Blogging is one of those things most business owners either love or hate. Those who love it, rave about it and can’t understand why not all businesses are doing it. Whilst those who hate it, have a long list of blogging objections to back up their reasons for disliking it so much.
With such a love-hate relationship going on with blogging, it sometimes feels like it’s the Marmite of the content marketing world!
But after listening to the most popular blogging objections, I’ve realised that for many people, it isn’t a simple case of liking or hating it. There’s actually a whole messy in between stage that isn’t being addressed or talked about - and it’s that area that's seriously affecting the growth of many online businesses.
The vast majority of small business owners don’t know if they care enough to like or dislike blogging. And if we’re being honest, they don’t even understand if it will fit into their business marketing strategy.
There are a small number of people who struggle to write well or don’t like writing, so they’re more inclined to avoid blogging (or outsource it) in favour of podcasting or videos/lives. But the bulk of small business owners tend to be in a position where they’ve either tried it briefly, but didn’t get the results they needed - or they’ve not tried it, and don’t understand how they can use it effectively in their business.
And this puts them in what I see as the messy in between stage of blogging. A place where they hear it’s good for them, but don’t care enough to put in the effort it needs, to make it work for them.
It stems from a lack of understanding on the blogging process, as well as an uncertainty around how it can effectively fit in with their business model and marketing strategy. They see it as a standalone activity that takes time to complete, and once it’s done, there’s nowhere else to go with it. It just sits on their website on the off chance someone will find it.
Blogging then becomes one of those tasks that would be nice to do, but it’s tucked behind those tasks that are easier to understand and that bring in a quicker return on investment.
I could tell you all about the benefits of blogging here, but I’m guessing you’ve already seen countless articles on that subject. So instead, here is how Hubspot summarises what a blog is, according to their article ‘What is a blog and why should you create one?’:
Nowadays, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, and can either be used for personal use or to fulfil a business need.
And according to IMPACT’s article “Blogging for business? Here’s everything you need to know”, blogging is an essential tool for businesses - one they really shouldn’t be without:
Business blogging is as essential to marketing a business as the yellow pages once were and if you haven't adopted the practice yet, you may be at a serious disadvantage to your competitors.
A that’s the important takeaway from both of those articles - a blog isn’t a standalone marketing tool, nor is it a one-time-done sort of thing. And here’s another important thing it isn’t: it isn’t a formal, corporate-speak type of sales page. A blog needs your regular input and new information - in the form of new informal and conversational blog posts and content.
So with all of that being said, why do so many businesses think a blog isn’t needed? What exactly are those key blogging objections they have - and how can you overcome them?
You only have to listen to digital marketing entrepreneur, Neil Patel, to understand that blogging is far from being dead in the water! [If the video below isn't showing - you can go straight to YouTube and watch it via this link: https://youtu.be/i4CY-XD6agM]
The key point here is you need to have a strategy in place, to not only write great content, but to write content that your audience wants to read and interact with.
Make sure you’re writing content that’s both new, interesting and relevant to your audience. It’s more important to a) write consistently, and b) invite conversations. It’s no good talking at your audience - you need to include them and encourage them to join in. You can do this with great call to actions, sharing your blog content around your different social media platforms and starting conversations around the pieces you write.
There’s so much I can say about this! Gone are the days where you had to blog daily, in order to have a blog that counted for something. In fact, it’s far better to write one long blog post a month, so you can really go deep into the topic.
As Neil Patel reiterates in the above video, quality, not quantity is key for blogging success. It isn’t about finding massive chunks of time to write a post - heck, you don’t even have to type; you can talk instead! What’s important is that you’re choosing a frequency and committing to that - whether it’s one blog a month or eight.
Time can always be found, if something is important enough to you. At the moment, blogging isn’t high on your list of priorities, so you don’t have time to write blogs. But how long do you think it would take you? And what non-essential things are you doing (such as watching TV or playing Candy Crush) could you drop, in favour of writing a blog post or two?
So how are you going to fix that? Are you going to resign yourself to never having traffic to your site or are you going to do something to improve it? The reality of the situation is no website starts out with decent levels of traffic, right from the get go. It’s the work we put into the site, our visibility and our marketing, that helps turn that around.
People don’t visit your site if there’s nothing to see. Yes, they can see your static home and about pages, but what’s their reason for coming back again? A good blog post will help initially attract them - but it’s your new blog content that will have them coming back for more.
