Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why Blogging can be a Waste of Time and Money

Every day millions of people start blogging. Indeed, the best estimates show that a new blog is created every single second of every day. As if this weren't enough extra material being added to the Internet, there are of course millions of blogs already in existence. There is a vast amount of new information being added to the Internet every minute of every day.

Many people have been told that blogging helps increase your visibility on the Internet. That's true enough, but if you are in business at what cost?

Let's assume your time costs $100 an hour and that you spend a total of two hours a week adding to your blog. That's $200 a week or $10,400 a year. That's the cost of blogging to your business. You really should calculate the amount of time and its value to your business.

Once you've found out how much blogging is costing your business, you need to consider how much money it is actually making. How many people bought items or services from you as a direct result of your blog? If you don't know, you need to add tracking codes to your blog links to ensure you can work this out.

Also, add up all the advertising income or affiliate income you've generated via your blog. Then look at the total. If it is less than the cost, you're wasting time and losing money by blogging. Don't let the fashion for blogging overcome traditional business requirements of profitability. For many people blogging is actually draining their profits, but they are unaware of this because they are not measuring their blog.

Ensure you measure your blog using tracking codes so you can check the real value of your blogging efforts. To do otherwise could seriously affect the profitability of your business.

True enough, blogs can raise your visibility on the Internet and can help boost search engine rankings. But being top of the search results for a particular keyword is of no value to you in business unless being top of the page actually translates into sales. Far too many people chase search engine ranking at the expense of chasing customers.

If you are using a blog to gain search engine ranking, but have not measured the income generated as a result, you could be wasting your time by writing your blog. As with everything in business, measurement is essential if you are to do your best. So don't blog hopefully; measure its real impact.

The Bad Side of Blogging

How many blogs do you suppose there are on the Internet? Whoops another one was just started, and another, and another and..

There are millions of blogs online today and everyone is practically tripping over each other to start their own. My question is why?

You can answer that in word. Money! People think blogging is the magic bullet they have been missing to make money for the first time in their life. The other thing is blogs are so simple to start that a child of 10 could do it.

Of course after a few days the new blogger begins to realize that the money is not flowing in and this is going to become work. They sure are spending a lot of time working on their new blog and they have not made one penny off of it yet.

This is the bad side of blogging. It takes a lot of work to get traffic to your blog and it takes even more work to convert some of that into a paying customer.

If you value your time you lose money every time you set down and post in your blog. Let's say you spend 30 minutes writing a 400-word blog post and you do that everyday for 1 month. You have just spent 15 hours and you may not have even made any money yet.

That's the rub right there. First of all most people will never write 30 posts in the first month or maybe ever. The Internet is cluttered with blogs that were started with good intentions and abandoned like an orphan.

Someone should start a blog orphanage for abandoned blogs that we could adopt and offer tender loving care to. The bad side of blogging is you may be the next victim of “blogging is work” syndrome. Another blog started and abandoned because blogging is work and is not the easy road to riches you hoped it was.

A really good blog is one that is started by someone who would keep it up if they never made any money at it. The reasons for this are that the topic of the blog is a passion for the blogger. They have an interest in the subject matter. They may even be an expert in what they write about and their expertise shows.

The reader comes back over and over to see what the blogger will say next. They pull out their credit card to buy a product the blogger recommends. They click on a Google ad or subscribe to a newsletter. It is all so easy when the blog is kept up to date with useful information. The blogger has avoided the bad side of blogging.