I think this one might get me pilloried. But who cares. It’s been brewing for awhile.
The benefits of blogging have been clearly delineated over the past 10-12 years.
Posts like this one do a great job of outlining the pros succinctly.
I am starting to believe these posts are – for most people and organizations, most of the time – wrong.
No doubt, your blog and its regularly updated content are great for SEO. But it ain’t that easy. First, you need to update the content regularly – this is HARD, and if not done looks BAD. Second, there are other ways to reap SEO benefits besides blogging. As with all things in life, it boils down to opportunity cost. I believe that blogging has a very HIGH opportunity cost because publishing takes serious effort and thought and, in a world where idiocy rules, great content often goes unnoticed.
Second, though there are myriad success stories about how companies and individuals have done great things for themselves via blogging, there are at least 1000 times more failures. Yes, Chris Brogan’s blog makes him money. But odds are yours won’t for you. Again, in a world of scarce resources you have to think about the counterfactual. What could you do BESIDES blogging? Would it bring more cash? I bet it would at least do so QUICKER – since blogging takes so much time to show returns.
Third, in a number of industries the “land grab” is pretty well done. This means that big players are already established with their blogs (whether or not they have anything good to say or are actually talented at executing business is another matter) and have grabbed large segments of the audience. I know, for instance, that everyone in PR thinks they need to blog. You don’t and breaking into the field, securing an audience (if that is your goal) is harder today than it was yesterday due to the proliferation of sources.
Fourth, I am totally down with the idea of blogging to be “knowable.” Indeed a prospective employer can learn far more about you from your blog than a resume. But blogging for knowability does not necessitate mountains of content. Due to the information overload that seemingly everyone claims to suffer from, I’d argue anyone who checked out your blog to get to “know” you would only consume a small fraction of what you had produced.
Fifth, and finally, I want you to blog. It helps me make cash. The folks who write the “helpful” tipster posts about how to create “killer content in 5 easy steps” share my desire. So, too, do social media consultants everywhere. But, between the immense time it takes to show returns, the small chance of creating content anyone consumes, the difficulty of accurately measuring the direct business benefits of your activities, and the immense opportunity cost that comes with blogging, you may be better off doing other things with your time.
I’d love to get your thoughts on this.