

    Blogging gives me that opportunity. It’s not about capturing an audience or an extremely large readership. I just like to get the thoughts out of my head and transform them into something that lives and breathes. That’s writing…and that’s why I blog :)

    An occasional conversation in the form of comments is nice, from time to time!

  48. I originally hoped for great things from my business idea and blog based around it. These hopes were more wishes and due to health reason had little chance of them becoming reality.
    So Photohelper is no longer something i want a ROI from, but i did really have to question what i wanted from blogging. So now it has evolved into a journal style with Photography as it’s backbone. If i’m honest that suits me better and maybe time will show it was the best way forward for the idea.

  49. Thanks James for sharing important points of blogging with us. It might sound cliched or repeated comment, as i can see numerous comments above but I’ve set foot in the field of blogging to share and generate my passion for writing

  50. Thanks James for sharing this blog post and it might sound cliched or repetitive that your post has helped me a lot. I’m into blogging because of my passion for writing and penning down my thoughts. I’m surely going to benefit a lot from your post and the points mentioned in it, in my endeavor to make something out of blogging!

    Thanks again :)

  51. Blogging is like golf.

    If you are doing it for fun, then have fun and good for you. If you are doing it to make money, only a few succeed.

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