Blogging is not Writing
It is a common obstacle to a successful Social Media strategy that I encounter whenever I talk to clients and prospects. Bleeding out the expertise of a company’s thought leaders is the secret sauce to any successful content marketing strategy. What a company’s most experienced leaders know about their industry, and the advise they can give to customers and prospects is always what is going to be the essential energy to drive hits, leads and sales. But it is also the most elusive element. “I don’t have time for blogging” and “I can’t write” are show-stoppers that can very quickly derail a promising content marketing effort before it has even begun. As a result, marketing departments are often left with pushing fairly vanilla content that doesn’t effectively differentiate their brand from competitors. Either they must recycle old content over and over, or re-purpose other people’s content. It stands to reason that if you aren’t contributing anything new, you won’t excite your audience.
But thought leaders need to realise that blogging does not have to take a lot of time, and that blogging is not writing. Let me unpack those two points:
“Blogging does not have to take time…” The worst way to blog is to sit down at your desk on a friday afternoon and attempt to write something because of pressure from your marketing department to contribute content. This makes blogging a chore and will not come from a point of passion or inspiration.
Blogging is not writing, it is thinking. Any thought leader worth their salt is always thinking. Success comes from having one of those minds that is always working, in the background if not in the foreground. Blogging can happen in the “dead time” - jogging, doing the weekly shop, walking the dog, surfing. When an idea crystallizes and a series of thoughts consolidate into a clear argument or position - a blog post shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to jot down. The marketing team can mark it up, edit it and post it. The essential kernel of the post is what they need.
“Blogging is not writing…” Too often, executives have discounted writing as a skill they do not have. Writing is often seen as a skill that you buy in. Certainly, writing is a specialist skill but it is a misconception that effective blogging requires good writing skills. Not only can a first draft be tidied up by a writer, but no one reads a blog post looking for good writing. Blog posts are a piece of communication designed to impart an idea. Within the space of a blog post, all that needs to happen is that a problem is identified, expanded upon and solved. This does not require good writing skills, it requires thinking and it requires experience. Marketing cannot replicate this.
The bottom line is this: thought leaders within a business have a responsibility to provide the much needed edge to their company’s content marketing. Blogging is very powerful not only from what it can provide to the social media and content marketing effort but also how it can assist SEO and lead generation programs. The dual declinations of “I don’t have time” and “I can’t do it” are not sufficient roadblocks to these endeavours. Leaders within businesses need to work around these problems to find a way to unlock their blogging potential, or their brand’s content will remain bland and value-less.