In the beginning, most startup founders will do everything themselves. It’s called bootstrapping; you have barely any resources (financial or otherwise) so you keep costs down by doing it all in-house.
Blogging is no different. In fact, blogging is a great marketing strategy to pursue in the early phases of development as, in its simplest form, it’s completely free.
But in every business owner’s journey, there comes a fork in the road…
To delegate, or not to delegate? That is the question.
If you’re currently deliberating about whether to get help to manage your business blog or keep doing it yourself, this is the article for you!
One of your options for outsourcing is a blog management service; they provide specialist support to entrepreneurs and small businesses to publish and promote their blog content and help them drive measurable business results.
To help you figure out the right choice for you, I’ve drawn some comparisons between DIY blogging and working with a blog management service.
Let’s dive in.
1. Time commitment
Ok, let’s be real for a second. Blogging is mega time-consuming.
As a business owner, if you’re undertaking the entire process yourself, your tasks to produce one blog post will include:
- Planning/research: 30mins-1 hour
- Writing: 1-3 hours (or more!)
- Proofreading/editing: 30mins
- Sourcing and designing images: 30mins-1 hour
- Formatting, optimising and publishing: 30mins-1 hour
- Promotion: 1 hour
Total = 7.5 hours (at least!)
If you’re managing multiple writers or other team members, such as a proofreader or graphic designer, then there’s coordination time to consider too.
And unless your business happens to be in the marketing industry, you would be hard pushed to find time to research and learn about the latest tactics and best practice, on top of everything else.
By working with a blog management service, you could potentially cut that production time in half, to around 4 hours per week (depending on how fast you write!).
Your main concerns would lie with planning and writing your content, while everything else is taken care of. Your blog management service can fulfil the role of a Content Coordinator if required, liaising with the various contributors to your blog.
- Related: How To Blog In Half The Time
And it would also be their job to stay at the forefront of best practice and integrate this into their procedures, further reducing the time commitment required to deliver an effective blog strategy.
Of course, cutting that time commitment comes at a cost.
Our blog management packages start at £195 for 1 blog post per month. Given that we spend up to 5 hours publishing and promoting each blog post, this works out at £39 per hour.
This is not an insignificant cost for a small business, especially when you could manage your blog yourself for free.
But is “DIY” really free?
We’ve already determined that it could take at least one full day each week to produce a blog post from start to finish. But what we haven’t considered is whether this is a profitable use of your time, as the owner of the business.
Have you ever worked out the true value of your time?
If you offer a service on an hourly or day rate then this is easy to work out. You should price every hour in your day at the same rate as your charge your clients.
If you pay yourself a fixed salary, then divide it by the number of working days in the month and then by the average number of hours in your working day to give yourself an hourly rate. This gives you a minimum value of your time.
But you could also consider “opportunity cost”. This puts a value on the opportunities that could be gained by spending your time elsewhere; for example, business development.
In his book, No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs, Dan Kennedy offers a method for calculating the value of your time that centres on your revenue goals. Here’s how it goes:
- Step 1
- Work out your revenue target for the year
- E.g. £100,000
- Step 2
Divide this by the number of work hours in a year – 45 weeks (accounting for 7 weeks holiday), multiplied by 5 working days per week is 225 days, multiplied by 8 hours per day is 1800 hours.
- E.g. £100,000 / 1800 = £55.50
- Step 3
Multiply this by your ‘productivity vs. non-productivity’ multiple. In other words, if you estimate you are productive one-third of the time, then you multiply by 3 to account for the two-thirds of the time you aren’t productive (or at least, not working on revenue-earning tasks)!
- E.g. £55.50 x 3 = £166.60
- Therefore, based on a revenue target of £100,000, your time is worth £166 per hour.
Based on this example, the cost of DIY blogging would come to £1,245 per blog post. Ideally, you’d be publishing up to 4 blog posts per month.
When you weigh your own figure against the cost of working with a blog management service, are you making a profit or a loss?
3. Knowledge and expertise
Knowledge and expertise is another factor to consider. As a business owner, your attention is split in many directions; blogging is just one of the plates you need to spin.
It’s understandable, therefore, that your knowledge in this area would be somewhat limited. You can’t be expected to be an expert in everything, after all! It’s also likely that you only have your own blog from which to draw experience.
A key part of the role of a blog management service is to undertake regular research and continuously improve their processes according to best practice. With every new client, they grow their expertise and gain experience that enhances results for the next.
By undertaking the blog production process yourself, you could miss out on opportunities to maximise the impact of your content (and in turn grow your business), simply because you weren’t aware they existed.
4. Systems and processes
Perhaps you’ve grown used to managing your blog yourself; you have complete control over your own process, and that’s the way you like it.
But can you honestly say you are administering it systematically and consistently, every time? And that there aren’t any gaps?
Is it even documented? (If not, you aren’t alone!)
With a blog management service, you may have less control over the way your blogs are produced, but one thing you can be assured of is that a consistent procedure is being followed for every post, without fail.
This is especially important in the optimisation and promotion of your content. The fact is, if all the figurative boxes are not ticked, Google simply will not be able to find your blog articles and you will not receive any traffic through search.
Similarly, if you are not consistent in when and where you deliver your content to your audience, they will not be able to read it.
If your existing followers can’t find it and potential new readers can’t find it, then it certainly isn’t going to generate any business results.
One thing you do have as a DIY business blogger is flexibility in your output. Whilst you should aim to publish regularly (ideally at least once a week) the emphasis should be on quality over quantity.
If you happen to be working on a mammoth post that is jam-packed with value, but it’s 5000 words long, then you have the freedom to create that piece of content over a couple of weeks without the constraints of a fixed schedule. Equally, you could write 3 short and sweet blogs of 500 words and publish them all in one week.
However, in order to offer standard packages and manage workload, a blog management service needs to operate based on set deliverables for each client, ie. 1, 2 or 4 posts per month.
Whilst some might find this to be a constraint, others benefit from the accountability to publish blog posts on a regular schedule.
The combined outcome of all of these variables is the results you see from your blogging efforts.
Of course, as a DIY blogger, you could see fantastic results for your business. But, given the challenges outlined above with the time commitment, potential holes in your procedures and lack of consistency, the likelihood is that your blog’s maximum impact will be unattained.
With the systems and support of a blog management service, you give your content the best chance of success. A consistent and methodical approach allows you to measure progress against your objectives and adjust course accordingly.
Without this, how will you ever really know if your blog strategy is driving the business results you desire?
You should choose a DIY approach to blogging if:
- You need to minimise your business expenses
- You are able and willing to make the necessary time commitment
- Managing the full process is a profitable use of your time
- You are happy with the depth of your publishing and promotion procedures
- You are able to administer your procedures thoroughly and consistently
- You prefer to have flexibility in your blogging output
You should choose a blog management service if:
- You are looking to reduce your time commitment for blogging
- Outsourcing will allow you to spend your time in more profitable ways
- You want to draw upon expert knowledge and experience
- You want to use a ready-made system that reflects best practice
- You’re looking for accountability to publish consistently
- You want measurable business results from your blogging strategy
Got any questions?
Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer!