For some people, a flashing cursor on a blank page is like a castle wall surrounded by a legion of dragons who’ve all formed a supper club with an acute taste for all things human flesh: there’s just no getting past it. And so people come up with all kinds of reasons for not having to face the blinking beast.
It’s no surprise, then, that to many companies and organizations, blogging seems more like a painful chore than a useful tool. It’s also not news to say that blogging has had a profound effect on the way we interact with brands and media, and there’s a lot to be said about the value blogging provides for businesses. But it all starts with addressing a few mental hurdles.
1. “I’m not a writer.”
While most people can pull together a paragraph just fine, not everyone can do the kind of triple-threat writing that’s useful, engaging, and memorable. But everyone has a story to tell, and everyone knows someone who knows somebody who writes. So even if you’re not the one at the keyboard, you can find that person who can take your expertise, your opinions, and your voice and turn them into blog posts that work for you. Schedule regular meetings with your writer so you can talk out loud about what’s new and what ideas you want to put out there, and establish an editorial process for feedback.
2. “I don’t know what to blog about.”
Without taking time to consider your audience and develop a content strategy, not knowing what to write is a pretty sizeable roadblock in the blogging process. So first, identify who your audience is—who is it you picture in your head in your writing? From there, determine where your content “sweet spot” is (see below!), and then brainstorm a bank of topics that fill that criteria.
3. “I don’t like talking about myself.”
We encounter quite a few clients who struggle with this. They’re an amazing, modest group of successful people who’d rather work hard than talk about how they’ve worked hard. And that’s fine. Because if you can turn the spotlight on the successes of your clients, your partners, or your employees, you not only tell a more interesting story, you tell a story to a wider audience. You’ll relieve them of burden of talking about themselves, too, and they, in turn, can talk about you.
4. “I don’t know how to internet.”
Content management systems—used for editing and publishing blog posts—have come a long way, and many of them are no more difficult to use than writing an email. You can even create individual user accounts for the people you trust to help you write the blog, and you can collaborate on edits and feedback. WordPress is the popular favorite, butGhost is an up-and-comer worth looking into.
5. “I don’t have the time.”
It’s true. Blogging—good blogging—takes time. But it also creates tremendous opportunities. Each blog post is another reason for your audience to visit your website, if not another reason to hire you. Blog posts are ideal for sharing on your social media channels and in your newsletters, and they also fit nicely into conversations, too. When you have your own content, you can direct people like potential clients or even new employees to an established record of your work and your ideas.
Your blog becomes a vehicle for your brand, extending your voice, expertise, and authority into wider circles of people who share your interests but may not be actively looking for your services—yet. Like any kind of marketing, it’s an investment, one that takes time, planning, and a little mental pep talk.