Business owners and marketers are naturally a take-charge bunch. We hate asking for help. But at times, it makes sense to free up time that is better invested elsewhere. Writing blog posts is one task that you might have on your to-do list.
Should it be?
Here are three questions you should answer to decide.
Can you write well?
Blogging requires an ability to hold attention and compel action with the written word. While I believe everyone can blog, not everyone should write their own blog posts.
Here are a couple of signs that you should avoid writing your own posts:
1. Scriptophobia: Yes, there is actually a fear of public writing. You may not have a clinical phobia, but if it takes you weeks to drum up the courage to write 100 words then you should look for help.
2. Hate Reading: The best writers are avid readers. Reading delights writers because a book is a treasure box of writing techniques and phrasing inspiration. I am always inspired to write more and write better when I’m reading literary classics, Pulitzer prize winners, or a good popcorn thriller.
3. Last One to be Picked: People recognize good writing even when they can’t write themselves. Are you on the shortlist of people your friends, families, or co-workers consult for writing advice? Are you asked to write for your business? If you aren’t then you may need to take the hint – that writing isn’t your strong point and you should get help.
Do you have the time?
You may love to write but lack the time to do it. Most business owners and managers can’t reasonably set aside time 2-3 hours to research, write, and edit an original piece of content.
Publishing a weekly blog post will require 2 hours a week. Expect to spend another 1 hour if you are promoting the post as well. That’s 12 hours a month. If you have the time, ask yourself if you should be spending time writing? I have a client that bills their time at $150/hour; spending 12 hours a month would cost her business $1800.00 a month in billable revenue. She decided to outsource her writing to us and stay focused on closing new business.
Do you have topics?
I discovered that writing is different than brainstorming, but you need both for an effective blog. We’ve seen that it often takes a 3rd party to discover the topics that are locked inside a business.
We’ve worked with organizations that swear they don’t have interesting topics to share but are actually sitting on a content gold mine.
Recently we worked with a financial services firm that insisted they had nothing to of interest to share with their audience.
We asked them to send us any outgoing communications for one month. They sent over a few whitepapers that, at first glance, made CSPAN look riveting. Our writing team reviewed it and were able to extract 30 excellent articles. If you are too close to your industry, getting a 2nd pair of eyes can get you moving in the right direction.
Can you be consistent?
Blogging is partly an exercise in creating and sustaining momentum. We’ve observed that in blogging, like most anything else, the most consistently persistent wins. Its not enough to love writing, have time, and have hundreds of topics if you can’t consistently publish a post weekly.
Consistency requires careful planning and dedicated support. A business that publishes 2-3 a week will need a part-time staff person to handle editing, publishing and promotion. Yes, you could do it but you may not have the ability to consistently set aside the time to do it.
I’ve seen very disciplined business owners block 8 hours and write a 6 blog posts, complete with editing, photos, and pre-scheduled social media updates. If that sounds doable then go for it. But most people can’t keep up that pace for more than a few months. So again, be realistic.
You Might Find This Helpful
I’ve added our Blog Post Scheduling Guidelines. This helpful document will show help you with goals and recommendations for each step of your blog writing process.
You will find the Guidelines in the Content Toolbox under the Checklists section. Click here register for free access to the Content Toolbox