Do I need to start a blog right away when I’m just starting out online?
When it comes to getting started in online business, I often recommend blogging as a means to attract your ideal customers.
The idea is to provide valuable information for free so that people who are interested in the topic you teach will come to your website to learn something from you… then they’ll want to hear more from you.
The goal would be that they fall in love with your content and they sign up for a free piece of valuable content in exchange for hearing from you more. Once you get to know one another via email for a while, you might make them an offer and they may or may not accept it.
It sounds a lot like dating or starting a new friendship, right?
You get someone’s phone number, get to know them a bit, maybe you hang out a few times, and you decide whether or not you like them enough to keep spending time together. Or to take the relationship to the next level.
This is the same concept in business. You want to spend time getting to know someone (or rather, your audience getting to know you) before you start making offers of products or services to them. If not, it’s sort of like asking someone to move in with you or give you money five minutes after meeting them.
It’s a little weird – unless that’s their sort of thing… And honestly, it IS some people’s thing to just jump right into things… but it isn’t really the norm in online business.
So when I receive this question in my inbox (which is a question that I get a lot): “Do I need to start a blog right away when I’m just starting out online?” I often tell people a very mixed message answer of…. Yes and no.
The truth is that it ISN’T necessary to blog right away if you’re just starting out online. You can certainly start making money online without a blog. It just depends on how you want to market your business. And what you intend to sell.
Not every online business has a blog… or needs one.
If your business is setup to provide a service or a product that is an “immediate” need for someone, like learning how to get your screaming child to sleep at night… someone might opt to purchase your product whether they get to know you or not. Because they want the solution to their problem yesterday.
But if your online business provides a solution to a problem that someone feels like they’re uncertain if they need outside help or if they’re just not 100% sold on the fact that they’re ready to make the transformation yet… like being 100% all in on investing in themselves to learn how to start an online business, then they might need to learn more about the person and the business. You’ll want to develop a relationship with them and help them understand why THEY should learn from YOU before asking them to hand over money in exchange for your knowledge.
Not only does it depend on what your products and offers are, but it also depends on HOW you want to market yourself. Blogging is great for people who love to write. But there are other ways of marketing yourself through valuable content without having to write a word – like video blogging, creating a podcast, or focusing entirely on building a loyal social following on Facebook or Twitter.
If you want to start a business without having a blog, you can write your product (eBook, eCourse, etc.) and publish it on a site that allows you to host your products there (my favorite is Gumroad). Or create a product and a landing page for your product that is really specific – without a full website in place.
Once you have your product and landing page created, you can simply guest post, do interviews, or do more marketing outside of your own website. Basically you’re giving away the “free content” by reaching out to OTHER people’s established communities and sharing what you’re up to and what you have to offer with them. This is absolutely a great way to go – and maybe even a faster approach at growing your audience than through blogging itself.
I will say that blogging is a really amazing way to share your message with your audience in a friction-less way.
They can find you either through searching certain terms or on social media sites. They click in to read a blog post on a topic that you’ve written that relates to a problem they have. And then you teach them something or answer a question for them. From there, like I said before, the goal is to get them to like what they’ve read so much that they decide they want to learn MORE from you.
Another awesome perk of blogging is that you can use the content you’ve created to gauge what your audience is enjoying, so you can use that information to shape a new product or offering. By finding out what posts are the most popular by way of traffic, comments, or shares, you can get a sense of what people want to hear more about from you. Accessing this information isn’t always possible from other ways of marketing (at least in ways that you can directly get access to the analytics).
The bottom line is that you don’t HAVE to blog to be in online business. And you don’t HAVE to blog to make money online.
Regardless of whether you start a blog right away when you’re just starting your online business doesn’t really matter. What DOES matter is that you’re creating opportunities for your potential customers to find you. That can come from any matter of avenues – so pick a format and go with it. All you really need to do is provide great FREE content that helps your audience find you and then pay attention to what they love hearing about from you.
When you find what works for you – whether it’s in how you communicate best, or what draws the most interest from your audience – DO MORE OF IT.
Repeat after me: Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
So yes, start a blog. Or don’t. Just show up. Be findable. And create amazing content.