Are we nearly there yet? It’s a familiar cry on long and even short journeys with kids.
I was reminded of that eager feeling of anticipation and wishing you were already there when a new business owner told me he hadn’t got any business from his new blog.
It didn’t surprise me. Fast Phil (not his real name) set up his blog about three months ago, but I always tell people they shouldn’t expect to see any results from their blogging for at least six to twelve months.
How Much is Your Business Worth?
Fast Phil set his business blog up by himself. No web designer, no graphic designer, no copywriter. Unfortunately he’s not in any of those businesses.
A professional business run by a true professional should have a professional design but Phil chose not to make that investment. I’m not sure why. Maybe his budget was too tight, maybe he thought he could do as good a job himself or maybe he just wanted to learn WordPress.
You can do amazing things on the internet. It allows small one man businesses like Fast Phil’s to compete with much bigger companies.
A great blog or website will make you look great but, and this is the danger for small business owners, a so so blog or website can make you look average even if you’re not.
Unfortunately, a bad blog or website will make you look bad no matter how great you are.
So if you’re a new business owner ask yourself how serious you are about setting up your own business and how long you plan to stay in business for.
If you really want to own a business, have an idea you believe in and plan to make it your main source of income for years to come then invest in it.
You’ll be investing your precious time in blogging and you should invest money too.
Business Blogging Costs
I don’t advise new business owners spend too much money to begin with, but, without a good website, your business is starting with an unfair handicap.
Ideally, small business owners and start ups will invest in a professional logo and business cards which can then be used as the basis for your website branding.
You can cut out either the professional branding, or the professional website, if you’re strapped for cash. But if you cut out both your start up business will be starting up on a hill.
A professional blog design or website designed in WordPress so you can update it yourself should only cost $2,000 to 3,000. A classic well-planned design which allows for future expansion should last for at least five years.
You’ll have to buy your own domain name (like www.apple.com) but they only cost around $10. I can’t think of any well known businesses that don’t have their own domain name and tell their clients to visit a website address like www.apple.blogspot.com.
There is also the on-going cost of domain hosting but for around $20 per month the outlay is small. If you work from home and have no other costs it’s a bargain. After all, your blog or website should be your main marketing tool.
How Do You Measure Results of a Service-Based Business Blog?
The other thing Fast Phil needs to remember with a business selling services like his is it’s hard to know how much work you get through your blog.
Indeed, you may not get any work directly from your blog but hopefully the work will come indirectly from people who read it and were impressed.
Here are some examples from my own blogging experience. Interestingly, I wasn’t blogging for or about business at Get In the Hot Spot so there was no active selling. I just mentioned my business on my about page.
These jobs and connections happened organically after I’d been blogging a year but they wouldn’t have come to me if I hadn’t been blogging at all. I haven’t listed them all but they add up to tens of thousands of dollars of business over the last 12 months.
Business opportunities indirectly related to blogging
- A big copywriting and blog design job was referred to me by someone who was impressed because Coca-Cola liked my blog and invited me to go to Shanghai.
- I got a blog design job because someone heard an interview with me on another blog and liked it enough to want to work with me.
- A client in the UK hired me for copywriting then social media management and project management because she liked my blog.
- I was hired for a fun, well-paid travel-writing job with some lovely perks.
Business opportunities directly from blogging
Some work like blog design consultations comes to me directly from my blog but most of it comes indirectly.
I probably wouldn’t have had any consultation work if I hadn’t had a blog anyway, because that kind of work usually comes from word of mouth, networking and contacts. My blog is doing those jobs for me.
Bonus income from blogging
Now I also earn money directly through my blog from selling my own books and a few selected products I’m an affiliate for.
That could only happen after I’d built up a readership and grown my blog. It took over a year.
Keep Business Blogging. You’re Nearly There!
All the work above came only because I stuck with blogging long term and had a professional blog design
Opportunities don’t drop into you lap. You’ll have to go shake a few trees.
The benefits of blogging aren’t just financial and professional for me. But you won’t be able to find out what the rewards of blogging are unless you stick with it long term.
Are you there yet?
That depends where you’re going but businesses, and effective blogs, aren’t built overnight.
Be patient, be determined and stick with blogging and you should be well rewarded in the long run.
Looking for digital marketing tips or strategy? Contact Mucho now.