07 Oct Time to bust the BULL on blogging
Everyone seems to have an opinion on business blogging these days. The DOs. The DON’Ts. The HOWs. The WHYs.
And boy have I heard my fair share of blogging BS.
So how do you sort fact from the fiction? And how can you avoid the blogging blunders that cost too many businesses their time, money – and reputation?
Well, this blog post about blogging is here to help you do just that.
Let’s get to it.
1. T or F? If you’re going to blog, you need to do it often. Once a week is ideal.
Does this make you feel anxious? Me too. Well it would, if this statement were true.
But luckily for your sanity and mine, it’s not necessary – or realistic – to produce a new blog every week (unless you’re an international brand or you operate in a content-dependent industry).
Don’t get me wrong. You need to publish consistently. But that doesn’t mean you have to publish frequently.
Aside from the time and cost involved in posting weekly, quality will inevitably wane. And your audience may grow tired of what you have to say way too quickly.
I’ve found one blog post per month to be the sweet spot for most small to medium-sized businesses I come across. It’s enough to satisfy your readers – and Google too.
2. T or F? A good blog article should directly promote your products and services
If this is what you think, then you’ve got blogging all wrong.
An effective blog article is one that educates or entertains (or both).
Today’s generation can sniff a sales pitch a mile away. And they despise anything that insults their intelligence.
So ditch the pitch and think of your blog as an opportunity to give your audience value. Blogging is all about engaging authentically with your readers and giving them a reason to come back.
If you blog well, and blog consistently, the sales will eventually come.
Blogging is a marathon – not a sprint.
3. T or F? There’s no strict rule when it comes to length. People are happy to read long articles.
I’ve been blogging since 2010, and believe me, there’s no magic number when it comes to word count. In fact, some of my best performing posts have also been my longest.
Ultimately, your readers care about quality – not length.
So as long as your blog posts are well written, easy to scan and offer genuine value, your word count carries little weight.
But remember: most people can distinguish between solid content and worthless waffle. So don’t pad out your posts for the sake of it.
Succinct, specific copy wins every time.
4. T or F? Blogging is all about SEO. The more keywords, the better.
While it’s true that regular, quality posts should improve your Google rankings over time, blogging is not all about SEO.
Blogging is primarily about showcasing your expertise, building your brand and engaging with your audience. And that means you have to write for your reader – not Google.
Stuff your articles with keywords just to please the Google Gods, and your writing instantly becomes unnatural and unreadable.
Thankfully though, Google responds best to what readers love. So craft clever and captivating articles – and you simply can’t lose.
5. T or F? Blogging is an absolute must for every business
If your business doesn’t have the time or resources to blog properly, it’s best to wait until you do.
As for start-ups and micro businesses who barely have a web presence? Blogging will not be at the top of their marketing to-do list. Which makes perfect sense.
At the other end of the extreme, I come across many large, successful businesses that don’t blog at all. And on the surface, it doesn’t seem to be hurting them.
Ultimately, however, any business that wants a long-term edge won’t be able to compete without getting serious about content marketing. It’s a matter of when not if.
In the wise words of Seth Godin: ‘Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left.’
6. T or F? If it’s good enough, a single blog post can lead directly to a sale
It’s possible. And yes, it’s happened to me.
Once. In eight years of blogging.
But I never write a single blog post expecting instant results. And nor should you.
Instead, invest time into developing a smart content strategy that will build your brand and nurture customer relationships.
Consistent, quality blogging will deliver a return on your investment. Just not on day one.
Like the tortoise, blogging is the slow, quiet achiever that can produce powerful outcomes over time.
7. T or F? It’s best to avoid websites like Copify and FIVERR for blog writing services
Sure, it’s possible to pay AUD$20 for a blog post these days. But the quality is what you would expect…
Low-grade. Unpredictable. And at times, laughable.
(I know because I’ve fixed the results many times – and all I mostly see is plagiarised drivel riddled with grammatical mistakes.)
So I say, save the $20 for a smashed avo instead.
If you’re going to outsource your blog writing, find a skilled local writer who’ll take the time to get to know your brand and write in a tone of voice that’s right for your readers.
8. T or F? Every blog post topic must be completely, totally, 100% unique
Are you shocked by this one? Let me explain.
It’s absolutely not okay to rip off other sources and rebadge them as yours. (FIVERR writers… I’m looking at you!)
But it’s perfectly fine to blog on topics that others have blogged on before – just as long as you bring your own perspective.
After all, if true originality were necessary, you’d be scratching your head for ideas for months on end.
So instead of saying ‘It’s been done before’, remember that you have unique views and expertise that no else can offer. And by weaving in your personal stories and sentiments, you’ll connect with your readers surprisingly quickly.
9. T or F? It’s smart to share inside secrets and expert tips in your blog
Some people tell me they’re worried that if they give away too much for free, potential clients won’t need their services anymore.
What a load of blogging baloney.
Let me paint you a picture – and you’ll soon see why.
Imagine you’re searching for a wedding planner.
First you discover Wendy’s website, which features a blog full of fabulous tips for your wedding day. You haven’t even met her yet, but she’s already adding real value. What’s more, because her bubbly personality comes through in her writing, you feel like you already know her. And you like her.
Compare this to Wayne’s site which doesn’t even have a blog (just boring, self-serving drivel). Or Wyatt’s website which has a blog, but only two articles… both of which are generic and unhelpful.
Who would you call first?
Wendy of course.
Why? Because she’s separated herself as a genuine expert and likeable professional in a cluttered market.
Need I say more?
10. T or F? The most important thing about your blog post is the headline
It’s true that headlines are crucial to how well articles perform. Even the most amazing articles risk going unnoticed if the headline isn’t enticing enough to bring readers in.
But that doesn’t mean they’re the most important thing about your blog.
Put simply, if you write brilliant headline after brilliant headline – yet the articles themselves continually fall flat – your readers will lose interest in what you have to say. Very quickly.
Your bounce rates will also soar. And your brand integrity will burn.
The answer? Learn how to write powerful headlines that don’t mislead. Then make sure you also have solid content to support them.
11. T or F? There’s no point writing a blog post unless you’re inspired
If I waited for inspiration every time, my blog would be almost non-existent. I’d be publishing once or twice a year, at best.
Remember, blogging is about strategy and consistency. And that means you need a plan.
With a plan, inspiration becomes almost irrelevant and unnecessary.
Of course, there’ll be times when you will be inspired to write about something you’d never planned to. And you should definitely go with it when that happens.
But when it doesn’t? At least you’ll have a bank of topic ideas to fall back on.
12. T or F? The best time to publish a blog post is between 11am and 12pm on a Monday
If you do a Google search to find the best time to publish for maximum results, you’ll read study after study…
EACH GIVING YOU VERY DIFFERENT ADVICE.
And although you may uncover some useful tips and insights along the way, remember that your business and audience are unique.
Put simply, there’s no perfect time to publish.
So what’s my advice? Stop overwhelming yourself with others’ research. Instead, invest your time into creating irresistible content that gets results – no matter what time or day you publish.
And if you keep track of those results, you may discover some interesting patterns and insights of your own.
Any more blogging BS that you’d like to bust? Then let us know. Or, if you’ve realised that your blog needs some TLC, check, drop us a line.