When I talk to small business owners about blogging, I usually get a list of reasons why they’re not doing it. The unknown is scary – I get that.
My aim with this post is to answer every single one of these excuses – to dispel all the myths – until your only conclusion is that you need to start blogging for your business.
Here we go. 18 reasons not to blog for your business.
I don’t know what a blog actually is
Let’s head this one off right now. Blog, as a term, was coined back in the 90s, derived from “web log”. The original blogs (according to our modern definition) were online diaries and journals, or news syndication pages. Blogging gained popularity in the early 2000s, as a means to share knowledge, opinions, news and stories. Over time, blogging was adopted by the business community as a way to demonstrate expertise and build relationships with prospective customers, and is now a staple medium of modern marketing.
I don’t understand the point of blogging
The point of blogging is to provide the information that your customers are looking for. By doing so, you build trust and establish a relationship with people, to the point that they will come to you when they are ready to make a purchase. It’s not a quick-fix, it’s a long game. But one that is worth playing, if you’re looking to create long-standing relationships with customers and a sustainable business. I discussed the reasons you should blog for your business in more detail in last week’s article.
I don’t know what to write about
A good place to start is by answering the most frequently asked questions by your customers. What do customers need to know in order to understand your product or service, and how it can help them? Take one question as the topic for your blog post and answer it in as much detail as you can. I should emphasise, though, that blogging is not about selling. A good post should not read like an advertorial. You should aim to be helpful, transparent and provide value, no strings attached.
I’m no good at writing
You don’t have to be good at writing to produce great content, you may just need some help. Perhaps you’re better at “talking your thoughts”, so record an audio memo on your phone (or a video) and have someone transcribe it for you. Or note down some brief bullet points and have a content writer extrapolate that into a full post. Some people prefer to draw a mindmap. There are lots of options 🙂
I’m not an expert, I shouldn’t blog
If you are qualified enough to legitimately provide a product or service, you are expert enough to blog about it. If you are a user of a product or service, rather than a provider, your opinion is still valuable, as it may be helpful to other prospective consumers. Just be honest and transparent about your position.
I don’t have time to blog
Ok, this one is pretty valid. Blogging does consume a certain amount of time and it takes dedication to do it well. But the benefits of blogging for your business far outweigh the costs, as long as you are consistent. In the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing some realistic tips for how to integrate blogging into your schedule and minimise the time commitment as far as possible. At the end of the day, you’ve simply got to prioritise it.
- Related content: How To Blog In Half The Time
I don’t know how to publish a blog
The process for publishing a blog will vary depending on the platform your website is built on. If it’s WordPress, that’s perfect. You log in to your back-end Dashboard, navigate to “Posts” and select “Add new”. Then you simply copy and paste your article text into the editor, make sure it looks ok on your website by clicking the “Preview” button, then hit “Publish”. That’s the simple version. In order for your blog post to perform well and be attractive to readers (and Google), you’ll want to add headings, images, links and meta data. We’ll cover how to publish a blog post in WordPress in more detail in a few weeks’ time, but for now, here is a really great tutorial from David Cox at Tech Talk America to get you started.
My clients don’t read blogs
Depending on your market, your clients may not know what a blog is. They may be of an older generation, or you might be in a very traditional industry. But as 21st century humans, I’m willing to bet your customers DO search for and read information online. Whether it’s news articles, product reviews, or how to bleed a radiator, it’s pretty likely that they know how to find something on Google. It’s also highly likely that they are using email, and probably social media too (at least Facebook or LinkedIn). These are all ways that your customers can find your blog content, or that you can provide it to them. Your website is the “home” of your blog but, by being proactive and sharing your content through other media channels, you can reach people in your network.
Blogging doesn’t earn me sales
This relates to the “I don’t have time” excuse. You may feel that blogging is an extra – a nice-to-have – and a distraction from “real work” that has a direct impact on your bottom line. But whilst there may be a bigger time investment at the beginning, if you are consistent at providing high quality, valuable information to your prospective customers, you will reap the financial rewards. Just check out this testimony from Cara Mackay at Gillies and Mackay, who make the best sheds in the world.
We’ve got enough clients already
You may feel that you are operating at capacity and can’t physically handle any more clients. Fair enough. But I would ask you, what happens when you’re not? What if there is a change in the market, something outwith your control, and your revenue takes a hit? How will you find new customers to replace them? The way consumers buy products and services has evolved, therefore your marketing methods need to evolve too. Plus, blogging allows you to attract the RIGHT clients, not just any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Which would you rather have?
I tried blogging before and it didn’t work
Did you try it for more than 12 months? Were you consistent? Did you write about the things your customers want to know and are searching for? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, it’s worth trying again. You might just need a bit of help and guidance to do it better this time 🙂
I don’t want to give information for free
It may seem counter-intuitive, at first, to give away your knowledge with no guarantee of business in return, but this is how you build trust. If you provide information freely, with no hidden agenda, people will begin to see you as an expert in your field. And an honest and trustworthy person to-boot. The sort of person people want to do business with, and who they’ll recommend to others.
I can’t trust my team to blog on my behalf
As the figurehead, it’s usually best if the business owner can be the one to lend their voice to the company’s online content. But this isn’t always possible (ref. “I don’t have time to blog”), so it’s quite feasible that you would have a team member take on this role. If they lack the expertise to produce the content autonomously, then it can be a collaborative process where you plan the content together and talk it through, for your employee to research and draft the article, before you give the final approval and it is published.
It’s too difficult to get internal sign-off
If you are responsible for marketing as part of a wider team, you may need to get the sign-off of your boss, business partner or directors, for the content you produce. I would suggest getting this review process agreed before you even begin, so that it’s as smooth as possible. I would also ensure that you have buy-in to the whole content marketing concept, from everyone, so that you have the full support of the team to allocate the time and resources necessary to do it well.
We’re in a regulated industry and can’t give generic advice
I can understand this concern, but there are forward-thinking companies out there blogging successfully, in regulated industries like financial services, so there’s no reason why you can’t too. The solution is largely the same as it would be for getting any internal sign-off; get management buy-in and establish efficient approval processes. You may also need to involve your legal or compliance department in the approval process, and be ready to find creative compromises when you come across obstacles. Here is a great article by Mark Schaefer on Harvard Business Review with excellent advice on this topic.
Still not convinced? Here’s Pete Matthew from Meaningful Money Podcast with his thoughts on blogging in a regulated industry.
We don’t want to invite negative feedback
Feedback on your blog posts is a good thing, whether it’s in the comments section of the blog itself, or on social media. It means people have read your content and they are engaged with it. If they disagree with your stance, or dispute the information, then it’s an opportunity to provide further explanation on that issue and demonstrate your expertise further. Responding in a patient, polite and helpful manner also shows good customer service – again, building trust with those who are watching.
Other people in my industry already blog, there’s nothing to add
So your competitors know it all, do they? Your customers choose you because you happen to be in their proximity, do they? No. They choose you because you have something unique to offer. The same goes for blogging. Even if you are providing fairly standard industry information, by injecting your own experiences and personality into the content, you are delivering something that no one else can.
No one else blogs in our industry
Fantastic! This is the perfect opportunity for you to become a leader in your market. Just because no one has done it yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. It just means you are ahead of the curve 😉 Rest assured that people ARE looking for information in your niche. You just need to provide it to them.
Got any more excuses? Throw them at me in the comments! Or just get blogging, up to you 😉
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