Blogging is without doubt the most effective marketing tool for a business. It is easy, cheap and powerful. And yet there is resistance to it.
One of the major frustrations of the last few years has been my inability to persuade my clients to blog consistently. Here are the most common “excuses” against blogging and my answers to them.
“I’m not comfortable with the idea of blogging”
Don’t get hung up on the word “blog”. It’s just a website which is easy to add content to. And this is the important point: adding content regularly to a website gives people reason to return. It gives search engines the idea that it’s alive and kicking.
A website that doesn’t get updated regularly is dead, dead, dead! Nobody cares about it, no one will visit it.
“There are loads of blogs already. What’s the point of starting another one?”
Those who don’t blog don’t see the point. “There are people doing that already,” they say. “What are you doing now?” I say. Watching TV? There are people doing that already. Working in a job you don’t like? There are people doing that already. Surfing the internet? Ah, there are lots of people are doing that – wouldn’t it be better if you were adding to the debate rather than being on the sidelines just watching it?
“I don’t have anything to write about”
You’re right, you don’t. That’s because you haven’t started writing yet. I didn’t have anything to write about when I started. Look at my first blog post. Utter, utter crap. “I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, do you?” Do you know what? It didn’t matter. No one read it.
That’s the beauty of blogs. Nobody reads them if they aren’t any good. So you might as well practice in the open.
If you tell yourself to write an article every week you will eventually “find your voice”. You will find out how to research articles to make them useful, you’ll learn how to balance information with entertainment. You’ll see what’s good about other websites and mirror their techniques and style.
Write about what you do and you will benefit in two ways. Firstly, actually writing about a subject will increase your knowledge as you have to research and check your facts. And secondly, people interested in your particular specialisation will come to your website in increasing numbers, this will help you gain a better business profile, clients and … more money.
It will be original because it’s by you. And there’s nobody quite like you in the whole universe. And the secret is: the more you write, the better you get at it and the more subject matter to find to write about. So you don’t have to worry about content. You just have to start.
“I don’t have the time”
You don’t have the time not to. Your competitors are blogging. If you hate your job you’re not going to get anywhere without a website.
The traditional model of a 9-to-5 job for life at a large organisation is, thank God, hopelessly outdated. When said large organisation finds your services surplus to their requirements you are left with skills which are best suited to that organisation and a couple of lines on your resumé.
If you blog you have a permanent piece of web real estate where you can gradually and constantly add to your worth with article after article demonstrating your expertise.
And, what’s more, it doesn’t take much time! How long does it take you to write 300 words? 20 minutes? WordPress can be set up in 1 minute! You can use dictation software if you don’t like typing.
And, again, the more you do it, the faster it becomes. You just need to start the habit and get into the rhythm of writing every week. It’s not much of an undertaking.
“I won’t see immediate results”
Here’s the thing: sometimes when we do things that are good for us (giving up smoking/alcohol/drugs, exercising, eating healthy food) we don’t see the benefits straightaway. In fact, our initial reaction to these good things is one of pain and discomfort.
So, often in life we need to sacrifice present comfort for future gains. And, blogging is like this? Well, no, not at all really.
For starters, blogging is enjoyable. You are involved in creating something for the benefit of yourself and others – that’s a pleasurable experience.
And, also, you can see instant gratification. Always set up Google Analytics and keep an eye on it while blogging. In Google Analytics, look up your Traffic Sources > Search > Organic and you will find that people have been visiting your website as a direct result of your blogging. The words they have entered in the search engines will be very similar to the titles and content of your blog articles.
“I already do social media”
You’re already doing social media? Great! Happy with the results? I didn’t think so.
Those time-consuming tasks of engaging and promoting through Twitter, Facebook et al should be peripheral to your blogging endeavours not central to your marketing plan. You have to have something to promote on social media first and blog posts are ideal for this.
Adding social media buttons to quality blog articles will be more effective than any amount of time spent promoting on social media.
What you can do
If you don’t have a website, here are some important points to think about before setting up a website, how to choose a domain name plus a tutorial on how to set up a website.
Also, for even more information, you can download my free e-books, How to Market Yourself Online and Starting An Online Business. Otherwise, if you need any help, you can always ask me. I don’t bite!
Here is a free PDF you may find helpful: The Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging.