Nothing inspires a mixture of wanting and dread in small business owners - like THE BLOG. They feel like they should have a blog. And they are dreading the entire idea of having one.
Great, you're thinking, a blog post about blogging... isn't that a double negative? Well, the good news is that this blog post is NOT about why you should be blogging. Or, more relevantly, what you should blog about (and, yes, you should develop a blogging strategy). No, this blog post is about 1 thing - the amount of time a small business owner should invest in a single blog post. (And for those of you with short attention spans, the answer=1 hour)
But first, let's review the blogging landscape that small business owners face.
On the wanting-side of things - most small business owners I meet kinda want to blog. Maybe they have hopes that people will be interested in what they have to say and they'll become a respected and followed blogger - forging a path to becoming thought leaders in their business. Or maybe they hope that blogging will help their business to grow. Maybe they just want to feel like they are relevant in the rapidly expanding digital world. Or maybe they're just hopeful that the creative process of writing will be fun - that they'll get to express themselves in some way...
Then there's the resignation. For larger companies that can afford it, blogging's not such a big deal. They just hire someone to do it for them. That person may dread that they have to blog, but they have no choice - its a gig. But for smaller businesses, there is rarely any spare money rolling around in the piggy bank to pay for the blogging... which means it falls to the business owner or someone else in the organization who has another job(s) to do. And, I don't think I am going out on a limb here when I say that most small business owners are not overburdened with the free time need to indulge their latent blogging desires. And so, almost inevitably, they approach a blog with dread because the only reason they're considering blogging in the first place is that someone has told them that they have to - or even need to - in order for their business to grow and/or survive. What's even more frustrating for many of them - more often than not, they aren't even sure WHY they're doing a blog in the first place. So now, they're doing this thing that they don't want to do, but they've been told they must do and they're afraid they're going to waste a lot of time doing it.
Which is where this blog post comes in. Whatever you do, do NOT spend more than 1 hour writing a blog post. And, honestly, you should really aim for spending 30 minutes. Seriously. Every minute past 60 that you spend crafting your blog post is a waste of time - time that you don't have.
So, why the 1 hour cap? I'll limit my answer to 2 reasons.
First, because there's so much of it being created ALL THE TIME, digital content has a ridiculously short half-life. What that means, in practical terms, is that even if your blog post is GENIUS, there is so much content out there that... the likelihood of it being remembered days or even weeks after its read by a visitor are not that good. So, rather than focusing on making an impression that will last a lifetime, set your sights lower and strive to just make an impression. A little blip on the radar screen - preferably a positive one - that's just enough to get people interested enough to read more.
And that brings me to the second reason. More (blog posts) is better. That's reasonable. And a better (post) is better. That seems obvious. But better blog posts are no substitute for more blog posts. And by capping the amount of time you invest in each of your blog-marketing exercises, the easier you make it to do them. Call it keeping it simple. Or taking baby steps. Or a base hit strategy. Or just managing your own expectations. But the bottom line is this - the easier you make it for yourself to blog, the higher the likelihood that you'll actually put an end to the procrastination and actually do the blog.
Which, as you know, you should be doing...
(The total time spent writing this blog post was 33 minutes!)