5 Reasons Why Businesses Don’t Blog (And Why They’re Full of &#*!)

5 Reasons Why Businesses Don’t Blog (And Why They’re Full of &#*!)

A few years ago it was all the forward-thinking rage to have a business blog. Some people wrote books about it. Other people bought those books. Talking heads explained what a “blog” was. Some people called it a fad. Other people called it a trend.

And while some people read books and bandied about definitions, other people started writing. Some of those succeeded and some of those failed (Why? Sounds like a topic for another blog) but many of them continued to write. As for the readers and the talkers? Well, they just made up reasons excuses for why they weren’t writing. I’m not talking about blogging about your dog, politics or dinner menu. I’m talking about blogging for business, whether you’re your own personal brand or you’ve got the full force of a company behind you.

Now that it’s a few years later and blogging is standard practice, there are still plenty of businesses out there that do not blog, and the excuses are myriad. I’m about to outline some of those excuses and tell you why they’re defeatist, how they could be costing you business, and what you can do to fix it right now.

Excuse #1: “I Don’t Have The Time.”

Why this is defeatist

You’ll never have time. You wouldn’t have time to fill your gas tank in the morning or brush your hair if you didn’t make the time to do it. Time is one thing we’ll never get more of and never have enough of. Saying that you don’t have time is like saying you’re going to die one day. It’s true. But it’s not particularly helpful.

How this is costing you business

Having a blog is just another way to establish your credibility and expertise and demonstrate your authority in a particular field. If you’re a reliable source of information then you’re more likely to gain the trust of potential customers. If your competitor is that source instead of you… well, you can see where you might lose a few people.

A blog is also your gateway into search engines. Sure, your site is in there, but when it comes to search engines, the more hooks you have, the better. Every blog post is one more page that gives you the opportunity to get into search engines – and in front of customers.

What you can do about it right now

Write something. Think of it like tying your shoes. Stop waiting for the time (you’ll never find it) and write something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. It has to be something. Don’t put it on your to-do list or plan it or think about it. Sit down at your keyboard and do it. If you don’t prioritize it, it’ll just become something you get to push around on your daily agenda and deprioritize the minute something else comes up. So make writing be the thing you just do, right now.

Excuse #2: “I Don’t Have Anything To Say.”

Why this is defeatist

All you’re saying is that your business is boring and irrelevant. And I doubt that’s the case. Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s creating the next Rembrandt or paving a sidewalk, it requires expertise. In the case of most small businesses, it requires passion. Just because you don’t have a term paper topic in your head at this moment doesn’t mean there’s nothing to say. That kind of thinking can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy and thwart your efforts to share what you know before you even form the first sentence.

How this is costing you business

Remember the mantra, “People do business with people”? If you can’t be the face of your business then you’re at a disadvantage over your competitor who is. Your business is more than the sum of your products or services. Your business is a reflection of a certain set of values, goals and ideas. Your business is its own culture. You can shine a little personality on your business via Facebook and Twitter but a blog is where you can showcase the front and back of the house. If your customers can’t get a sense of who you are then you’re going to have a hard time building loyalty.

What you can do about it right now

Sit down and think about why you’re in business. What is it that makes you feel passionate about what you’re doing? That’s what you need to share with customers. Think about what makes your business unique. Sure, it may seem old hat to you, but your customers don’t have the breadth of knowledge you have. The most mundane everyday things can seem practically miraculous to someone who’s never heard them before.

Brainstorm things your customers might want to know. Have you answered the same questions a dozen times? Told the same funny stories? Wished you could tell the funny stories? Those are the things you can talk about. Your blog doesn’t need to be a diatribe of industry jargon. Educate, entertain and make your business real and relevant. When all else fails, Google “blog ideas” and you’ll find any number of top 10, 20 and 100 lists of quick, common topics for inspiration.

Excuse #3: “I Can’t Write.”

Why this is defeatist

Do you know how to do everything that makes your business run? Are you a bookkeeping whiz and a manufacturing genius and a project management superstar? Do you serve the clients, paint the hallways, pay the bills and execute the marketing campaigns? For some small business owners, the answer is, “yes”, because lots of small businesses are started on the backs and the passions of their founders. I know, because that was me. But at some point you realize you can’t do – and shouldn’t do (or know how to do) everything. Chances are you can write well enough to communicate. You probably wouldn’t be in business otherwise. But you may not be a writer, and that simply doesn’t matter. Saying you can’t blog because you can’t write is like saying you’ve got to live with the 20-year-old dirty carpet in your office because you can’t lay tile.

