4 Steps to Actually Blog without Blogging

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a guy who wanted to blog. After telling him the level of effort necessary to have an effective blog, I could hear him deflate. If you can’t produce a good blog, you probably shouldn’t do one at all. I can tell you firsthand that blogging takes effort and time that not everyone has.

There are some really simple things you can do, however, to essentially “blog without blogging.”

  1. Have a professional Web site: This is obvious. But in case it needs spelling out, it’s ok not to have a blog but it’s not ok to not have a Web site.
  2. Do the social networking thing: Create and update a LinkedIn profile, first and foremost. By update, I don’t just mean your work history, but treating the profile like a Web site and marketing yourself with the critical keywords in your industry. In addition, strongly consider joining Facebook. Both of them offer the opportunity for extra exposure by joining groups and networking with like-minded professionals. The microblogging sites (twitter, plurk) won’t be as effective for you if you don’t have original content to point to.
  3. Answer questions on LinkedIn Answers: I can’t speak to this firsthand, but I know a number of friends in the business who get leads and referrals because they are presenting themselves as thought leaders or experts by answering questions relevant to your industry. Don’t waste your time answering dumb general questions such as “Who in your mind is the best CEO?” unless you have time to burn – in which case you probably should be writing a blog in the first place.
  4. Comment blogging: Bloggers love when you comment, so don’t feel like you are intruding. The play here is to get on high traffic sites relevant to your expertise. So if you are a marketing guy, blogs such as MarketingSherpa, The Funnelholic, Modern Marketing, and so on will be your targets. There is unwritten etiquette here. Don’t be the dork who writes shameless plugs your products – especially if they’re bad. The key to entrance and acceptance to the blogosphere is to add value. It’s fine to add a backlink, you can include a link back, that is fine, but your comments should be insightful and relevant to the post you are commenting on. Your goal is to come off as an expert and increase visibility for your own name and brand.

So, the answer is yes, you can achieve the goals of blogging without starting and maintaining a blog.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • http://www.brittonmanasco.com Britton Manasco

    Maybe this guy would have felt better if you had directed him to all recently hoopla suggesting blogs are hopelessly out of vogue. That would have taken the edge off!

    What amuses me is the constant obsession with medium over content — as if it doesn’t matter what you say, only where you say it.

    Well, whether one writes a blog or a white paper, a tweet or a speech, the point is to take the steps necessary to be a valuable conversationalist and, with effort, a thought leader.

    The blog isn’t the thing. Neither is Twitter. Nor podcasts. (Remember those?)

    The thing is to be curious enough to learn new things that others will find interesting. Give the folks true, valuable and diligently derived insight — and they’ll keep coming back for more.

    Britton Manasco
    Illuminating the Future

  • http://www.brittonmanasco.com Britton Manasco

    Skuse me. That would be “all the recent hoopla” in that first sentence — man I hate it when I hit that send button too quickly.

    BLM

  • http://www.rickburnes.com Rick Burnes

    I agree that blogging is a lot of work, but I don’t think the four steps you suggest taking equate to blogging.

    Above all, if you’re not consistently generating keyword-rich content, you’re not going to get the SEO benefit that blogging brings. After blogging regularly over the course of a year, a decent blogger should be able to generate traffic from a significant number of long-tail searches. This is free traffic that anybody who is just commenting, hosting a static website or operating on social networks will not have.

  • http://blog.themarketingpractice.com Lindsay Willott

    It’s struck me for a while now that blogging, and in fact the wider “2.0” type tools are simply a way of delivering what we all considered to the the holy grail of online comms about ten years ago.

    I distinctly remember being sat in meeting rooms in 1998 with marketing colleagues, talking about how we needed to look “busy” on our website, “engaged with the debate on our industry” how we needed to keep people coming back (the lovely concept that is stickiness) and how we needed to offer value to our website visitors quickly.

    And yet time and again companies churned out “brochureware” websites that never changed from the moment they were set live. And they never reached out to the people they were trying to influence.

    Why? Lack of ownership by content-generators – they were all owned by webmasters instead. So a big cheer for blogs – finally the people who create the content can get it out on the web. And the best content has grows legs and wanders off all on its own.

    My advice to your would-be blogger? Ask your potential customers what information they really want, (you could use LinkedIn for this too) investigagte and write only one piece of superb content a month, and only then use the different media to promote it (tweet it, blog it, stick in on your email footer – whatever really). Add to the debate wisely and it will benefit you in the long run.

  • http://www.b2blog.com Dave J.

    I had the same conversation with a friend… Start reading, commenting until you may feel led to do more, and find your voice. Developing relationships is much more valuable and motivating than SEO value.

    And we really need more commenters out there anyway.

  • http://www.b2brelevance.com Justin King

    Interesting post and comments. SEO content and all that is good – don’t get me wrong. However, I blog because it helps me, my team, and my clients distill all of the content that is out there – in my case through the eyes of a B2B marketer. If I write something and/or regurgitate the information, it seems to stick. It also helps all involved keep a common vocabulary and concepts. Love that other people read my blog, don’t get me wrong – and I want more :) But for the true thought leaders, they share information because they are passionate about it.