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You’ve had it hammered into your head so much that by this point, it seems incontrovertible: Businesses need to blog. Business owners need to blog. Blogging is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Is it actually true, though? What about solopreneurs? Should solopreneurs blog? The answer to each of those questions is “yes.”
(Uh-oh. There goes the hammer again!)
With everything you have to do in order to run your successful one-man or one-woman show, why should you set aside any time during the week for something as seemingly mundane as blogging? Actually, there are plenty of compelling reasons that range from building your brand, to showcasing your expertise, to connecting with your audience, to benefitting from viral marketing.
Your blog is the one place that you can really be free to be uniquely “you.” That’s one of the most compelling reasons for a solopreneur to blog. There’s just really no other medium that works as well, particularly in long-form posts. You might be thinking that social media is the equal of your blog, but that’s not really the case, as long posts on Facebook are often ignored, and other social networks are geared for short-form content (like Twitter).
Dana Sitar delivers a wide variety of examples of how different kinds of solopreneur websites are using blogs to build their brands in this article she wrote for The Solopreneur Life. Sometimes it seems to me that every example of Internet marketing uses an Internet marketing website or social media account. Dana doesn’t do that.
Another reason to establish a solopreneur blog is to showcase your unique expertise. You can make this overt or you can do it obliquely, and you can do it in any number of different ways. For instance, you could create case studies based on your previous clients. You could create how-to guides. You could create whitepapers, or you might choose to talk about industry evolution and changes, best practices, and the like. Each of these helps to build your reputation as an industry thought leader and put you on the road to that coveted position of “influencer.”
With the right website platform (think WordPress), you can tie your blog directly into your site. Then, your readers can easily move from reading your latest post to perusing your products or services. That bolsters profitability.
Here’s one more thing related to this point: You can tell what people are interested in by how visitors to your site respond to different blogs. When you hit on a topic – or maybe a writing style – that creates a lot of comments, you know you’re on to something.
This is the big question, isn’t it? There really is no magic number. It’s more about consistency. Ideally, you should blog at least once per week, but it’s more important to keep things consistent. Don’t blog three times a week, and then drop down to once per month, as you’ll lose the audience you’ve been building for your solopreneur blog. If you’re struggling to get posts up regularly, consider asking for guest posts, or check into collaborative blogging with another solopreneur.
While your blog allows you to be personal with your audience, watch out for being too personal. Sharing fears or worries that somehow tie back to your services is probably not a good idea, nor is it wise to touch on controversial topics – unless that’s an area where you’ve decided to make your mark.