When someone says “You need a blog,” do you cringe? Feel guilty because you just haven’t gotten around to setting one up yet? Know that they are right, but you just don’t know what to blog about — and it’s not like you have time to keep up with a blog anyway?
If you feel this way, you aren’t alone. A surprisingly large number of small businesses don’t blog, despite the fact that a blog drives more traffic to websites and helps increase conversions.
The most common reasons for not blogging include:
- Lack of time
- Lack of writing ability
- Lack of something to say
- The perception that no one really cares what you have to say
The fact is, though, that even if you struggle to put together a simple sentence and have every second of the day filled, you can still have a blog.
Quality Over Quantity
The first issue to deal with is the question of time. There is a perception among many would-be bloggers that the only way for a blog to be successful is if it’s updated every day. Some bloggers are that prolific, churning out thought-provoking and inspiring content every single day. The majority of bloggers post more sporadically, with new content appearing every few days, or even just once or twice a week, and they are often no less successful than the daily blogger.
Why? Because they focus on quality. A blog that posts a few high-quality pieces each month is always going to be more valuable to your marketing than a blog that offers poorly written, useless, or irrelevant content.
This doesn’t mean that you can ignore your blog for months, posting sporadically and expecting to build a loyal following. However, it does let you off the hook from creating a masterpiece every day. Remember: Useful content that offers a few key takeaways and actionable ideas is always the best. Think about your customers and the questions they ask you, what concerns them, what makes them happy. Use that to develop blog ideas, and skip the long, complex, jargon-filled posts that put your audience to sleep.
Getting to Work
“Ok,” you say. “So I don’t have to do it every day. But I’m still crunched for time. And I’m not a great writer.” Not to worry. You have options — in particular getting someone else to handle content development for you. For example:
Dedicated Staff Writer
Some businesses opt to hire a writer specifically to handle their blog as well as other writing projects, like white papers, case studies, and press materials.
Pros: If you have a lot of writing tasks, a full-time writer can manage the workload. He or she will also have a better understanding of your brand and style than a freelancer, and be able to create a consistent voice across all of your content.
Cons: Can be expensive. You’ll need to pay salary and benefits.
Asking staff members to write blog posts spreads the work out, and allows for a variety of perspectives.
Pros: Your staff may enjoy the opportunity to be published. You can share multiple aspects of your company with your readers. Staff members are experts in their areas, so your blog will have better content.
Cons: Your staff may be busy too, and not everyone is a great writer.
Pros: Guest writers often bring an audience with them, potentially expanding your reach. They also offer new perspectives that could be compelling to your readers.
Cons: Guest writers may have an agenda that doesn’t match your brand.
Hiring freelancers for specific blog posts can help give you excellent content. You can solicit writers yourself by adding a “Write for Us” page to your site with guidelines, or hire a professional content company to create custom posts for you according to your needs.
Pros: Professionally written content with a fresh perspective.
Cons: Hiring writers yourself can be time-consuming. Cost. You may need to spend some educating writers about your branding and style standards.
Regardless of which approach you choose to develop your blog, the bottom line is that you need to create one. Don’t stress, and look for creative solutions that will allow you to offer quality content that engages your audience and helps build your business.