Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blogging Is (MUCH) Harder Than It Sounds

Everyone wants to blog these days. Businesses recognize the importance of creating new content daily and the addition of a blog to their web site seems the easiest way to make this happen.

In theory. In practice the operation of a daily blog is time consuming, labor intensive and something best done by someone who understands the nature of the subject being reported or at least needs to be heavily researched.

As a social media manager I am often asked by clients to create daily blog content. This content has run the gamut of subjects from retail to technology; automotive to financial, and just about everything in between.

I have often remarked that I wish I could blog about Zoology so I could say I've blogged on topics from "A to Z".

Unfortunately, with these blog assignments come the conversations detailing just how much effort is required from me to maintain these blogs. It shocks me how some clients are under the mistaken belief that posting to a blog is "between 5 to 10 minutes" and anything else is overkill. As anyone who does it knows, that's about how long it takes to properly format and post the finished blog entry. The time it takes to research and write the post is much more.

Blogging is a great tool for promotion. It is perfect for creating daily content on an otherwise static homepage, but it requires a great deal of effort on the part of the Blogger. First, there is likely a good deal of research to be done. Not just on the subject but in finding topics which are relevant to the current state of the business I am blogging for. I need to search current news and information, create an angle which is fresh; consider the impact this news or information has on my client and then produce the actual content presented from the point-of-view of my client.

Consider this: Sit down every day and write 500 words on anything. Any subject you want, off the top of your head. How long will that take you each day? Now, consider you have to write about a more specific subject, one you know nothing about. How long will that take you?

The other problem I run into is the belief that blogging is a part of social media management. It certainly is an integral part of an effective social media campaign, but only in the same way running gas station is an integral part of driving a car. It is simply not the same animal.

It is imperative you understand just how labor intensive producing an effective blog is and take this into consideration before committing yourself, or your resources to it.


3 comments:

Jeri said...

I currently spend four hours a day working on my blog and/or interacting with social media. I plan on posting for NaBloPoMo everyday in April. Then I spend another four hours working on my book. Creating great content that is complimented by appropriate images is ineed time-consuming but so worth it!

Erik Deckers said...

Jerry,

We manage blogs for our clients, but that's what we do professionally. So we naturally charge about $1,000 per month to manage a client's blog. But while writing the post may not take much time, there's also the interviewing of the client for the content, the editing to the final draft, publishing it, and then promoting it on their social network, which we also helped grow.

WRITING a blog post is easy, managing the entire process? A lot harder.

Jerry Battiste said...

Good point, Erik. There are so many elements to producing a blog that are often overlooked by the readers (and/or clients.)

It's a process which requires commitment and dedication as much as it does exemplary writing skills!