I’m a huge fan of blogging.
Blogging has increased our unique visitors by 624% and our leads by 245% – it’s among the fastest growing inbound marketing channels because it’s one of the most effective ways to attract qualified customers online.
Even though we’re obsessed with blogging (we’re even building a platform to make it easier for you to create engaging posts), we recognize it’s not for everyone.
If you don’t do it right, blogging can be harmful to your business. Not only will you waste resources, you can damage your reputation when you create poor content. And as a small business owner, reputation is everything.
So, here are 3 times when I believe blogging can be harmful to your business.
1. You don’t like writing
If you don’t like writing, don’t blog.
Besides the obvious (you won’t enjoy it), it will be hard to create remarkable posts on an ongoing basis. And you’ll start to feel like this guy…
No Passion = No Readers = No Customers
I love writing.
I’m not talking about poetry or fancy English. I’m talking about using simple words to share a message with my readers. I even get joy from crafting a perfect email – how you say what you say is everything.
But if you don’t like writing, it shows. I cringe when I read posts from people who don’t put thought or passion into them. Their message falls short. And with 3,000,000 new blogs every month, you can’t afford not to stand out.
The hardest part about blogging is writing.
Many of us look at a blank screen, panic, then find another “pressing task to do” that we can’t put off any longer. We don’t feel we’re neglecting our blog, just prioritizing. Since consistency is key to blogging, if you don’t enjoy writing chances are your blog will fade out slowly.
So, what can you do if you don’t like writing but want to blog for your business?
1. Hire a Blogger
Find someone who’s willing to learn about you and your business. Ideally they understand your space, specifically what your customers are looking for and how they communicate online.
You don’t need the best blogger, but you do need someone who writes clearly, is willing to research every post, and can consistently deliver content on the quality you’ve agreed.
If you can’t afford a blogger, you may consider working with an intern – someone studying communications, marketing or PR is ideal. We had great success working with our marketing intern last summer (Dean helped us create the 12 Step Guide To Getting Customers Online), but you must have time to invest in educating and developing interns, as they’re working with you to learn and grow.
If you want to learn more about hiring an intern for your business, read this post.
2. Use Instagram
The goal of a blog is to attract potential customers to your website, so you can build relationships with them and convert them into customers over time.
There are other ways to do this. For example, if you love taking photos you can do the same with Instagram.
Maderas knows a community isn’t about size, but strength. Using Instagram they’ve created a way to share their passion and experiences with people who love what they’re doing. It’s a place online where past guests can stay up to date and remember the good times, and future travellers get excited to book their next stay.
They’re not afraid to share their personalities, and those of their guests – they don’t conform to expectations most hotels believe they need to. And as a result, they’re using social media to grow their business online, without blogging.
And it’s not just eco-friendly villages. Business Insider showed us that engagement from Instagram users is 10x greater than engagement on other platforms. So, if you love photos, why not give Instagram a try?
3. Find Another Medium
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t want to blog – many of us prefer visual media to text.
- Visuals perform better than text
- Photos on Pinterest refer more traffic to websites than Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon
- Videos are shared 12x more than links and text posts (combined) on Facebook
- We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text
- Posts with photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes + 104% more comments
Find another way to build relationships with your customers online.
You might prefer to do video interviews, webinars, infographics, photographs, Twitter chats, or Q+As. Once you know where your customers are online, you can brainstorm ways to create content that you both love, and will continue to love creating and sharing.
2. You don’t want to invest in promoting
I never promoted my posts when I started blogging.
I’m embarrassed to admit that.
I was missing a critical component of our inbound marketing strategy. And it wasn’t until I started promoting that we saw a significant increase in traffic and the number of leads we generated from our blog. Now I have a routine for promoting every post.
Promoting can be easy. But if you’re afraid to reach out online, it’s not.
Your blog is a community. Communities take time to build – it takes roughly 3 to 6 months for inbound marketing to start working and driving prospective clients. During that time you should be building relationships with other experts in your industry (as well as potential customers) to increase your reach. The more influencers you can convert into fans, the better.
It can be intimidating to connect with experts and initiate a relationship. This is why many of us (myself included) don’t do it as much as we should. If you find yourself putting off those emails, phone calls and tweets to start the conversation today, what makes you think you’ll do it tomorrow?
If you aren’t 100% committed to putting yourself out there, there’s little hope your blog will rise above the more than 200,000,000 blogs, and you’ll end up wasting your marketing resources.
So, what can you do to start promoting your posts?
Check out these resources:
- CopyBlogger wrote a fantastic ebook on How To Effectively Promote Your Content
- Unbounce created a checklist that features 12 Things You *Must* do After Writing a New Blog Post
- Follow Step 5 in our Practical Guide To Creating A Blogging Strategy That Actually Works
3. You need customers NOW
Blogging is a long term strategy.
If you need customers today, starting a blog isn’t the solution.
We had the most heartfelt email from a Spokal customer a few weeks ago. She’s starting an online magazine for women, and wanted our honest opinion on how long it would take to grow to a point where she could make a full income from ad revenue.
While creating a blog to earn income is different than using it to attract customers and sell a service you provide, because you need significantly more traffic, the process is still the same. It takes times.
She appreciated our honest feedback, and is making arrangements so she can invest in her online business without needing to earn income from it for the next year. Sadly, some of us turn to blogging too late in the customer acquisition process.
So, what can you do to speed up the inbound marketing process?
- Invest more time building social media channels to increase your reach. Online marketing expert Neil Patel is a huge believer in this – he thinks it’s the ultimate game changer social media brings because now you don’t need to wait months or even years to drive qualified traffic to your website from search engines.
- Invest more time building relationships with experts, which will naturally expand your online reach and increase traffic to your website.
Conclusion: Embrace Content You Love
We love blogging.
It’s one of my favourite channels in the inbound marketing toolbox. And there are others that might fit your strengths and target your customers better.
Especially if you’re marketing to Millennials.
Less of them are using email. So, if you’re trying to get Millennials to read your post in the hopes that they’ll signup for your e-newsletter, it’s a losing proposition. Social is the best way to build relationships with that demographic.
So, are you as obsessed with blogging as we are? What else do you do to build relationships with your customers online?