No one starts out with traffic to their site, but if you start now - you’ll already be on your way. If you never start - you’ll always be complaining that you don’t have enough traffic. So if you want more traffic, start putting out blog content that will help attract traffic to your site!
SEO typically takes 4-6 months to kick in. SEO Mechanic has a great article on SEO 101: How long does SEO take to start working? They sum it up beautifully, with this quote:
SEO is an investment. Think of SEO as a 401k approach versus a roulette approach. Your efforts will begin to compound over time and gradually deliver greater returns the longer you do it.
But the reality is, blogging is no different to any other form of marketing and content creation you do. They all take time to settle in, and they all take time to start getting you the results you want. You don’t post an advertisement on Facebook - but take it down after day 1, because you had no one click through or buy!
Like traffic, SEO takes time to grow and show results. If you start consistently putting keyword, niche focused content, your organic SEO will start to kick in. Put out more content on similar subjects and niches - and the search engines will start to see how relevant you are.
According to SEO Tribunal’s latest blogging statistics, a staggering 77% of internet users, read a blog! Are you really saying no one would read what you’ve written. Really?! Are you saying your clients don’t go online, or that they fall within the 23% of internet users who don’t read anything when they do go online?
Your clients have problems and need solutions, that’s why the vast majority of people end up searching online for answers. It’s your job to provide them with the help, advice and solutions they need.
Did you know that, according to academics there are only 6 or 7 standard story formulas/basic plot types? (Check out the Guardian’s piece on this, or watch Kurt Vonnegut’s video on the shape of stories). But people are still writing books. Why? For one essential reason - people love to be entertained.
It doesn’t matter if it’s been said before or if it’s been covered by someone else - there’s still a good chance that not everyone has seen it! People will always want answers to their questions, they will always be looking to be entertained, and they will need to digest that information more than once, if they’re to really learn something or take action on it. What makes it new is how you say it, and what slant or focus you use.
There are seldom any true ‘new’ things around today, but it doesn’t matter. How you say something, along with who you write it for, is what’s going to make your content new and original.
Newsflash, it isn’t about you! It’s about how your clients would benefit from a blog. But whilst we’re on the subject of benefiting - are you saying you wouldn’t benefit from more clients and an ongoing system for attracting new ones? How about an easy way to build your own mailing list or to increase your traffic?
A blog not only improves your status as an expert in your niche, it also gives you something to share on social media and an opportunity to gain valuable SEO links to and from your site. So yes, you can benefit from having a blog!
Both you and your clients will benefit from your site having a blog. Not only can you use it to showcase your expertise, by sharing advice and knowledge with your clients, your business will benefit from it too - in the form of an increase in traffic, leads, sales and ranking.
For many business owners that aren’t currently blogging, there are several reasons behind that decision. And due to them being in that messy in between stage of blogging, often those reasons are driven by a lack of understanding - with more than a hint of fear and/or uncertainty.
If we’re being brutally honest about why businesses don’t blog, it’s seldom about the blogging aspect of it. Yes, some people dislike the act of writing. But often it’s uncertainty and/or fear that drives a decision to not blog - uncertainty over how it really works, uncertainty over whether it will work for them and uncertainty over the results they’ll get.
And as for fear, well there’s a lot to feel here, too! A fear of looking daft, fear around putting yourself out there, a fear that you may feel disappointed over how your audience will react, fear of the unknown and a fear around making a mistake.
But if you want to stop letting your blogging objections limit your business growth, you need to stop focusing on your fears and start implementing some action.
Writing your own blog will help you expand and practice what you know, expand your knowledge, raise your profile and give you experience of writing better. But you need to be honest about why you’re not currently blogging - to care enough to make a change.
The whole messy in between stage of blogging can be difficult to break out of, but one way you can do it is to focus on how you can help your audience. Another way to move forward is to ensure you have a repurposing strategy in place, so you can make full use of every blog you write.
If you’re not sure what to write about, check out this recent blog post on ‘How to find things to write about for your business blog’. If you need help with the mindset around business blogging, and want to get straight - check out ‘15 Important mindsets you need to blog for your business’ and, if you want to see how blogging can positive impact on your business funnels, read ‘How powerful blogging can be for your business funnels’.
And if you really want to have a blog, but just can’t bring yourself to do it, yourself look to outsource it to someone who does love writing blogs! This will not only help you get content on your site, it will also give you something to base your entire social media and repurposing campaign on - so totally worth the financial investment.
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