Blogs are not only an easy and cost-effective form of content marketing, they also help you:
- Build brand awareness
- Increase social media engagement
- Improve search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Build relationships with potential and existing clients
- Establish yourself as an expert
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Generate leads
Despite all the advantages a blog can provide, many business owners are still making excuses for not having a blog.
In this article, I’m taking ten of the most common excuses and busting them wide open, leaving you no reason not to get started. Here’s what I’ll be covering:
- I don’t know what a blog is
- I don’t have a website
- I don’t know how to write a blog
- I don’t get many website visitors, so there’s no point having a blog
- It takes too long to get results
- Nobody reads blog posts
- I don’t feel confident enough to blog
- I don’t know what to blog about
- I used to do it but didn’t get results
- I don’t have time
Excuse #1: “I don’t know what a blog is“
Blogs originally started out as online diaries. People would share their experiences, thoughts and opinions, creating a log of their activity on the world wide web – a weblog. The word ‘weblog’ got shortened and we ended up with the word ‘blog’.
As the internet evolved, websites evolved, and blogging evolved. People quickly realised that blogs could be used to make money and/or as an effective marketing tool.
These days, there are many types of blog. Some people still blog just for fun. Others make money through advertising revenue and affiliate links. And some blogs (like this one) are used as a marketing tool for the business they are attached to.
Blog posts used to be short, informal posts each written by the blog owner, but these days, the definition is far less clear.
Blogs can have multiple contributors, and the style, length and frequency varies.
A blog can be made up of short posts or long articles, text content or video (also known as vlogs). Posts can be educational, entertaining, informative. They can include reviews, case studies, top tips, advice, guides, news, warnings, opinions – they can include whatever you want.
Think of your blog as an online magazine – you are in charge of the content.
You can choose what your magazine includes, how frequently you add content, and what style and format your content takes. The important thing is making sure that the content appeals to your intended readers – the people you want to do business with.
Excuse #2: “I don’t have a website“
Having a company website is hugely beneficial – it’s like having an online shop. Even if you don’t sell physical products, potential clients will still want to visit and find out more about who you are and what you do.
However, if you really don’t want a website, you can still have a blog.
Platforms such as WordPress allow you to start a blog using very simple templates. You have your own domain name which you can link to from anywhere. All you need to do is add the content.
If that still feels like too much work, you can use a platform such as Medium, where you set up a profile and then add articles. You can then link back to these articles from other social media platforms.
If you’d prefer something you’re already familiar with, you can simply add your blog posts to an existing social media page, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. You can still share great content; it just won’t be as easy for readers to find older posts, and you have less control over the format.
Excuse #3: “I don’t know how to write a blog“
The good news is that there really is no right or wrong way to write a post.
Blog posts can be in a wide range of styles and formats. They can be long or short, and you can post as frequently as you like.
As I said earlier, think of it like a magazine, and you get to decide how that magazine is designed.
When it comes to actually writing your blog post, you need to find a process that works for you.
Some people start at the beginning, while others like to start with bullet points and then build on them one at a time. Some people write a blog post in one go and come back to edit it later. Others prefer to write a little bit each day and then edit it at the end.
Try a few different approaches until you find a process that works.
The one thing I would recommend is to leave your post overnight between writing and editing. Even if you think your first draft is pretty good, coming back to it with fresh eyes will help you perfect it.
If you’re really struggling to get started, check out my online Blogging for Business course. Nine modules to help you build a strategy, generate ideas and teach you how to create engaging posts.
Excuse #4: “I don’t get many website visitors, so there’s no point having a blog“
This excuse is one of the most frustrating because if you had more content on your site, you’d probably get more visitors.
Not only will adding regular content help with SEO, but it also gives people a reason to keep coming back to your website.
Potential clients are more likely to click on a link to a useful, interesting blog post than on an advert linking to your website home page.
Even if people don’t click through to the full blog post every time, they will see you sharing blog posts regularly across your social media pages. This tells them that you are an expert in your industry and that you’re the type of company that is always trying to help people by providing useful content.
Excuse #5: “It takes too long to get results“
Imagine if we applied this thinking to diet and exercise – we’d never tone up, get fit or lose weight!
It’s true that content marketing is a longer-term strategy for winning business, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Content marketing builds trust, attracts new business and keeps you in the minds of previous and current customers.
Excuse #6: “Nobody reads blog posts“
Not true – you’re reading this one.
People will read blog posts, articles and even entire books on a subject if it is of interest to them.
As long as your blog posts are adding value in some way, you will get readers. You might not get millions of readers, and it might take a while to build up a following, but you will get readers.
Plus, by adding regular content to your blog, you’ll be improving your SEO. And every time you share links to your blog on social media, you’ll be reminding your customers that you’re there.
If you are really sceptical about written content, then why not create video blogs instead. Better still, try a combination of both. Check out my article on video versus text, to find out why both are important.
Excuse #7: “I don’t feel confident enough to blog“
Perhaps you don’t feel confident enough to blog, and this is usually down to one of two things:
- Feeling like an imposter – you don’t consider yourself to be enough of an expert to blog about your industry.
- Lack of confidence in your writing ability – you struggle with written communication.
Let’s address these two things, one by one.
