Much too often I’ve heard excuses from companies about not blogging. “Who has time to blog?” they’ll say. Or, “I’m XX years old, I’m too old to learn how to blog.” Some say that no one in their company can write.
Stop it. Stop the excuses, or to pick up an old phrase from Susan Powter, stop the insanity!
The term “blog” may have strange or negative connotations to some people, but in our eyes it just means creating content on a regular schedule. To be sure, blogging is typically a bit less formal than an “article”, but the lines are blurry.
It’s not that you have to do things a certain way – the main thing is that you just start DOING IT. If you’re not blogging on your company website in some manner or other you’re missing an entire flank of your marketing strategy, and the least expensive one that (typically) delivers the most results at that.
Blogging is cheap, easy and pays huge dividends for years to come. All most customers want is you to talk to them on a human level. BE REAL. Adopt a natural style of writing, as if you were talking to your customers (or potential customers).
When you start writing like this, it’s easy, conversational. It can be very free-flowing. Don’t worry about the end result of your writing until, well, the end. Once you’re done you can edit it – or better yet, let someone else proofread and edit it. Ideally (and especially if you’re in a high-profile company or one with valuable trade secrets) have multiple pairs of eyes check it out.
These editors should be asking not only does it sound good, read well and have all the correct grammar and punctuation – but also if it’s saying too much. They should be asking if this post is revealing something uour competition can use to get a jump on us – or if it’s something negative that can somehow be used against you. (Transparency isn’t about telling people every aspect of your company, it’s merely about telling the truth, being real, not fooling people. You don’t need to get into your quarterly earnings or anything like that.)
But for the most part that sort of thing shouldn’t be a huge concern. The fundamental reason to blog is to TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT (or service). That’s it. That’s all.
It’s really very simple. What do you do as a company? What’s good about your product?
Don’t pitch to people, instead tell them specifically how they can benefit by using what you’re selling. How have you personally benefitted from the product? What are some stories from around the office? What about strange or odd uses of your product you’ve heard clients talk about?
There are a million ideas for you to blog about – you just need to be open to them. Solicit them from co-workers or clients. Look around competitor sites and see what they’re doing.
Blogging needn’t be scary. It’s actually pretty fun once you dive in. (Come on in, the water’s fine!) It’s just you talking about what you’re (hopefully) passionate about.
Who knows your product better than you? Why would you task someone outside the company with writing for you? If you know your service inside and out, then you need to be the one telling your story. No third party can do the job better than you, now matter how good they say they are or how much you pay them.
Well, that’s not EXACTLY true. Working with someone else to help with your content might work out, but nothing is better than you doing it. No one else has the knowledge of your industry like you do. A 3rd party would have to spend years of working hard in the trenches to know all the ins and outs like you do. You’ve seen the battles, the bullets, the blood. You know all the tricks. You know in what ways you’re superior to your competitor and the ways they’re better than you.
So don’t hold back. Tell those war stories. That’s what people want to hear. Those stories are the content that drive people to you. That content is the backbone of your online marketing and identity. No more excuses. Your inbound marketing strategy should have a solid blog at the core of it.