When I was a kid all I wanted to be was a writer, or at least something that allowed me to do a lot of writing. I was the person that handed my English assignments in early and eagerly awaited the markup. Little did I know back then that writing would become a daily task for me, and by task I mean, TASK. After all, a content marketer wasn’t a “thing” people aspired to be when I was in high school.
When I first started blogging I thought it was the bees knees. It was seriously the best thing ever. An outlet to tell stories AND attract new business. While I’ve seen great successes with blogging, like a 700% increase in traffic over a month or a blog moving from total obscurity to one of the top referrers of new visitors to a sign up page, I know that blogging isn’t for everyone.
Blogging sucks (for some people) for a few reasons:
- You need to blog consistently, whether you feel inspired or not.
- On the days when you don’t feel inspired it can be mega time consuming.
- Not everyone feels comfortable with writing, and that’s totally OK.
- Your content needs to be interesting enough to attract readers and (even better) coax them into sharing with more readers.
- There is A LOT of content out there. Like a gabazillion blog posts a day or something floating around the twitterverse, and yours is fighting for it’s life like some poor guy that got put in the wrong UFC weight class.
- Hello? Is anyone out there? Bueller?
Now, I blog for other people and businesses, and it’s great, but occasionally I have a client ask me if they should start a blog and I’m forced to say no. Not that I think it’s all bad. I don’t think that at all, or I wouldn’t be writing about this, but I think there are a number of factors that will contribute to whether or not your company should have a blog. Here are some of the reasons you should consider it:
- Does your industry change on a regular basis, constantly improving upon itself? Seems like a good reason to blog.
- Would you consider yourself an expert in your field with lots of information to share with a targeted audience? OK, start a blog.
- Do you work with lots of interesting people that you can tell stories about? Yup, that’s blog worthy.
- Can you show photos of your work, people you work with, etc? Oooooo pretty pictures = Start a blog.
I’ve found that the success of a blog hinges on a few important things. Blogs need to either capture the reader with stories and topics they can relate to or with information that is genuinely useful to them. That’s why most blogs have an educational purpose or do things like talk about life’s missteps and hilarity (mom bloggers, anyone?).
So, if you’ve gathered by now that blogging isn’t worth your time and energy, don’t fear, there are alternatives in and beyond the content marketing game.
- If you have periodic news to share with your customers set up a “Press” or “News” page where you can post announcements, then follow that up with an email to your mailing list directing them to that page every time something important comes up.
- Write expert posts for larger online publications that accept submissions in your area of expertise. This way you could submit a post every couple of months and not have to worry about blogging every single week.
- Do press releases for the most important stuff. Try something like Press Rush, Press Friendly, or Buzzstream to send your press releases to a targeted group of journalists and get them to do the writing.
- Network! Offline and online. It does your business good to get out and meet people and tell them about what you do. Sometimes a face to face conversation with one person is exponentially more effective than a blog post broadcasted to a wide audience.
So, if you’re playing the content marketing game and it’s not working as well as you’d like it to, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your methods. After all, no two businesses are totally the same, and what works for one may be a waste of time for another. If you want to find out where your business should be focusing it’s efforts, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help you answer that question.