With the rise and worldwide embracement of social media, online business owners have been driven to adapt to the ever growing changes in the way we communicate and market online. Let's just say that my phone no longer rings with telemarketing calls (pretty much a thing of the past – thank goodness). And frankly, it no longer rings with friends calling to say hi – we text each other instead! (And I ain't no high school student – far from it – sigh).
Online marketers heads are truly spinning with ideas on how to best reach their audiences online and many tend to opt for the quick and easy way to do it: Facebook, instagram, Twitter, and the like. After all, this is where the crowd is hanging out at, right? And it can work… at least for a while.
Let me share my perspective on this, which is pretty similar to another blogger's perspective, Mayi Carles on her blog post “Is Blogging Dying”: When it comes to social media networks like Facebook – you simply DO NOT OWN anything you do there. You don't own your content (it can be deleted or ghosted at the network's whim), you don't own your “likes” or “followers” (they belong to the network to advertise to and do whatever they wish to do with), and you certainly have no control over when plans are going to change and your entire audience base is gone (think My Space – gone – bye – bye). Also, think closer to home – Facebook – who not only charges you to GET an audience to your fanpage, but also charges you to actually tend to it (you have to pay for them to be shown what you post).
Now, I know that we are all super savvy and adapt well to social marketing changes. And it feels like every time an algorithm or a rule changes on any of these networks that disrupts the way we market (or communicate), an “expert”magically pops up on our feed kindly explaining the new rules of the game and easing our frustrations – and they do this by sending us to their BLOG to read about it!
And yes, I realize that many of you are not paying to post updates about your business on Facebook because you do this directly from your profile (which I do as well!). But did you know that you are actually NOT allowed to utilize your Facebook profile strictly for business? I know right? How dare Facebook dictate what you post on your personal profile! Well, they can and they do, because you are playing in their sandbox and they get to lay down the rules. Of course, myself included, we have been doing this without any trouble – so far. But know that if you start posting business info more than personal updates, you will get a notice… eventually. Here is a great article you can read and learn 10 Ways To Use Your Facebook Profile for Business from The Social Media Examiner.
Note, I am not discouraging you from using Facebook, Instagram and the like! Totally you MUST continue to use these outlets. What I am suggesting is that having a blog will solidify you as a brand, help you build a list of subscribers that you own and position you to remain in the game without starting from scratch every time “the rules change online”. Here is one quick strategy I learned that will help you seal those “likes” as YOUR own subscribers: Ask your Facebook page (or profile) fans to go “subscribe” on your blog so they can get exclusive content and stay on top of your stuff when they don't see it on their timeline. This works and many people will take advantage of that because they WANT to see your content. Now you can simply email them a link to your blog posts or even to your Facebook Posts anytime you want them to see new content WITHOUT paying for it. YES!
Of course you will need to make this an appealing offer and give them something they can immediately take advantage of in exchange; but that's what we do right? Offer amazing value to our subscribers!
So, Is Blogging An Essential Online Business Building Strategy?
My answer is 100% YES! Why? Because you OWN IT. You own every aspect of your blog (as long as it is self-hosted and not hosted on a free public server). You can express yourself, set your own rules, your list belongs to you and with just a few anti-Spam rules to follow (for protection), you can communicate with them however and whenever you want. And when the rules of social media change, which they will, your blog will NOT. It won't affect you and you can still continue to build your following and nurture your audience through this social media tool. In fact, you can utilize your blog to help your audience understand the changes (see above). But best of all, you can use your blog to tell your audience about YOU in a lot more detail than you typically can on other networks. Your blog is your brand's home.
“But blogging is hard!”. Well, yes, blogging does take some brain muscle to set up, organize and then actually come up with relevant content to talk about. But shouldn't a solid business strategy require some form of “work” for it to be sustainable? I think that in the long run you will appreciate the benefits of blogging and you too might find the short-term frustration of getting it going, completely worth it, especially if you face a shutdown (YouTube shots down channels ALL-THE-TIME).
So keep your social media outlets going, but start working on your long term platform today so you can reap all the benefits of blogging in the future and not be at the mercy of everyone else's rules to build your business online.
Read my 7 Key Benefits of Blogging and get inspired to start your own blog today! In a few days I will also share how to get a blog started from beginning to end! Look for the “Subscribe to Blog Updates” in the right menu to stay tuned!