During SIC last year, I’ve got the chance to attend Bob Walsh’s presentation on Business blogging for microISVs, and back then I’ve noticed how the audience was very interested in using blogs to gain more exposure and ultimately sales.
I think you can find hundreds of articles on the Web debating the importance of business blogging but not so many related to microISV and that’s why it’s an interesting subject. MicroISVs have some specific characteristics that don’t fit perfectly in the regular debates about business blogging.
I’m sure that being a one-two man company changes the perspective over blogging: it’s already hard work doing what you do, adding a blog would just be an extra hat on top of the 47 hats Bob Walsh says a microISV owner should wear. That’s why I will stay away from the classical pro-blogging articles and just try to answer some very basic questions that I’m sure you have.
Even though there are great online resources to help you, blogging can become time consuming. A blog is a separate project in itself – it needs research (preparing articles), development (implementing blogging tools), copywriting and marketing (promoting the blog). I would say 2 hours per week is the absolute minimum, but these 2 hours will barely keep the blog alive.
Stay clear of personal stuff. I know any respectable software engineer has a cat, and I don’t mind occasional cat pictures on a business blog, but that’s not really going to attract the right visitors. Think about your customers. What would they be interested in reading about in a way that they will bookmark the blog and follow it?
If the target you attract at the point above is the right one, it means that the blog readers are interested in subjects related to your products. If you establish yourself as an expert in solving their needs, the blog might just give your readers that extra trust boost to buy your products.
Blogging is not in itself a path to success. Blogs are just a communication tool, after all they are some striped-off CMS systems. You have to think about target, writing good content and doing some marketing. It takes about 6 months to establish if your blog is successful or not, but as all things online, it takes time and hard work.
Bob Walsh actually wrote an excellent book about Small Business blogging: Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them. You can read a free chapter here.
As I said, there are just some very basic questions but I would be happy to answer any other question you might have about blogging.
PS: I think you noticed that I’ve mentioned Bob Walsh’s name a few times in this post, and if you are wondering why, I have a surprise to announce soon, so keep tight!