I’m taking a little break from the wedding garter designing and sewing today to share a little blogging tip with you and raise a discussion point that might be confusing other business owners out there. There is a big different between blogging for your business vs. blogging as a business. It is just a few word difference, changing “for” to “as a” in terms of blogging, but when it comes to goals, priorities and how-to’s, this destinction makes a huge difference! As a small business owner, when you are trying to educate yourself about blogging, it is important to know which category you, your business and your blog falls into.
As you know, I am passionate about helping creative small businesses use their blog to grow their business. I recently held my second B.Y.O.B (Blog Your Own Business) Workshop here in DC to help wither business owners get control of their blog. In my discussions with other small business owners, I noticed that there is some confusion about blogging for your business and how it is different than blogging as a business.
Photo Credit: Red October Photography
Many business owners, who clearly fall into the camp of “blogging for their business,” are struggling because when they seek advice or inspiration for their blog, they are looking at those who “blog as a business.” They are finding help and support from professional bloggers. Worse, they are comparing their blog to support their small business to other professional bloggers. They are wondering why they don’t have the traffic or they are feeling badly because they aren’t posting multiple times a day. In reality, if you are blogging to support your small business, things like traffic and posting frequency might not be as important as you think.
Now, some of advice from professional bloggers can be helpful and applicable, but only if you know the difference between the two entities, so that you can take what you need and leave the rest. When it comes to your business, it is important to compare your blog to others who are similarly situated. If you are a wedding planner or a florist, then a full-time professional wedding blogger is probably not the best comparison to make. Even though you both operate what you both call a “blog,” it is truly like comparing apples to oranges. The blogs are two different business models. Indeed, you should be comparing yourself to other similarly situated businesses. How are they using their blog to grow their business? What are they doing to drive sales through their blog? How are they using their blog to introduce themselves to their clients?
The reason that it is important to make this distinction between blogging as a business and blogging for your business is because both blogs have different goals, priorities and systems. What works for a business blog, might not work for a blog to support your business. Professional bloggers often struggle to develop content, while those who blog for their business rarely have issues developing content because they blog about their business! (In my case, I blog about my wedding garters and topics that relate to running of my business.) Additionally, bloggers as a business have much different goals for their blog, thus they need to post at certain times of the day and a certain amount per week so that they can keep up their traffic and continue to grow. All of these goals are quite different if you are running a blog to support your business.
More importantly, those who blog for their business, need to balance managing their blog along with everything else that makes them money. As much as I’d like to spend all day writing blog posts, I need to get into my business and service my clients. I need to sew and fulfill orders and more. Every small business owner needs to balance their to-do list, and the to-do lists of a professional blogger and someone who blogs to support their business are much different.
Most of us in the creative small business industry, like myself with my wedding garters, are experts in other areas. We are florists, photographers, crafters, designers, or wedding planners and blogging for your business is much different than how to blog as your business. When I started United With Love, a blog for weddings in the Washington DC area, blogging was my business. I didn’t necessarily make money by making something else, I made money from my blog, which means I sold advertisement space and did affiliate marketing and lots of other creative ways to generate income through my blog.
But, with The Garter Girl, I do something else (i.e. I design and hand make bridal garters.) and I use my business’ blog to help to grow and support my wedding garter business. I don’t make money off my blog for The Garter Girl, instead I use my blog to promote my wedding garters and reach out to those that might be interested in purchasing a wedding garter hand made by me.
Make The Distinction
The is distinction between blogging as a business and blogging for your business is an important one to make and something that we talked about at length at the workshop. Many small business owners struggle with how much time to spend on blogging and wonder what blogging can do for their business. They struggle with finding time to fit blogging into their mounting to-do list and blogging often gets pushed farther and farther down (and sometimes kicked off!) that list. All of this is much different when you are blogging as a business. Now, I’m not saying that professional bloggers aren’t busy! They most certainly are and have much on their to-do list! It is a just a totally and completely different line of work than someone else who runs a blog to support their other creative endeavor.
So, as you learn more about blogging, what camp do you fall into? Are you blogging to support and grow your other business and are you using your blog to help you make sales or book jobs? Or, are you a professional blogger who doesn’t necessarily make anything else, but rather makes money through your blog? The distinction matters and knowing which camp you fall into is important when seeking advice and making comparisons.
For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject. You can sign up for my email newsletter to get more blogging tips and be the first person to know about any blogging workshops that I have coming up.