Don’t Start That Blog! Don’t Write That Post!
That’s right. A content marketer is telling you not to start a blog. Buckle up, reader.
To be clear, when done right, a blog can drive leads to your startup, boost your credentials, attract media coverage, and otherwise help you grow. But just like anything else, a blog needs time and attention to deliver value.
It also needs a strategy. That means you shouldn’t start a blog if you can’t stick with it. It also means there are times when what seems like a great idea for a blog post actually isn’t.
In this post, I’ll highlight 11 situations where the best course of action is not blogging – and what you can do instead.
Part 1: Don’t Write That Particular Blog Post
1. Your Idea Is Timely But Your Approval Process Is Lengthy
Imagine this: It’s February. You’re seeing pictures of those NFT monkeys everywhere. You think “Hey, I bet I could write a piece about how NFTs impact my industry.”
So you write the piece. You send it to your editor. They offer positioning tweaks. You revise accordingly. You send it back to your editor. Looks great. Now onto compliance. Compliance needs you to revise it. You revise. You send it back to compliance. They like it. You pass it on to legal. Legal needs some rephrasing. You rephrase and send it back.
It’s now mid-March. The executive with the byline hasn’t even seen the piece yet. NFT sales are plummeting. And your idea has been written in about 50 different ways since you started the approval process. In other words, your fresh blog has gone stale.
If this sounds like your organization, plan to write more evergreen topics for your blog.
Have a burning desire to weigh in on the news? Write and publish your take in a LinkedIn post. That removes the approval hurdles while establishing you as a thought leader in the space. That’s good for you and your startup.
2. You Aren't Saying Anything New
Google’s recent algorithm update further incentivizes companies to publish EAT content, or content that demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
This means it’s more important than ever to add something new to the conversation with every piece you publish. That can take many forms:
- An expert explanation of something that’s often misunderstood (expertise)
- An opinion (the stronger the better!) on current industry trends (authority)
- Tips on why you shouldn’t do the thing your company is selling (trustworthiness) (ahem)
No ideas immediately occurring to you? Check out our B2B blog ideas you can use again and again.
3. Your Idea Is the Size of a Tweet
Just tweet it instead.
4. You Want to Communicate Something Visual
You just implemented a major update to your product. Congratulations! You want to announce the changes, so you decide to write a blog that covers each enhancement.
Not a bad idea, but if you’re describing highly technical or aesthetic updates, sometimes it’s best to capture those changes in a video. Recorded product demos are a great way to fuel your sales outreach, too.
And if you still want some written content to announce the updates, try summarizing them in a LinkedIn post with a link to the demo recording.
5. You Want to Go Deep in a Q&A
Sometimes you want to provide long-form, nuanced answers to key questions about your product or startup that people interested in your industry – or your brand – might find compelling. That’s great!
In that case, though, a blog might not be your best bet. Blog readers are often busy, looking for specific information.
But a guest appearance on a relevant podcast for your industry? Perfect. You’ve got your listeners’ ears (literally) and can convey nuanced information in a dynamic way by using your vAriEd iNtoNAtioN in a way that’s hard to do with the written word (though by golly, I’ll try).
Plus, podcasting is a great option if you or the leader at your startup is charismatic and witty. Show off that personality. Build that thought leadership!
An added bonus of podcasts: they make for some prime commute-friendly content. If podcasting sounds interesting to you, check out Jack’s post on how to pitch a podcast.
Part 2: Why You Shouldn't Start a Blog
6. Your Website UI and UX Need Tinkering
We’ve all been there. You click a link and it takes you to a website that makes you feel like you’ve traveled back to 2003.
Yes, this was once the Apple website. Wild!
Doesn’t inspire much confidence in the content’s value today, does it?
Remember, your blog may be a user’s first impression of your brand. Think of its design like film editing – it’s at its best when your audience doesn’t even notice it.
7. You’re Not Familiar with WCAG 2
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (here’s a more detailed breakdown).
These guidelines spell out how to make your content more accessible so it’s easy to see, hear, and read – regardless of ability status. If your blog isn’t accessible, you could be excluding 25 percent of your audience!
But to be clear, making your site accessible helps everyone. I can’t tell you how many times I – a non-disabled person – have used Siri’s text-to-speech feature while driving. Image alt text, for example, gives me helpful context so I don’t have to look at my phone.
Familiarizing yourself with WCAG standards is a must if you want to engage your entire audience.
8. You’re Pretty Sure You Can Keep it Up… For Now
It’s not easy to keep a blog going – and it’s even harder when you research, write, revise, proofread, and post everything yourself.
That is to say, if you don’t have the bandwidth to maintain a blog, don't start one. In most cases, having a blog you update infrequently (if at all) is worse than not having one.
Why? An abandoned blog can suggest that your startup lacks follow-through. Or that you’re not great at allocating resources. Whether or not those things are true, that’s the vibe an abandoned blog gives to prospective customers, investors, and employees.
If you know you want content marketing to be part of your marketing mix eventually, try doing the background work that’s less visible than blogging (and requires a less regular commitment).
Another option: outsource blog development to an agency to ensure consistency. 👋
9. You Don’t Know How to Measure Success
Over the pandemic, I – like so so many others – decided to bake sourdough bread. Why did I bake so many loaves? Because I was trying to nail the recipe: crusty exterior, airy interior, and yeasty sourness. In other words, I knew how to measure my success. Your blogs aren’t any different.
Think about what you want out of your blog. Do you want it to…
- Act as a helpful resource and build your marketing tunnel (creds to Brenna for this term – we’re waiting on the trademark)?
- Get media coverage?
- Feed your sales funnel?
If you just have a vague notion that *waves hands* we should blog!, spend an hour hashing out why. See if it really makes sense. (Or, heck, email Brenna and get her take.)
10. Your Audience Doesn’t Read Longform Content
Foundational to the success of any content program: know your audience.
If your audience doesn’t read longer content, direct those blog dollars toward social media, podcasting, or whatever medium will help you get in front of the people you want to talk to. You don’t have money to burn! (Alternately, if you do, please do reach out about our deluxe blogging packages.)
11. You Don’t Have a Clear Path to Conversion
Remember, no blog should be an island. If you want to maximize your content investment, you’ll want to make sure every blog post includes a call to action (CTA) and has internal links guiding the reader to other posts they might find interesting on your website.
We Love Blogs (But They’re Not Always Right)
Content marketing is one of the best ways you can maximize your marketing spend for the long term. But it’s not always the best investment to make.
Don’t get me wrong – we love blogs. We just also recognize a blog isn’t always the right way to market your startup. Want to talk your situation through? Email Brenna.
In the “we want to start a blog but just don’t have the bandwidth” group? Seriously: get in touch. We’d love to help you any way we can.
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