I tell all my clients and readers to start a blog if they haven’t already. The reason is simple: blogs are great. They do so much for your business. They help you build authority and credibility. They help you call out your ideal audience and speak to them in a way that truly resonates with them. They allow you to get in touch with them.
They help you differentiate yourself from the competition. They even help you rank on search engines. But I don’t always get an enthusiastic response from them. In fact, most of the time I am met with dubious silence.
Upon further prodding, they reluctantly open up and start citing all these reasons why they can’t do this. By now I have the pleasure of knowing every single excuse they come up with.
So I thought it would be handy to compile them into a list. In case you have been toying with the idea of starting a blog but haven’t been able to take action on it, you can read through and see what you identify with. And then bust that belief.
Let’s get started!
#1 I don’t know if I even need a blog
This is the first excuse people come up with. Maybe I don’t really need a blog. This excuse stems from the fact that people are not clear on what blogging actually does. They don’t know its benefits and hence they are not motivated to do it. If that is the case then let me tell you why.
When you write a blog you are actually using content marketing. But this statement alone isn’t very helpful, is it? So let’s dig a little deeper. People usually don’t buy something the first time they see it or the brand who sells it. They need to have multiple exposures to it. People also are busy creatures. They see things and they forget. They see a website, see something they like and they think to themselves they’ll come back. Good intentions aside, they don’t, because that’s how it is.
- You need to capture their attention and their email address. And the best way to capture their email address is to offer a freebie on your blog and a promise of helpful content in the future.
- You then publish content regularly and keep these people on your list ‘warm’, meaning keeping yourself ‘top of mind’. You email them regularly letting them know that new content is up and send them a link.
- Your readers get used to hearing from you, clicking your links, increase their trust in you and also help spread the word about you by sharing your content on social media platforms.
- You thus attract new people using your existing content, hence the term ‘content marketing’.
#2 I am not a good writer
This has to be one of the biggest reasons that hold people back. I am not a great writer. Thinking of blogging brings up memories of their high school English class where their essays usually came back covered in red ink. They might even been gently told that they don’t have the talent to become a writer.
But this is the thing. You don’t need to be an excellent writer necessarily to run a successful business blog. You don’t need skills to write the next best-selling novel or win a Pulitzer Prize.
What you do need to master is clear communication skills? You do need to be able to express your ideas in a way that your target audience understands you, your passion and your intention. Your blog is the best free marketing tool you have. If you can talk to somebody and help them with their problem. If you can make them feel better, inspire them to take action and take them through the process, you can write a blog.
Blogs are conversational. They are not literary pieces. They do have a structure and ideal practices that you can easily grasp. Believe me, the actual writing part is not that hard.
#3 I don’t have the time
You are a busy, busy small business owner and people are telling you to blog? I get it.
You simply don’t have the time to write a blog post every day. It is simply too time consuming. As it is you are struggling to check off items on your to-do list, how could you possibly add one more thing? But what if you don’t need to spend hours creating content? What if I told you, you don’t need to write every single day, would it make a difference?
You might be confusing your business blog with sites like Huffington Post, Mashable or Forbes. These are essentially news sites and while they publish multiple pieces of content on any given day, these so-called blogs are run by a team of people. Their business model is also different (they raise most of their revenue through advertising display).
You are different. You don’t have a team of people creating content for you. You are selling products or services. Blog content serves a different purpose for you. It pre-sells your offerings and keeps your list warm. And this is why you don’t need to publish every day or even multiple times per week. I highly recommend once a week but if you are really hard-pressed, start with twice a month.
#4 I have nothing to say
You might be thinking why start a blog when you have nothing to say, right?
I’d like to challenge you on your thinking. What makes you think you have nothing to say? Is it because you don’t talk much in real life? Is it because you don’t journal? Is it because you have never written a letter to the editor of a newspaper?
Believe me, coming up with blogging ideas is quite different to say – coming up with topics for a magazine. Your business blog is here to attract your ideal audience. To establish you as an authority and trust worthy person. To create a personal connection and to take your people up on the ‘awareness ladder’.
Once you truly understand the goals, and begin to write with the end in mind, you eliminate this problem. You get the different types of content you need for your blog.