How this is costing you business

If you try to wear too many hats, you’re eventually going to drop one. If you’re not a writer, hate to write and can’t make it two letters without spellcheck, you’re not going to run a successful blog. And a half-assed unprofessional blog is worse than a non-existent blog. Poor quality content can damage your credibility. And if you’ve already convinced yourself that you can’t write, you’re probably going to produce poor quality content.

What you can do about it right now

Hire a professional. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is admit that you can’t do it all. You’ve got the passion, you’ve got the know-how, now let someone with the built-in spell checker figure out how to get it on paper. A copywriter can help translate all the great ideas in your head into something that connects with customers so your blog will be the fantastic representation of you that it should be.

Excuse #4: “Nobody In My Industry Has A Blog.”

Why this is defeatist

If everyone thought like this, innovation would cease. We’d all be driving the same cars and talking on the same cell phones. And reading the same “what’s-for-dinner-look-at-my-cute-dog” blogs. The minute you start following the leader, you’ve lost. I doubt you planned to open your business just so you could play perpetual catch up with whatever the other guy is doing. That’s just dooming yourself to a career of mediocrity.

How this is costing you business

If nobody in your industry has a blog, that’s a very good reason to start one. Remember your eighth grade Earth Science? Nature abhors a vacuum. If there’s a hole in your industry where a blog could be, fill it. Otherwise you’re missing an opportunity and quite possibly leaving the door open to your competitor who does decide to innovate.

What you can do about it right now

Pick your ten best customers and interview them. Find out what they know – and don’t – about your business. Find out what they’d like to know. Find out what confuses them, interests them, bores them. Start there and start producing the content that you know will be valuable to at least ten people.

Brainstorm misconceptions about your business and industry. Use your blog to educate people. Tell stories about your business. We’re all a little bit voyeuristic at heart; just consider the sheer number of “reality” TV shows that air every week. Use your blog to share a behind-the-scenes (and humanizing) look at your corner of the world. It doesn’t matter what business or industry you’re in – it matters to someone. Find out who it matters to and what matters to them and you’ve got yourself a brand new opportunity.

Excuse #5: “It’s Not Making Me Money.”

Why this is defeatist

If you get stuck in a hard ROI mentality you are going to overlook the value that you can create indirectly. Are you going to get a $10 return per hour spent writing? Probably not. Chances are it’s just going to cost you an hour. By limiting your thinking to “How much is this going to make me right now?” you’re ignoring the value of the loyalty you can build, the brand awareness, and your position as a leading expert (translation: the expert people want to do business with).

How this is costing you business

Blogging is rarely a money making proposition to start. It can take time, energy, resources and lots of effort to build your blog and audience to a point where you can start to see real return on your investment. That return could be in the form of advertising dollars, or product sales inspired by your blogs, or leads generated as a result of your expertise. It could be revenue generated through sales of ebooks or other content that you create as a “premium” offer. But you’ll never get to the “premium” stage without building your reputation. And you can’t sell ads on a space that has no traffic. If you fail to start, you’ll fail to capitalize.

What you can do about it right now

Think long term and set goals for your blog. I know, I said “Don’t think, don’t plan, just write.” I meant it, too. Start writing. You don’t need a long-term plan to write. But you do need a long term plan to develop a profitable blog. So consider what you’d like to achieve with your blog. Is it lead generation? Ad revenue? A distribution channel for your paid content? All of the above?

Put all of your ideas into a mind map so you can refer back to them. Add to it as you think of new things. Decide how often you want to post to begin, and how often you’d like to post ideally. Brainstorm and note topics. Decide how you plan to promote your blog and set a loose timeline for publishing and for achieving milestones. This will help keep you on track and give you something to shoot for.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the fact that maintaining a business blog can benefit your business in many ways. It’s time to stop making excuses and start blogging. And once you start, keep going. There’s no express route here, just patience, persistence, professionalism and eventually the biggest “P”: profit.