A lot of us hate to write. There is already so much to write - emails, messages, documents, contracts, instructions, what not. Add to this the chaos that we all got used to in our Entrepreneurial lives where everyone around has a right to disturb us and ask for things. Is it even reasonable to expect an Entrepreneur to take time out for writing? Is it even worth doing it? Let’s find out.
When it comes to having a website for your business, it is sort of default to include a blog. In the excitement of having launched the website, or for another reason you come up with the initial posts and launch your blog. Over time, the excitement dies down and reality of everyday To Dos takes over. Once in a while you look at that Blog section of your website and tell yourself you are going to keep it alive. So you write a post or two and it ends there.
One day you attend an online marketing event from this genius and he tells everyone how important content marketing is, and how your competition is beating you to death by generating tons of valuable content that your customers are drooling over. Heck , even you like what they write and can’t fathom the fact that you are left behind in the race. So you decide to spend money and hire a writer from a freelancing website like UpWork, or Fiverr. You pay for a couple of articles and soon realize they don’t have the soul in them, if at all they had something of value in them in the first place. You stop funding the gig and move on.
You give up on content marketing and instead focus on spending on Ads, getting an SEO consultant to help you with rankings, or even go for some paid social media campaigns. In a few months you realize your customer acquisition costs (CAC) is only going north and ask your friends in marketing for help. Unsurprisingly, they recommend content marketing and tell you there is no alternative to it when to comes to 1. Reducing your CAC and 2. Improve conversion and customer loyalty.
Where do you go from here? Definitely not to some marketing black magicians. Not even that friend of yours who could “pay for” a few thousands of likes on Facebook. By now you know these black hat tactics do more harm than good.
Sounds simpler than reality of course, but there are no shortcuts here. Often times we are fighting our innate resistance to writing by throwing excuses about not having time, lack of motivation etc. However, we know these are mere excuses. When it comes to building a narrative about your business, no one comes closer to doing a good job than you. It is because you carry the passion about what you are building and that brings in an emotion that is simply impossible to produce by an outsider.
People don’t read for just knowledge, they read when a piece of content resonates with them. That resonance is an outcome of you believing in your narrative to the fullest. So, stop those excuses and get to writing.
Agreed, it will be difficult initially. We all face the writers’ block, we don’t find topics to write about and when we do, we don’t feel for them enough to carry through. Surprisingly, these are problems faced by even the most seasoned bloggers. So we are no different. Face it and move on. There will be times when you feel your writing is flowing and there will be times that make it impossible for you to type a sentence. Sticking to it let’s you win over the excuses and contribute in a big way.
Obviously you have a number of responsibilities to juggle and that leaves little time for writing. You do your best and turn out a post or two a month. Unfortunately, that may not be enough to keep your audience engaged. A good option to try in such cases is to have your team lend a hand. They could write on the areas that they are passionate about and feel for - without these there is no point in churning out tons of posts, no one is going to connect with them. Offer them an incentive to write (definitely not monetary), and instill a purpose that drives their writing - ideally a cause that they feel for. Vet the posts for sanity and give a go ahead.
Another way to keep your blog machine going strong is to invite thought leaders and industry experts (look around and you will find some) to write on your company blog. Invite them for a talk, an interview and get the whole thing videotaped, and then transcribed. That works great too. Generally these influencers (as they are famously called) are not looking for money or anything in kind for doing these, but you can’t leave them empty handed when they return. Shower your appreciation in some way that connects with them. Could be tickets to a show, or subscription to a service, even a pack of books that they value dearly.
If you have a content manager on your team, you shouldn’t worry about this, but for the rest of us here is a tip. Content ages, and it ages quite fast. Depending on what you are writing on, old content could start stinking in as early as Six months. Assuming the piece did well in its early days, chances are it still ranks in search. You would be smart to take that content and give it a refreshing touch to make sure it stays relevant even today. People highly value freshness of content as they are worried it may not be applicable as of now. There are exceptions to this, but it doesn’t hurt to review all the pieces of content that performed reasonably well for you.
This is a bit odd, and also difficult. We are all opinionated and at times feel strongly about what we believe. We leave little room for changing our view when we write with all passion and emotion. However, we learn with time and change our views. Not bad for someone who is open enough to a fresh perspective. What about your content? Does it have to stay as is? What if you no longer like to support your earlier stand and wish to change it. Sure, you can do so without having to remove or rewrite your posts. You may leave the original post as is, and add an update or two about what changed since you wrote it. Explain the rationale behind your change in view and offer examples or cases supporting it. Believe it or not, people respect you even more for making such admissions.
Hope that was convincing enough for you to take to writing, or get back to it if you gave it a pause. Share your experiences and please encourage your Founder friends too. Tell them how you are looking forward to reading their posts, just the way I’m looking forward to reading what you write.
You may write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that was useful. Please share your thoughts in the comments and let’s make this conversation useful for all of us.