A blog done right isn’t exactly a low maintenance thing. The planning that goes into scheduling posts, the researching for topics, the upkeep of user engagement and social sharing-it all requires a fair amount of planning. And yet, it seems it’s never been easier to have a blog.
Blog accessibility has really peaked in recent years, as WordPress alone hosts over 70 million blogs. Other similar hosting platforms have streamlined the process so well that in a mere matter of minutes you can have your own fully designed website and domain name. Which is great, until it’s not.
Many an angsty teen has found their way to Tumblr, just as many businesses have sought a blogging component for their online presence. This is what, for a long time, users of the internet were told they could and should do, and it has resulted in hundreds of thousands of unattended, abandoned, and ghostly blogs.
The life cycle of a blog is usually as follows:
- The creator starts the blog and has high aspirations of the day when they can abandon their desk job to work as a full time blogger.
- He or she is highly motivated to post regularly, sharing and promoting the content with friends and family.
- After a handful of posts and some meh lulls in traffic, the reality of the maintenance that is having a blog sets in and it becomes “work.”
- Posts become less and less frequent until he or she basically abandons the blog, returning only now and then to post the occasional rant or update.
Abandoned blogs break my heart, especially since I have one (or two? Can’t recall) floating around somewhere on the internet. Like many people, at some point I felt like I had to have one, or that I’d be missing out on a huge internet phenomenon and business opportunity.
Yes, it is an opportunity to drive traffic and unlock new avenues for growth, but blogging is simply not for everyone. If you’re already stretching your time and resources, or if your online presence is pretty thin already, why jump into a massive undertaking that will chip away at that even more?
Do This Instead
The good news is that participating in online marketing and business development doesn’t require a blog, and there are plenty of alternatives. If you’re struggling with whether or not a blog is right for your brand or business, use social media instead.
Effective social media can be just as effective as blogging, especially since platforms like Facebook have assumed a very bloggy feel in the past year or two. Here’s how it can work.
Let’s say you’re a local auto shop based in Memphis and want to grow an online presence to reach more customers, but don’t have the time or resources to run a blog. Enter Facebook.
Facebook is an easy alternative, especially for businesses, because it boasts most of the features you’d display if you had your own website/blog: hours, location, reviews, pictures, updates, how to contact, etc.
Stack the “About” section and description fields with what your customers need to know, and then use posts the way you would to blog bits of information. For example, Memphis has had some unusual weather lately, and drivers are unaccustomed to snow and freezing temperatures. As an authority on all things car related, you could post helpful tips for driving in the snow and taking care of your car in the winter.
By making use of other platform features, you can reap all the benefits of a blog without actually having one.