I’m sure you keep hearing that you should start up a blog for your small business, right? Everyone’s doing it, including your competition, or so everyone says—but is it really worth the time and effort it takes to maintain a blog?

Let’s find out.

Time and Resources Required for Blogging

We’ll start with the time and energy it takes to maintain a blog for your small business. Let’s say you want to publish twice a month and share your posts via email and social media. What does blogging entail?

If you’re generating ideas, writing, editing, publishing and promoting every single blog post yourself, not to mention monitoring your analytics and replying to blog and social media comments, blogging can be a full-time job. Don’t forget about the cost of web hosting as well as any resources you may need. Other costs include memberships to sites like Canva so that you always have fresh visuals for your blog and social media scheduling tools to make it easier to promote your small business blog.

That probably sounds a little overwhelming. There are a lot of free tools you can use to help reduce some of this effort and cost, though. Check out this post for some free tools that will alleviate the stress of trying to handle it all yourself.

As far as writing goes, it takes, on average, 1-2 hours to write a 500-word blog post (from this survey) for professional marketers. It may take you a little more or a little less time depending on your skill level and the type of blog article you’re writing. This means if you write two 1,000-word blog posts each month, you’ll spend about one eight-hour day writing your blog posts, not to mention the time it will take to find a suitable image, publish and promote each post.

So, to be safe, we’ll say you’ll spend a day and a half on your small business’s blog every month, at least. That might seem excessive, so let’s see if the amount of time you’d have to dedicate to your blog would be worth it.

What Are the Benefits of Maintaining a Business Blog?

So, is it worth all the work to maintain a blog? Well let’s look at the benefits of blogging for your small business.

Firstly, blogging will give you more online visibility. Content is one of the top three factors Google uses to rank websites in searches, so your blog content will help you show up in more relevant searches since you’ll be giving search engines fresh content to index. In fact, companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than companies that don’t.

This will also give the search engine a better idea of what your website is about and what your business actually does. So, you’ll show up for more relevant searches and consumers will be able to find your blog when searching for related products and services. But, blogging can also help consumers make their way through the buying process.

Did you know that people tend to look at an average of 3-5 pieces of content before making a purchase? Informative blog posts that answer your customers’ questions can help them figure out what to buy, and if they’re viewing your content (rather than a competitor’s content) your business will stay fresh in the consumer’s mind.

And, leads from SEO have a 14.6 percent close rate while outbound leads (from things like direct mail and print advertising) have a 1.7 percent close rate. That means that you’re going to get more high-quality leads from people who search and find your blog posts. That means that blogging can give you more online exposure, help customers make buying decisions and get you more leads and sales. Not bad for a day’s work.

So yes, you should start blogging today!