Three reasons NOT to blog
Blogging is a great way for any businesses to get decent content out there. Especially businesses with modest marketing budgets, for whom I'd argue blogging should be a central activity. Because, blog posts can be used, and re-used, throughout the sales cycle:
Awareness: A tweeted, and re-tweeted blog is great for generating awareness. Cunning use of search phrases in blogs can also move you up the search rankings.
- Interest: A blog that sign-posts deeper content is great at generating interest.
- Evaluation/adoption: A link to a relevant blog alongside a business proposal, alongside product info on a website, or in an email after a sales meeting can underline a point you were making to help people over that final sales barrier.
- Loyalty & repurchase: And, a note to an existing client, or a regular enewsletter to subscribers, with a link to an interesting blog can give that little added value, point them to new products and services, or simply make them smile and feel good about your company.
- So, all in all, a great business-to-business marketing tool.
So, why isn’t your business blogging?
With all these reasons in favour of blogging, why are so many people so reticent. Here are the three most common reasons not to blog that we hear:
1. If we put our ideas in a blog, we’re giving away the crown jewels
2. Everything we think of is just so obvious, no one will want to read it
3. We can’t write very well, and it will just get embarrassing
Let’s take these one by one and see if we can’t dispel a few fears.
1. You’ll give away the crown jewels
The crown jewels one is a biggie, particularly in a services or knowledge industry, where your thoughts are what you’re paid for. This is exactly our own situation, and we’re big believers in ‘commercial karma’ – what goes around, comes around. We’re generous with our content. We’re confident to do this for two main reasons. Firstly, we’re entirely comfortable that some people will take our advice and run with it, in fact we want them to. Secondly, we know that most people won’t.
For us, an ideal client has turnover of £1m upwards. We know that the people who read our blogs and roll up their sleeves aren’t these companies – typically, they are freelancers, sole traders and micro businesses. And, we love that they get something from us for nothing. Because - a) they know people and talk warmly about us, b) they may grow, and when they do they’ll know where we are, and; c) they are important to the economy, of which we are all a part.
For our key target audience, the effect of a decent instructional blog is not to roll up sleeves and start implementing, but to think “Clear Thought knows their stuff. When I need someone to do that job, I’ll give them a buzz.” Job done. It works too, 100% of Clear Thought’s business has come through, or been enhanced by, word of mouth… and how do you think we generate said word of mouth?
2. You have nothing new to say, it is all so obvious
Ok, so this one really upsets me. If you charge people for what you do, then it has some value – so, surely you have something worth saying! If it isn’t worth saying, how can you justify charging for it? As you can imagine, this is a question that usually gets a robust response. Scratching the surface on this objection, we typically find that most people are simply too close to what they do. Often, you just don’t realise that the rest of the world doesn’t know what you know. And, even if they do, they may not do it day-in and day-out like you, such that a reminder is really useful.
If you are a specialist, breaking down what you do into simple language, with analogies and examples, can be a great way to get those light-bulb moments from people who buy what you sell – after all, if they knew it already, they wouldn’t need you. It just goes to show that this stuff is not obvious to the people who matter – potential buyers. Other specialists reading your plain English version may nod in recognition at what you’re saying, but they won’t think you’re stupid for saying it. More likely, they will wish that they had said it themselves, or feel that they’ve found someone on their wavelength.
The top blog in terms of natural search traffic on our site, bar none, is '10 steps to writing a marketing brief’. We nearly didn’t post it, because we thought it was so obvious.
3. You can’t write
Ok, so this one is trickier. Reading decent blogs should give you pointers, but if writing really isn’t a strong suit then you may need to get a little help. We’d suggest that you brainstorm ideas initially, and then pick a few out. If you work with a decent copywriter, you can talk them through your ideas for about half an hour, for them to craft into the final piece for your approval before it goes out. A little professional help on this doesn’t mean that it isn’t your work, it is your expertise and your knowledge that is being used, so it is absolutely your work.
A high quality blog is a really valuable marketing tool for your business. Don’t let fear hold you back from the huge benefits that are there for the taking.
This article originally appeared on the Marketing Clear Thinking blog.