10 Reasons Why We Don't Blog More (And How To Overcome Them)
I have a confession. Sometimes I write articles targeted at myself. This is one such article, because I know I need to blog more.
As a business owner working with many clients, I know how hard it is to stay on top of blogging. Too many distractions and other priorities. And when we do finally get the precious time, sitting down to write - it's almost accompanied by a sense of guilt. Shouldn't we have something better to do?
1. "Blogging is a low priority."
When I have time to write for Reactor15 , I feel guilty. It's stupid, I know. But there's always that niggling feeling that I ought to be doing something better, more productive elsewhere. The truth is that I love writing. So when I start, it feels like stolen time.
Blogging, whichever way you look at it, is important. It's the means for most companies to tell the outside world what you're doing. And every blog creates a new landing page that enriches your website with keywords, internal links and potential new search engine results.
Blogging is PR and advertising that you don't pay for. At Reactor15 , 20% of our landing page traffic comes via the blog, so it's an important stream of new visitors. Do we want to say goodbye to that traffic? No. Blogging can reap rewards at lower costs than almost any other medium. And search engines are ruled by engaging content. That's why it is is
2. "I've got nothing good to say."
It's important to put things into perspective. No-one is expecting you to win the Booker Prize. You don't need to write articles on the big issues of your day - just the factors that are affecting your customers and your industry.
After all, they are the ones you are writing for. And if they've found you in a search engine, they're on your site because they are interested in what you know and what you offer. So share it.
3. "I don't have any ideas."
You only have to answer one simple question to fix this - what do your customers want to hear about? What will interest and engage them? Keep going back to this question and answer it in as many ways as you can. Brainstorm topics, industry events, buyer pain points and areas where your buyers need and want to learn about how to make effective purchase decisions. Moreover, you can tap into your existing customers - ask them what kind of content would make your site more helpful to them.
4. "SEO is too complicated for me to think about."
As search engines become more and more advanced, the key metric we ought to be thinking about is engagement. The word is used everywhere - arguably too much. But let's break it down to something incredibly simple. You simply have to interest people who are considering buying your products. That's all. And if you write about that, it's likely you'll naturally include the kind of keywords that buyers are looking for. As long as you stay on topic, with blogs relevant to your clients and product base, you won't go far wrong. Moreover, if you desperately need help, get advice from an SEO to optimise your posts.
5. "I don't feel like an expert."
When people like Guy Kawasaki, Brian Massey, Phil Barden and Perry Marshall are about (all big shots in my industry), it's easy to be daunted about writing a blog. But no-one is comparing you to your industry leaders. One of the words bandied around is "thought leadership" which can set the bar pretty high causing more than a bit of performance anxiety. So maybe isntead of thought leadership, we should be thinking about customer nurturing. Being an expert is a matter of perspective. I'm not a big shot, but I know a lot more than the clients who come to us. And they look to me to advise them. You are an expert to your customers, whether you appreciate it or not, whether you;re confident in it or not.
6. "Isn't my website content enough?"
Your main website is really about selling products and services. Your blog is a different space altogether. In your blog, you take off your selling hat, and start speaking to customers as if they were actually in front of you. Blogs help develop trust in a business by giving potential buyers more information to act upon. The more estabished your blog, the more often you blog, the more buyers are likely to see you as an expert they want to trust with their money.
Buyers don't just type words into a search engine and then buy from the website which ranks the highest. They investigate and research their purchase decisions. And blogs are an effective way of providing the kind of answers and content they are looking for.
7. "When I sit down to write, I go blank."
This is common and an easy one to solve. Keep a piece of paper with a running list of potential blog ideas. Inspiration doesn't come on demand, so you have to nail it down when you get it. And absurdly, inspiration tends to hit most when you're not at work! With a running list of article ideas, you can let your subconscious chew the subject over until you're ready to tackle it. So when you have time and you site down, you're ready with some ideas and a theme that you can begin to structure.
8. "I'm rubbish at writing."
No-one is going to be judging your grammar. Well, almost no-one. There are grammar sticklers out there who spend their lives judging other people's efforts instead of doing it themselves. If you're brave enough to write emails to customers, you can be brave enough to write blogs to strangers.
And you can always do what the Huffington Post does - invite people to submit corrections. Give the grammarians the satisfaction of correcting you in private and improve your articles at the same time.
Splleing mistakes never killed a business. See what I did there?
9. "I'm concentrating on social media."
A key part of your social media strategy should involve broadcasting your latest articles to drive traffic to your site. No-one is going to follow a Twitter account with endlessly promotional messages, but they are likely to follow if they think they are going to get useful content.
10. "I don't know what tone of voice to use."
Use your own tone of voice. Write how you speak, or how you send emails. It's that 'voice' which has won customers in the past so don't think for a moment that it won't work again.
11. BONUS: Ask for feedback, be accessible.
Was this article helpful for you? Have I missed anything? Are there any awful mistakes I ought to correct? For corrections, comments or feedback, please call 01392 427358.
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Thu 18 Feb | 2016
We have just launched a new app to help reduce waiting times in hospitals across Devon and Cornwall. The app, NHSquicker, allows people to view up-to-date waiting times for local emergency departments and minor injuries units. It also provides information regarding distance and time to different treatment centres, based on the user's location. Reactor15 have been working with Exeter Health and Care IMPACT Network, a collaboration between the NHS across Devon and Cornwall and academics from the University of Exeter to build an app which is widely available for smartphones and tablets, on Apple and Android. The NHSquicker app took six months to build and is a fully native app developed using our own custom framework. Using a native platform which allowed us to build a fast, responsive and reliable experience to users, when accuracy and speed of information is very important. The app also provides information about less urgent NHS services, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians. Mike Saunders, Managing Director of Reactor15 said: "It’s great, once again, to be involved in building a really useful NHS tool. We were asked to build an app which will not only help reduce waiting times in our local hospitals but will also help patients make the right choices with regards to how and where they receive their treatment. We believe our native app platform is both robust and versatile enough to meet the needs and brief of Exeter Health and Care IMPACT Network." Reactor15 have a good working relationship with the NHS and have already built the award winning HANDi Paedatric, POPs apps and the Devon and Wakefield Formularies. NHSquicker can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play.
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