“Don’t hesitate; just jump in there and do it!”
“Every company is starting one. If you don’t do it, you’re way behind the competition!”
I hear bloggers preach on and on about how professionals and companies need a blog. It’s the only way to get a job! It’s the only way to tap your market! But, is this really the case? Will a blog actually help you get a job in finance, medicine, or law? Will a blog help you reach a demographic of 40 – 60 year olds?
A blog is a vitamin
Look, just because everyone is doing it, it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Countless of my friends from UCLA have been promoted, made the jump from I-banking to private equity, and been laid off without having blogs. I don’t have a single friend in the management consulting or finance world that has a blog. So, does this mean that blogging is useless outside of social media or journalism positions?
Saying anything is “useless” is really taking it to the extreme. I think that having a blog will only be beneficial to you if the blog is very industry centric. For example, if you want to be a management consultant, then a blog will only help you if you talk about business and strategy. Furthermore, a blog will only count as a small boost to just beat out your close competition. For example, if you have the same GPA, same experience, and same major as someone else, but you have a business blog and he doesn’t, then yes, you might have that little edge that could potentially land you the job.
I believe that a blog can land you a job in finance, medicine, or law. Your blog just needs to be directly related to these fields.
Companies suck at blogging
Yes they do. Even startups run by 20-somethings have blogs that are completely useless and a waste of time. Sure, a blog can be anything you want it to be, but if you’re a company, then I think the whole point behind blogging is to get people to read your material. If no one is reading it and converting into clients, then you absolutely have no ROI.
Let me say that again: Don’t start a company blog just because everyone else is doing it! You need to have ROI!
With that said, what is the best way to get ROI from your blog?
To be honest and cliche, it takes a lot of hard work or a lot of money. It will take a lot of hard work because it takes 2-4 hours to write a quality blog post. More importantly, you need to be able to write well and engage your audience. This isn’t something just anyone can do. If you’re like most companies and just copy and paste industry news or your PR newsletters, no one is going to give a hoot about your blog.
It could take a lot of money because hiring a quality writer does take a lot of money. I have written posts for companies before on a freelance basis, and I got paid $80 per article. Now, I did spend 2 hours on the article (which means I only got paid $40/hour), but it was a 10 article contract which means that I made a smooth $800 for this one project. That is just an example of how much you can expect to pay for a quality writer.
Does blogging reach out to 40-60 year olds?
Sure, there are some 40-60 year olds that are tech savvy. And if the tech savvy 40-60 year old is your target demographic, then you better be engaging them through the blogosphere. But to be perfectly honest, the majority of these people do not use the internet for social interaction. Some lack the knowledge; most are too stubborn to use new technology.
The best solution that I have found is to teach your customers and clients about blogging and twitter. If you are the first one to teach them, then you will be the first company blog or twitter that they follow. If you are able to successfully introduce them to new technology, they will trust you that much more and will remain a loyal customer or client.
Keep in mind this doesn’t work 100% of the time and it will be very hard work as well. But then again, isn’t everything in life hard work?
Jun is the Founder and CMO of Viralogy, the platform that ranks all of the top blogs. His personal blog, How to Succeed as a Young Entrepreneur, gives a real, unfiltered view of the Startup Life so that current and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from his successes and mistakes.