"I know we should be blogging but we just don't have time".
This is what someone said to me at my regular networking breakfast meeting. This blog will tell you whether it's worth making time. Obviously I think so (because I love writing) but there's a few things to consider before deciding for yourself.
Is there anywhere else you can give comparable extra value to your customers for free?
Once published, your blog is there for your customers to refer to again and again. As long as you can get them there you are giving free advice, help and expertise.
Your customers and you potential customers will thank you for this.
What are you using to feed social media right now?
Whether you're doing it yourself or have a dedicated member of the team working on it, a consistent stream of decent content is one of the biggest challenges.
Blogs provide a wealth of quotations that can be repurposed on any platform.
Where else do you share case studies?
People are interested in people. Sharing stories about customers in your blog demonstrates your expertise and sets you apart as a thought leader.
People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic. - Seth Godin
The value of an idea lies in the using of it. - Thomas Edison
Be the expert, share the good work you're doing but with a human story.
What other reason do you have to keep in touch with your customers on a regular basis, without annoying them?!
We tend to forget that we're usually getting in touch with customers to ask them to act: to buy more. We tell them about new products we want them to buy, or existing products that have changed or are now cheaper, so they should buy them. We ask them to complete surveys or book tickets for events.
We rarely get in touch to just tell them stuff they want to know, for free, no strings. A blog is a chance to do just that.
Where else can you publicly recommend others?
Strategically it's important to have a channel where you can share products and services you've used, you like and trust.
This helps your customers and it helps your partners. Besides that, it's will give you warm fuzzy feeling when your partners say thank you!
What other SEO activity are you partaking in?
Google likes blogs. Blogs mean visitors will spend longer on your site (as long as that's where they're published).
Blogs will help you get to the top of the page.
How else do you measure what your customers are interested in?
The statistics will clearly show which subjects your readers are most interested in. This is great customer insight.
This helps you decide what to write more of. Give your audience what they want and they'll keep coming. They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan is a good read if you want more detail on this.
What other ways do you find new customers for free?
Once your blog is out there, you can send the link to anyone.
If your subject matter is valuable and interspersing, it will spread.
I hope this helps you make a decision. If you've already decided and you're having trouble getting started, read Tips For Writing Online - with the help of Winnie the Pooh. Or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, I love writing (oops, did I say that already?!) and would be happy to help.