You’d think our own blog was always a priority given we’re a writing company. Practise what you preach, showcase your wares and all that. But like many companies our size (we’re a mighty eight), we used to struggle to find time in between all the meetings, project work, and admin stuff.
My fellow writer Kat calls this plumber’s syndrome. You know, the chap who spends all day fixing people’s pipes then goes home to a house full of leaky taps. So if you find ‘Write blog article’ comes below ‘Water plants’ and ‘Wash up mugs’ on your to-do list, you’re not alone.
But this post isn’t about making time to blog (that’s in the proverbial pipeline). This post is about why I think you really need to start blogging, or at least give your existing blog a dust off if it’s gathering cobwebs in a corner of your website.
And I’m not going to tell you why it makes sense for your sales and marketing effort (unless you ask me to), because you almost certainly know that already.
(If you need reminding, blogging is a great way to position your company, showcase your expertise, establish your authority, communicate your personality, connect with your customers, find new ones, drive traffic to your site, blah, blah, blah.)
No, I want to tell you about four glorious and personal side effects of blogging. Four by-products that will leave a rather pleasant aftertaste each time you post. Four things you’ll find as healthy and nourishing as your readers will find your blogs helpful and valuable.
- It gets you out of your bubble (and sometimes the office)
I spend probably 60-80% of my day writing for other people. And when I’m not writing for others I’m likely to be reading others’ stuff. So writing a blog post is my chance to write for myself, about something I like, love, or loathe – or something I know my clients or new prospects might find interesting. It’s also a great way to switch off from project work and running the business for a bit – and instead, research, talk to clients, go for a stomp, or sit in cafés with pen and notebook.
- It clarifies your thinking
Our Twitter profile (caution: contains swearing) says, ‘We think a lot, we write a lot, we coach a bit’. That’s because writing really isn’t anything other than thinking made solid. Thinking about a brief’s comms objectives, thinking about the audience (and what they’re thinking), thinking about the message, thinking about structure, thinking, thinking, thinking. And the more you think about something, the clearer it becomes to you. Or as The Economist puts it, “Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought”. And if, God forbid, you get writer’s block, here’s some advice to help you untangle yourself.
- Your writing will improve, very quickly
If you want to get better at anything, you need two things: practice and time. Committing to a regular blog will sharpen up your writing skills in no time. We see it time and again with our on-the-job coaching programmes. People who used to scratch their heads and wring their hands whenever they had to write anything, now brim with a new-found confidence that comes only from regular practice.
- It brings the office together
While one person takes ownership of every blog post we publish, none are written ‘alone’. It’s a team effort. In other words, we all question, scrutinise and develop every post, together. And every draft is researched, checked, amended, rewritten and edited to be the best it can be. And guess what? During the process we end up talking more. Not just about the post, but about other stuff too. You know, what Richard cooked for dinner last night. Kat’s moving home hassles. A new business meeting Tony’s arranged. A nice piece of work Sean spotted. My inability to make tea often enough. All part of the daily chit-chat and banter we’d miss if we were face down in client work all day.
So there you have it. Four personal reasons why getting into blogging makes sense. And, I hope, four ways to re-frame your company blog as less of a millstone around your neck and more of a milestone in your personal development.
Of course, if you’re really struggling for time or inspiration or motivation, you know where we are.