Should you start a blog? That’s the wrong question.

Should I start a blog? What should I blog about? How often should I blog? These are all questions people ask about blogging. But they are the wrong questions. These kind of questions focus the individual’s mind on process, rather than outcome.

Better questions are: What do people want to read about? What ways do my customers find out about the products and services they buy? How often do my targets update themselves on new information? How do my customers make purchasing decisions?

Answers to these questions may reveal, for instance, that your particular group of customers use word of mouth to find out about products and services they use. You might also discover that your target audience keeps up to date every week. Or the answers to these questions may reveal that your customers use third party reviews to help them decide on product purchases.

But whatever you find out about the people you wish to reach, you are likely to discover that they don’t rely on advertising to help them make purchasing decisions. Indeed, according to a study from the University of Massachusetts, advertising is one of the least influential factors in our lives nowadays. Word of mouth is by far the most important way in which we make decisions about things we buy.

Online, blogging is word of mouth. This means that your audience will be more influenced by what blogs say about your products and services than any advertising or promotion you do. Hence your analysis of your audience and how they find out about things will inevitably point you to the fact that you must start a blog – to gain teh benefit from word of mouth.

But for many people what holds them back is the concern that blogging will take up to much of their time. Luckily an interview in The Hindu newspaper suggests that many people will soon be outsourcing blogging in the way they currently use consultants for PR or advertising. So if you are worrying whether or not you should start a blog – stop getting concerned. Just start, right now at Blogger, where you can set up a blog inside five minutes. Then once it is set up, outsource it if you feel it will take up too much of your time. The result will be increased influence and greater connection with your particular audience.

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