Do you wake up in the morning, look at your to do list, see the task “write a blog post,” and begin an internal debate between your ears?
On the one hand you know you should write, publish, and promote content on a regular basis.It helps with search engine optimization, gives you something to promote through social media, and can drive traffic to your site.
But on the other hand you rationalize that it’s not that important because you don’t have a big following. With so many other things on your plate, it’s easy to say “I’ll put it off until tomorrow.” or “once I get a big enough following I’ll be sure to update my blog on a regular basis.
The real question behind the debate may very well be, “how long does it take to build an audience for my blog?”
So which comes first the chicken or the egg or shall I say the content or the traffic? It can be frustrating to write on a regular basis and not see people coming to your blog or website in droves. Especially if you’re writing good stuff. It’s easy to put off writing that piece of content until tomorrow because you think no one is coming to your site.
As I look for content to share within my networks, I’m always on the lookout for unique content and often-times prefer to post links to blogs that are written and powered by mere mortals and not marketing machines. Don’t get me wrong, I love the big guys and I get a lot of great information from them, but there’s something fun about finding a great article by someone you’ve never heard of.
I don’t have any statistics on this, but my instincts tell me that a large percentage of people who follow ‘the big guys’ are search engine optimization and social media marketing professionals and that there are a lot of people that are looking for resources (aka people or potential customers) they can trust to help them sort through the noise.
I keep a spreadsheet that contains the links to blogs I stumble across (usually because someone smarter than me found them first) and I check them on a regular basis to add variety to my tweets and posts. It’s always a disappointment when I return to someone’s blog and find that there’s no new content to tweet about or learn from. If they had posted something new, more than likely I would have shared it and continued to return for more.
Sometimes the numbers might be small, but mighty and if you have even a handful of people returning to your site when you post something – you’re building an audience. Without the new content, they have no reason to return.
My working theory is that it’s important to have good content on your website, but your blog is where people will get to know and trust you. Once they get to know you as a person, they’re going to want to find out about the services you offer or the products you sell. Maybe it’s not nearly as important to think of a blog as a way to build a big audience, but as a way to provide a service, and if even a handful of people have found value, it was worthwhile.
A blog is a perfect opportunity to share your knowledge and give people a flavor for your style and company. The only way to build an audience is to keep adding and promoting your new content. It’s also ok to promote some of your older content as you add new contacts to your network, just be careful not to overdo it.
Once a week is good, twice a week is better, and even more is best. Write the content, remind yourself that it takes time, and celebrate your victories.
Search engines love content and people love content. People also like to share good stuff, and if you become known as a reliable source of regular content, the folks who are becoming your fans will start linking to you. (No one wants to send one of their visitors to a resource that has outdated information.) This little formula could also be called search engine optimization.
So if you’re suffering from the “Chicken or Egg Syndrome” turn off the side of your brain that says you need to have an audience before you write and use that brainpower to promote and distribute your content.