Over the past few weeks of Camp, we've heard from a number of campers, for a number of reasons, that they just CAN'T start blogging. I've taken some examples of the reasons your fellow campers have mentioned, and provided some guidance (what good is going to camp without getting some advice from your counselors?)
1. I'm not a good writer: Yes your are! Stop stressing and overthinking this, you are great! Blogging is the easiest and best way to write... ever. You don't have to take a quill and dip it in ink, and wait for it to dry. You don't have a time limit, a word minimum or maximim, or a randomly selected topic you don't understand...it's all in your hands! Don't put pressure on yourself to be Hemmingway.
What counts is that you are creating compelling, relevant content. We are so used to being critiqued when we write, that many shy away from putting their name on something for fear of feedback and criticism. You are not blogging for a grade or a Pulitzer Prize. You are blogging for more visitors, leads and customers - so just do it. The more often you blog, the more comfortable you will be, and the more confidence you will have in your writing
2. I don't have anything interesting to write about:
"I sell/make/provide something WICKED niche/hard to write about/boring...I can't blog". Sure you can! Sometimes, what you do at your job becomes so second nature to you, it is hard to see the value of your own expertise and domain knowledge within your industry. Grab a pen, and draw out a quick map like the one below and brainstorm all of the great things you know about your product, industry or company.
A big no-no is to just talk about yourself, so take a look at some of these key areas to help you think outside the box (well, in this case, the circle) about the knowledge you can share with your target audience. What questions are in your outbox that you answered today? What discussions are happening in social media that you can talk about? What are the fun stories, experiences, ideas you can share (think back to the blogging 'food groups'), and what do you have that is already laying around (old press releases, newslettery-materials, old FAQ documents)? There you go - stuff to write about!
3. My boss has to approve everything: Make their job easier by establishing a style and/or editorial guide and checklist. It will be a little bit of work upfront, but will be well worth it in the longrun. By setting guidlines and a checklist ahead of time (e.g., branding standards, sign-off requirements) you can save yourself a lot of time when it comes to passing off the first draft and waiting for the red pen to come out.
4. No one in my industry reads or writes blogs: Great news! Here is an opportunity for you to be first! You can become the authoritative and trusted voice in your industry, while simultaneously jumpstarting the important task of creating new content for search engines to crawl to index you. Check out Content Camp's first week with Marcus Sheridan, a HubSpot customer and Partner who shared his amazing story about transforming his pool business through blogging. Stop telling yourself "no one in my industry reads blogs". Instead, ask youself, what questions should I be answering in my content when someone is searching for the right life insurance, the best longterm living home for their parents, or the most reliable kind of plastic sheeting for a boat dock?
Readers want to see that you get them and their needs. So, you are not writing in insurance speak or plastic sheeting speak (if that exists), but to the interests of your target audience (e.g., the top 10 things people tend to forget when insurance policy shopping, 20 questions to asking a longterm living center, winter tips for salt water docks).
5. I'm all by my lonesome: Get others to help you! Interview folks from other departments and turn their answers into a post. Start a contest between departments - the group with the most blog posts or posts with the most inbound links in a month will get lunch or some happy hour money. Set up a brainstorming board somewhere in the office for people to drop off their ideas. Lastly, if you are a one man show, check out our Partner Network to help you out!
Key Takeaway: Just do it! If you're not blogging, you're missing out on potentail website traffic and leads.
Have you encountered any of these 5 barriers to blogging? What have you done to break through to start your blogging journey?
Photo Credit: Kazi Hirok Al-Arafat