Why blog?

Summary

How I answer the 3 most common objections that people have to starting a blog.

If you’re an author, musician, visual artist or small business owner, you’ve probably already been told that a blog is one of the ways you can promote what you do. A blog can cement your authority and validate your expertise, help you understand what your audience enjoys, drive traffic to your website, encourage newsletter signups and provide inspiration for newsletter content and social media posts. 

Perhaps they even told you a blog would make you money. 

And yet, blog posts take time and effort. And you need to manage comments, plan the next post and the next and the next…

And I’ll admit it. When it comes to starting a blog, I have been the self-crowned queen of procrastination 👑. Guess what, I’ve finally bitten the bullet. Welcome to my first post in a long, long, long time, I’ve been helping clients with marketing copy for a couple of decades and while many of them create blogs, and newsletters, I’ve been resisting, for reasons I list below.

Today, finally, I’ve started listening to my own advice.  

Why the internet says you should blog

A search of the internet using a question like ‘Why should I blog?‘ will give you search results whose titles tell you there are anything from six to 45 reasons to start a blog!

I’ve waded through a bunch of them for you, and here’s a summary of the top five: 

  1. Build your brand
  2. Connect with your audience (readers for authors, audiences for musicians, visitors for visual arts and customers for small businesses)
  3. Bring traffic to your website 
  4. Make money
  5. Create content that can be reused on social media or to build a mailing list. 

Honestly, I’m exhausted just looking at the list. And the problem is that those answers seem to have a follow-up question of ‘how’? Like ‘How does a blog help you build your brand?’ and ‘How can my blog make money?’ The answers to just those two questions alone are huge, and out of scope for this post (I’ve put them on the roadmap for a future blog though, so watch this space!)

Today, rather than go down that wombat hole I’m going to take a different approach. Instead of telling you why you should blog, I’m going to give you answers to the three top objections my clients (and I) have raised at the idea of blogging. 

Maybe it will help you if you’re thinking about whether you need to be blogging too!

Objection 1: I’m not a writer. I don’t know where to start or what to do. 

Response: You may not think of yourself as a writer, but what you do have is expertise. You’re what’s known as a subject matter expert. There is nobody who knows more about what you create than you do (and this applies whether you’re an author, a musician, a visual artist or a small business owner).   I also know that blog posts don’t need to be perfect. There’s best practice and there’s practice. Holding off in the interests of perfection is not helpful. As long as you’re writing authentically, on subject matter you know forwards and backwards, you’re well on your way. And help is available if you need it. 

Objection 2: I’m a writer. I write all day. I do not need another writing task.

Response: Yep, I’m a writer. And in my case, I write blogs for other people, and I know how to write a blog.  So here’s how I overcame that objection and came to be writing this very post. 

First, I know it doesn’t take that long to write a good blog post if you know your audience and your subject matter 👋. Like any job you do, if you’ve decided that a blog is important—whether for marketing reasons or for fun—you’ll find a way to learn how to do it and make time for it in your mix of marketing activities. 

Second, an indirect benefit – starting my blog made me think really hard about (a) who I’m speaking to and (b) whether I have anything helpful to offer them. I’m here so the answers must be (a) you and (b) I think I do!

Objection 3: I’m already posting regularly on social media. I don’t need a blog. 

Response: Do you remember the great Facebook news ban in February 2021?  If Facebook can block content once, they can do it again. The fact that you’re not the Sydney Morning Herald or The Guardian may not save you,just like it didn’t save the hundreds of Australian non-news organisations affected by that event. Or how about that Instagram outage (pick one) or one of mulitple Twitter hacks?

Social media can be an excellent way to reach people. However, all those wonderful social media channels that you’re using to promote your work, are publishing platforms owned by someone else. When you signed up to them, and read the Terms and conditions (you did, right?) you may have seen that you own the content you post. But what happens if you lose access to the platform?

If you publish the important stuff on your blog first, and support that by posting on social media, you own the core content and if you lose those other channels, you haven’t lost everything.  No biggie. 

And what about a newsletter? Many marketers maintain that a mailing list that you send a newsletter to is more powerful by far than social media, particularly when it comes to launch invitations, voting requests (peoples’ choice and top 101, anyone?). If you’re blogging, you’re creating a swag of newsletter-ready content. All you need to do is post on your blog first… and then use that content wherever you want to.  

In summary 

For ownership reasons alone, a blog is a fantastic way to retain control over your content, no matter what happens on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

If you know your audience and you have a product, service or expertise that you want to share with them, consider starting (or revving up) a blog.