This post originally appeared on The Professor Is Out. It has been updated and modified.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, at no extra cost to you I will receive an affiliate commission.
Imagine potential customers coming to you for free. Imagine them consuming your content and over time developing a relationship with you. Imagine those people becoming paying customers with just a small nudge from you. Sound too far fetched? It’s not! This is a technique millions of businesses utilise called Inbound Marketing.
Often people think that because it is so easy to set up an account on social media they do not need a personal website. The reason you have to have your own website? Control! Social media platforms are always changing their algorithms and limited the number of your followers who see your content. Research suggests that for Facebook Pages organic reach could be as low as 2%. So of those 1000 followers you have, only 20 will see your post. Why work so hard to develop a following if you then have to pay to reach them.
Having a personal website gives you control of your content and allows you to reach new customers who are actively searching for solutions to their problems. It is estimated that 60% of buyers begin by using a search engine to find the products they want.
Having a website and blogging allows you to develop a strong following who see you as an expert in your field.
Common doubts to having your own website
Money – It will cost too much to have a website
The cost of hosting a website is minimal and many hosting companies offers great intro rates. If you commit to 2 years (by which time you will have established your personal brand and authority through blogging) you can pay less than $5 a month.
These links have great start up rates.
- Siteground (This is who I host with for my newest website)
- Bluehost (This is who I host with for this site)
- Wix (While Wix starts off the cheaper if you want to monetise your blog/website then it starts to get very expensive)
Technical Knowhow – It is too hard, I’m not technical enough to set up my own website
It might seem overwhelming to think about setting up your own website however today all programs have easy to use drag and position content. You do not need to know a single piece of code to have a fantastic website.
Companies like Wix make is extremely easy to have your website up and running in a matter of minutes.
Using WordPress on Siteground or Bluehost will give you a little more control with simple to use click and insert abilities to design your website. There are easy to follow tutorials online for everything you want to do, so a quick google search will allow you to quickly learn new features)
Time – I’m already too busy, I don’t have time to blog
Yes, if you really want to maximise your website’s impact you need to commit to creating content for your site.
I put aside 2 hours a week to write a new post and develop content for my blog. The key is to create consistent content, so set yourself a goal to publish a new post once a week or once every two weeks. If you can find 2 hours a week to blog you can have a successful inbound strategy. Don’t get discouraged, inbound takes time. Commit to blogging for a whole year before you start to see the results.
The great thing about blogging vs creating content for social media is that your blog post can have value for the foreseeable future. I have a post from 2017 that brings over 500 people to my site a month. Another one that brings 200 people to my site a month. All through Google search, I don’t have to do anything to bring those people to my site now that I have written the blog post. There is no better way to invest your time than creating quality content.
Ability – I don’t have anything that people want to read
Having a doctoral degree gives most people a strange lack of confidence. You are an expert in your field! You have so much to share. Blogging is all about solving people problems. Try these two activities to come up with blog ideas.
- Brainstorm everything you know about your topic and write down potential blog ideas.
- Carry a notebook around with you for a few weeks. Every time a student, friend, or a stranger asks you for advice or has a ‘problem’ related to your area of expertise write it down. (e.g. The idea for this post came from a lunch with a friend who asked why he needed to have a website.)
Not every idea will turn into a blog but if you are posting once a week you only need 52 ideas for the whole year. That might sound like a lot when you first start brainstorming but I now have ideas that will last me for years at one post a week. Don’t forget, ideas don’t have to be great – just write it down as it might help you develop a better idea in the future.
There are so many free courses that help new bloggers write. For example, check out HubSpot’s Inbound Course here.