As my month of experimenting with list posts draws to a close, I find myself thinking about blogging and all the work I put into it. I think about the work my clients put into blogging. And it is work. I blog nearly every day, at least five days a week, and it’s no surprise I strongly believe in blogging and the benefits it brings. But not everyone agrees. Quite often when I meet with a client, prospective client, or am speaking to a group of business owners, I hear a number of objections as to why they won’t, or can’t, blog.
As a result, I’ve gotten pretty good at responding to those objections. Let me just state that when I respond to these objections in person, it takes on an entirely different tone, and there is a conversation with give and take, not just my response. And as you read these, not only will you recognize these objections, but you’ll understand that most of them are merely variations on a theme. They are all connected in some way.
1. I don’t think blogging works
And of course, there’s the cousin of this, “Blogging is too much work for too little payoff.” First off, define what you mean when you say “work.” How do you define when something works? If it’s a machine, it turns on and does its intended task. Voila! It works. But the notion that blogging doesn’t work, is usually a mindset issue. What they generally mean is that it doesn’t work fast enough; you can’t see the results overnight. Exactly. But you are building something powerful that will pay dividends in the long run. You are creating a strong body of work online that will show your customers you know what you are talking about, and can be trusted. More importantly, even if the proverbial “no one” reads your blog, or comments on it, you are getting something even better. You are creating content and updating your website in ways that keeps those Google spiders happy, and will be your best SEO friend for a long time to come.
Remember: Your customers are spending more time online, and they are using the internet more often to research you and other businesses. A strong blog goes a long way in placing you higher in search engine results, and in front of more eyes. Blogging works. Just not in the sense of driving thousands of customers through your doors tomorrow. Building a strong, positive reputation goes a long way in making your business sustainable over the long haul.
2. I don’t have time
This might be the objection I hear the most. And it’s understandable. After all, many of the people I work with are overworked and understaffed. Small businesses and nonprofits with just a few people. In some cases, it might be a business of one. The thought of adding blogging to your already busy 16 hour days might seem daunting. But there are a few issues here. First, if in fact you believe that blogging is important, and that it can work for you, you’ll make time for it. More on priorities in the next point. Perhaps you’ll be clearing away time that you are spending on other things that aren’t as productive. I’d bet that many of you are doing things during your work day and week just because you’ve always one them. Now is a good time to reevaluate what you do in a normal day or week, and see if there are some things that you can cut out, or even reduce, clearing away time for blogging.
And then there’s the issue of how much time blogging really takes. I blog nearly every day, but would never expect my clients to do that. At least not at first. A few points about the time it takes to write a blog post:
- Blog posts can be short, perhaps 300-500 words
- One blog post a week is a great start
- You can take advantage of guest bloggers
Think about it: 52 short blog posts a year, some of which are written by other people. Suddenly it becomes much more manageable.
3. I can’t afford it
This is the kissing cousin to “I don’t have time.” After all, time is money. For some, it’s a matter of financial expenditure. Putting a blog on your website could cost something in terms of getting your web designer to either add the blog, or for some of my clients, having to get an entirely new site, complete with a blog. That costs money. Often that money isn’t readily available. But I go back to my argument in the first point, that if it’s important, and you believe it is worth it, you will spend the money. I am continually surprised at how many businesses either have no website, or a really bad website that they can’t update.
I don’t mean to sound snarky, but hey, this is 2013 folks. If you’re not online, with a strong presence, there’s a good chance you’ll suffer. You can’t NOT afford to be online, and blogging is a big part of that. Even if you have to pay someone to do it for you. If you don’t believe me, I’d love to sit down and chat through the scenarios with you. It’s not a matter of spending the money; it’s a matter of when and how you spend the money.
4. I’m not a writer
You’re a business person; a manager. Your job is not about writing, so I get that. Many of us aren’t writers, or at least don’t think we are. Writing comes easier to some than it does to others. But again, there are options. I have one client who sends me notes or sits down and chats with me about ideas and concepts. In about five or ten minutes (see! It doesn’t take too much time!) I get all I need to write quality posts that help her business build a strong online presence that both her customers and the search engines like.
Add to this that blogging isn’t just about you writing content. Remember, in the second point I mentioned guest bloggers? Guest bloggers can be a huge help in creating content for your blog, and they can be your employees, customers, or representatives of other businesses.
Finally, not all blogs require a lot of writing. Maybe you can sit down in front of a video camera and speak, with or without notes, for one or two minutes. That’s all it takes, plus you get the added bonus of a presence on YouTube that links to your blog or vlog. Or in some cases, a series of pictures with a minimal amount of text will do. A lot depends on what make sense for you and your business, and what you are comfortable with. But certainly don’t be intimidated by the prospect of having to write a lot if you aren’t comfortable as a writer.
One final note: I know a lot of people who say they can’t write, but actually can. Give it a chance and find your voice. You might be surprised. I’ll often sit down with a client and help them write a few blog posts that might ever get published, just to show them that they can do it.
5. I have nothing to write about/nothing to say
Pish posh! (Said in my best British accent). You have a business or nonprofit. I’m assuming you love what you do (or did love it at one time) and are passionate about it. I hope that you are still excited about telling people about your business and what you do; the products and services that you offer. I’d bet that if I sat in your office or business for a few hours, and listened and observed, I’d be able to come up with a full year’s worth of blog post ideas for you. Might not even take that long. You probably spend a lot of time educating your customers and potential clients about what you do. That’s exactly the kind of things you write about on a blog. You might have what some would consider to be the most boring business in the world, but people still come to you and have questions, which you answer.
Take that passion, and the love for your business, and turn it into content for the web via your blog.
And like I said earlier, even if you think it’s boring and no one ever stops by and reads it or comments, don’t fret. That might not be the real value of your blog. Worst case scenario: you are creating content that Google loves and will help you with search engine optimization. That, in and of itself, is huge.
I could certainly go on and on about all of these, and would even welcome the chance to sit down and discuss them further with you if you have questions.
Are any of these objections the ones that you have? What other objections do you have, or have you heard, and how would you answer those objections?
Tomorrow on the blog I’ll be summing up my findings from my experiment in using list posts, particularly lists of 5, for the entire month of May. I discovered a few interesting things as you consider whether or not to use list posts on your blog.