Firstly – your expertise. Quite often, the reason we don’t feel like experts is that we are so close to the thing we are experts in. We read about it every day, we talk about it every day, and we do it every day. We talk about our industry or specialism so much that it starts to feel obvious and we start to believe that everyone knows about it already.
But that’s not the case. There are always going to be people out there who have no knowledge or very little knowledge about the subject that you are an expert in. And they are the people that you can reach with your blog.
You are not writing your blog for people that know what you know – you’re writing your blog for people who need your help.
Secondly – writing ability. It can be daunting sharing your thoughts and opinions with the world, especially if you aren’t comfortable in your writing abilities.
And it’s quite possible that not everyone will like your writing style, but that doesn’t matter. You don’t need everyone to like it, you just need your target audience to like it. So, think about the people you are writing for as you write. What would interest them? What language would they relate to?
It’s also worth remembering that you won’t get millions of new blog readers the minute you share a post. In fact, unless you let people know it’s there, very few people will find it. This means you can build your confidence slowly.
Start by putting a blog post on your site, but not promoting it. Once you get used to it being there, you can share the link with people you trust and ask them for feedback. After a while, you might feel confident sharing the link across all your social media channels.
As your engagement increases and you start to get likes and shares, your confidence will increase too.
If you struggle with spelling, punctuation or grammar, ask someone to check over your posts before you publish them or use free proofreading software such as Grammarly. If you really don’t feel comfortable writing yourself, you can always consider outsourcing your blogs.
Don’t let your confidence (or lack of it) hold you back. You are an expert, and people want to hear what you’ve got to say, even if your punctuation isn’t perfect.
Excuse #8: “I don’t know what to blog about“
This is a really simple excuse to overcome because there are hundreds of things you can blog about.
Ideas are around us all the time – you can do reviews, case studies, interviews, meet the team profiles, advice, guides, top tips, industry news, opinions, predictions and so on.
If you are really struggling to get started, I recommend using the questions you get asked the most. What advice do clients ask you for? What questions come up regularly in meetings? Have you done a presentation recently – were there any questions afterwards?
Think about the things you get asked or the things you talk about every day and turn these into blog posts.
Don’t worry if other people in your industry are blogging about the same topics. Other people probably offer the same products or services as you, but it doesn’t stop you from offering them too. Isn’t it better that some people get their information from your blog posts, rather than everyone getting it from your competitors? Perhaps you can put a different spin on the subject or add something extra.
Top tip: Inspiration can strike at any time, so if someone asks a question that you think would make a great blog post, or you get an idea while you’re out and about, write it down straight away.
Note down blog ideas in the back of your diary, put a memo in your phone or send yourself an email.
When it comes to writing your blog posts, you’ll find it much easier if you have a bank of ideas ready to go, rather than starting with a completely blank page.
Excuse #9: “I used to do it but didn’t get results“
It’s understandable that you might be sceptical about blogging if you’ve tried it before and not seen any obvious results. However, if you work out what the problem was, then you might get a different outcome next time around.
Your lack of results might be because:
You didn’t have a strategy – unless you know what you want to achieve, how to achieve this, and what to measure, how do you know if you are getting results?
You didn’t promote or share your posts – simply writing a blog post and sticking it on your website isn’t enough. You’ve got to let people know it’s there.
You didn’t give it long enough – as I mentioned earlier in this article, content marketing is a longer-term strategy. Maybe you didn’t give it long enough to see results.
You didn’t choose subjects that appeal to your target audience – your blog should be written with your target audience in mind. Think about the content that they will find valuable, rather than just writing about what interests you.
Your style wasn’t right for your audience – use language that your readers can relate to and write in a conversational tone.
You didn’t measure the right things – sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you’re getting results if you don’t know what to measure. Your blog might have been the reason a new customer visited your website in the first place, or it could have been the thing that converted them from a visitor to a customer. Unless you check your analytics and understand what is attracting new business, you won’t know which of your marketing efforts are generating results.
It wasn’t the right time – there were other marketing elements you needed to work on first – sometimes we focus on things in the wrong order. Your blog might have been fantastic, but just didn’t get the reach because you needed to build a bigger social media following first. Or perhaps you were driving traffic to your site, but the copy wasn’t strong enough to turn visitors into customers.
Your blog should support your overall marketing strategy and vice versa. If you want your blog to get results, then you need a good strategy, and you need to measure the right things.
Excuse #10: “I don’t have time“
Even just one hour a week is enough time to create a quality monthly blog post.
Here’s how you could break it down:
Week one: Planning & researching – research any facts and figures, plan the structure of your post and get the skeleton in place.
Week two: Writing – don’t worry about getting it perfect at this stage, just build on your notes and write the main bulk of your post.
Week three: Editing – tweak your post, check for obvious mistakes and perfect what you want to say. Cut the waffle and make your points concise.
Week four: Proofreading and publishing – give your post a final proofread. I recommend reading out loud, using a screen reader or getting someone else to check it for you. Then it’s time for your post to go live.
Repeat this process every month, and you’ll have a monthly blog post. Easy!
Need some help?
If you need help with anything content or copy related, book a 90 minute consultation with me. I can help you generate ideas, plan a strategy or teach you some copywriting techniques.
Find out more here or book now for only £150 (inc vat).
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