Why a Blog could be the death of your business!


I am sick to the back teeth of small business owners going on and on about blogs as if they are the holy grail of profitable income.

They are not!

They can enhance and develop a business. They can increase sales volume (referrals, SEO, and generally bringing in more new traffic and enquiries) They can defend price and enhance value. They can reduce churn. They can increase conversion. And probably a few more things that I haven’t mentioned.

But … A blog is not the only thing you need for a business.

A blog is not a foundation to build a business upon.

Uncle WordPress and Auntie Blogspot did not come along and wave their magic wand and make all that tedious market research and financial planning go away!

Here is a reality check for small business owners thinking about or just starting on their blog journey.

… Do you know who will buy from you and at what price?
… Do you know what your costs are?
… Do you know how you will get those sales?
… Do you know how much it will cost you to acquire each sale?
… Do you know what your marketing messages are to different groups of people?
… Do you know what is perceived as special about your business?
… Do you know what your cashflow forecast looks like?
… Do you know what your personal income looks like and is it forecasted?
… Have you actually prepared even the most basic of basic business plans?

If the answer to these is No then Stop Right There! Don’t even think about blogging or you will get sucked into a world of waffle that will take you completely off your business path. Before you know it you will be faffing around with photos, plug ins, themes and categories and not be able to pay your business or personal bills.

Look at some of the successful people around you who do not have blogs – think about builders, solicitors, accountants, hair dressers who have respectable, stable, profitable businesses without having to blog as it’s not essential for them.

Also think about the time, effort and energy that goes into blogging. Ask yourself whether your goal should be to work yourself into your business more given your current workloads and other activities on your business plan or whether you should be working yourself out of your business more?

So this is a plea to small business owners to get the basics of their businesses in order before blogging. Otherwise it’s a distraction that will not enhance or develop anything. It could have a very detrimental consequence and your business could die!

  • http://wardblawg.com Gavin Ward

    I agree with Gareth, esp re other avenues of marketing. But I am a little overly unconvinced by the heavy emphasis on the negative comments given to blogging. What if part of your business model fosters advertising revenue through blogging? I would like to see a more balanced article.

    • Maxine

      Hi Gavin

      Thanks for your comments. I have given a heavy emphasis haven’t I? This was deliberately relating to people who are doing absolutely zero in terms of marketing or business planning in general and their only proposed activity is a blog. If you have a business model that fosters advertising revenue through blogging then great… at least you have a business model and I presume by that a business plan. Otherwise it’s just a case of throwing a blog out there and seeing what happens. Great for hobbies or non core revenue streams but not so great if this is a core revenue stream where profit planning and cashflow management is key :)

      The next article will be more balanced I promise :)

  • http://www.inheritanceprotect.co.uk Brian

    Your comments are worthy of note Maxine.

    AND I cannot help but notice that by this very article you have demonstrated just how a blog may be used effectively.

  • http://www.keepinghrsimple.co.uk Katherine

    I agree with Gareth. I should find this really offensive since I’m really keen on blogging and I really value what it does for my business. BUT that doesn’t mean I neglect everything else in order to write!

    I’ve said it before but I think that blogging only really works for some people and it certainly isn’t the holy grail of doing business these days.

    Really thought-provoking article – thank you!

  • http://www.businesscontinuityuk.net Gareth Howell

    As an avid blogger, I should have been taken aback/insulted, offended (etc) by this, but I’m not.

    You are absolutely spot on Maxine. It’s too easy to fall into a mindset where the perfect blog will be the answer to ones dreams. It may be for some, it depends on the business. But for most of us, it is just one marketing strategy amongst many.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.thewordwell.co.uk Nikki

    Apologies for my ‘communication’typo… (Rolls eyes) Need a proofreader, tea maker and extra pair of hands today!

  • http://www.thewordwell.co.uk Nikki

    Hi there

    If you do anything at the expense of your business, you’ll fail!

    The problem is that it takes time to become establised. A business blog is just one communicaiton channel … a way to build up trust and a reputation.

    That said, business has to come first. I tend to blog when I have time and if I have something meaningful to say.

    I also use my blog to help other business owners become better writers, while at the same time proving that I do know what I am talking about. So for me, it’s a useful tool.

    As with anything in business, use it as part of a strategy. But, don’t pin all your hopes on it or allow it to swallow up precious time best spent elsewhere.

    Talking of which, back to work! 😉

  • admin

    Thanks Toni and everyone knows you are not stuck in a “world of waffle” lol You probably see it a lot where small biz owners put so much energy into either the wrong things or things in the wrong order :)

  • http://www.tonihunter.com Toni Hunter

    Many a wise man (and/or woman) has chanted “keeping clients is far cheaper than courting new ones”

    I am lucky enough to have a team that looks after the ‘day to day’ stuff so I can focus on business development, but I do take your point and it is a very serious point for business people trading on their own or in a very small, time pressured team.

    I do hope I am not stuck ‘in a world of waffle’ although my Twitter activity probably indicates that I am.

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