You need foundational content where you need to educate people. You need content to build your credibility and rapport. Lastly, you need content which introduces the need for your offerings. When you understand the types of content you need, you never complain about lack of ideas.
You also need a system for generating and capturing ideas. I suggest you start bookmarking blog posts you love to Evernote. Read any posts that make you furious? Read any that make you feel you can do a much better job at? Add those in a separate folder.
Brainstorm your own list of ideas – you’ll be surprised what you come up with.
#5 I am not a technical person
This problem seems to affect more of the wanna-be entrepreneurs – people who want to monetize their passions. These people are scared to take up blogging because they are forever stuck on the first step.Getting a domain and hosting, installing wordpress, theme and plugin (Or squarespace or any other platform).
I am not a techy person and trust me when I say this. This is the least of your problems. This is a once-off job you can outsource easily. Hire someone to do this for you or walk you through it. Build a relationship with someone who you can trust because you might need ongoing help for updating plugins and generating backups.
#6 I don’t have the money
People think that they need a lot of money to run a successful blog. They feel they need to spend thousands of dollars on design. They suspect they need money to buy expensive software and plugins. They think they need money to purchase high quality photos for their blog posts.
I’ll be honest. You can certainly do all these things. You can hire an expensive designer, buy all the software you need and purchase premium photos. But you don’t have to.
If you already have a website, all you do is to install a blog (you can easily ask your developer to do this). There are some very affordable email building service providers and you don’t need any expensive software. There are plenty of sites that offer great photos for free. Just do a Google search and you will find tons.
If you don’t have a website, you need a domain name, hosting and wordpress and a professional looking theme. You don’t need a lot. In fact not having large sums of money to invest in ads is the number one reason why you should blog. Instead of spending money, you should be spending time building your email list.
You publish highly valuable content that is brings people to your products and services. You engage in content marketing.
#7 I don’t have what it takes to become famous
This one frustrates me to no end. When people say they don’t want to become popular. Well, nobody is asking you to. (Psst .. all the celebrity bloggers didn’t start out by wishing to become famous. It happened along the way, and if it happens for you then good on you but no, this is not a requirement for blogging for your business.)
Don’t confuse blogging with blogging for business. In the former case, you start your blog with a goal of building a large size audience and you monetize the blog by publishing sponsored content, displaying advertising or running joint promotions.
When you blog for business, your sole focus is on building your email list. As a life coach, career coach, jewellery maker, astrologer, kinesiologist or a website designer – no, you don’t have to become popular.
#8 It won’t work in my industry
Okay, so this one might be true. Not every business’s target audience hangs online. Not every prospect is reading blogs, although some people read an article without even realizing it’s a blog post.
But the only way to be sure is to test it. You don’t even have to call it a blog. Call it editor’s notes, articles or resources. Publish content and see whether people are clicking and/or sharing. You never know, you might become a pioneer in your industry.
#9 Why would anyone read my blog?
This one is a biggie. This has more to do with your mindset than anything else.
You might be wondering there are already thousands of blogs on your topic. Why should you start one? Why would anyone read yours? Well, think about this in this way. What would happen if the next Kate Perry said to herself, ‘there are so many pop princesses already, I’d better not record my album’. Or the person to open an Italian restaurant says why bother.
This is the thing. People don’t read and follow one single, most popular blog on a topic. They follow many. Each blogger has a different style, personality and perspective. They don’t necessarily want information, they follow a blogger because they like them, and want to be just like them.
You don’t listen to only one singer – you listen to many. Even within the same genre, you love somebody while you can’t stand somebody else.
Speaking of Italian restaurants, I don’t know about you but I am forever looking for new places to discover. No matter how much I love one place, let’s face it, who wants to eat at the same place all the time?
So there you have it.
These are the biggest excuses that keep small business owners from starting a blog. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t offer one (or more) of those excuses when I suggest they start a blog. They think it’s too much effort for nothing. They feel the ROI is not enough to justify spending all this time, effort and sweat into it. But now you know better.
If you haven’t started one, ask yourself why and bust these myths one by one. I know you can do this, and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!