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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.