I had two bags of M&Ms, seventy-five Diet Cokes, five sell sheets of high-powered marketing fluff, a bottle of Cholula, and a whole galaxy of snacks, treats, beverages, mints, and business cards…Also, a quart of coffee, a laptop case, a pint of concentrated orange juice, and two dozen opening lines during cocktail hour. Not that I needed all that for the business trip, but once you get locked into a serious tendency to write your own content, the only thing that really worried me was the fear. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man (or woman!) in the depths of a self-reliant content binge, and I knew I’d get them out of that rotten stuff pretty soon.
It’s my first, non-hallucinogenic dispatch from Infusionsoft’s annual Partner Conference, creatively entitled…wait for it…PartnerCon.
It’s not Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and I’m not Raoul Duke. But we are in the desert. And I’m about as high as one can get on legal stimulants (coffee, chocolate, et al.).
Let’s cut to the chase and document the top 4 fears of blogging, content marketing, whatever you want to call it, that I’ve heard while shaking hands and kissing babies during coffee breaks and receptions.
The 4 Fears of Outsourced Blogging
- I’m afraid you can’t write about my niche
- I’m worried that your writers aren’t any good
- I’m afraid that if I don’t write the posts myself, I’m somehow undermining the “spirit” of content marketing
- I’m not ready to start blogging without a strategy
Alright, doesn’t it feel better to get that out? Let’s address each.
Fear #1: I’m afraid you can’t write about my niche
People are writing books about the power of the crowd in business. We now have over 9,000 writers at BlogMutt. That’s insane. And to think, each writer brings their own unique experience, talent, and skill set to the table for our customers. And still, many potential customers worry that we won’t have someone capable of writing for their business. And they’re right.
It’s true. We don’t have someone, among our 9,000 writers, who know as much about your business as you do. No one does. You are the expert in your business and your field. Whether you use a service like BlogMutt, hire a freelancer, or hire an agency, you will still have to impart the context and background in order to ensure that your content partner succeeds. There is no “Easy” button in content marketing. But there is an “Easier” button: Outsourcing. If you are the sole expert in your company, how can you ever possibly expect to scale? Outsourcing your content is the first step in letting go, trusting, and scaling.
Don’t be afraid about whether we can write about your niche. Instead, be afraid about standing in the way of scaling your business.
Businesses and agencies worry that we can’t write about their niche. And as a result, will try writing themselves and go months without publishing a blog post. Agencies oftentimes burn out their entire in-house copywriting team trying to do it all as well. We’re just saying: let us help take some of that off your plate so you can publish sooner, reduce burnout, and get the time back to grow your business, focus your copywriting team on higher-level creative strategy and work smarter, not harder.
Fear #2: I’m worried that your writers aren’t any good
Whenever someone asks: “Are your writers good?” We’re like Socrates. Answer a question with a question: “When was the last time you published a post?” And therein lies the great paradox of content marketing. For many businesses, their last post was months ago. And yet, even before we’ve written one word, they’re concerned about our quality. “Good” is a subjective concept when your last post was months ago. How do you know what “good” is if you haven’t measured or produced any content recently? In the hierarchy of content, there’s good content, bad content, and no content. No content ranks below bad content.
Good writing takes a village.
But if you’re looking for a simple answer to that question, yes our writers are good. But whether you use us, a freelancer or hire someone, it takes a village to produce good content. Good at BlogMutt is as good as the time, effort and care you put toward helping the writer succeed. If you don’t provide the blueprint, how will the writer know what to create?
Also, if you build a new website…is it good? If you design a logo…is it good? Well, it all depends on how you define good and whether each achieves what you set out to accomplish. Content is no different. You simply can’t judge whether content is good until you’ve started along the path of creating content with measureable goals in mind. We are still in the business world, right? That means content should have value to your organization. Does it drive leads? Does it create SEO impact? Does it deliver more inbound links? Does it make your social media and newsletter efforts easier? Answer those questions and you’ll get a better, objective, not subjective, definition of good.
We strive to publish a blog post once a day. For the most part, we do. Some blog posts are in-depth, amusing, and awesome. Others are just ok (I can say that about this post, because I wrote it. Would I have liked to have spent more time polishing, editing and overthinking this post? Of course. But, blogging is about living to fight another day. If the post was truly terrible, I wouldn’t have published it. But, it was good enough to ship). In blogging, the sum is greater than the parts. There’s always a new day to prove yourself.
The sum of the parts, for us, is the fact that we rank for thousands of keywords and #1 for some of the most sought-after keywords. We do this because we ship. We publish. Frequently. And we know that sometimes we can’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Fear #3: I’m afraid that if I don’t write the posts myself, I’m somehow undermining the “spirit” of content marketing
This is the common misconception when partnering with us. We shouldn’t replace, we should complement you or your copywriting team. I always encourage business owners to still blog once in awhile, even if they outsource their blogging to us or a freelancer. People often get hung up on the fact that they should do all the blogging themselves. Test this hypothesis. If you’re blogging to raise awareness, grow your SEO footprint and/or maintain a consistent level of content to repurpose across your marketing channels, measure to see whether it matters if you blog or someone else blogs.
And here’s a dirty secret, CEOs and business leaders use ghost writers all the time. I spoke to someone at PartnerCon last night who uses ghost writers for his blog entries.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that there’s a lot of value in creating content yourself. But at the same time, your time is limited. Write your own blog posts, outsource a couple, and see what posts provide the most value for you, your time, and your business.
It’s odd that people preach the importance of writing your own content, but are totally fine with outsourcing their brand, logo, or website design to a third-party. Your words and your image are equally important. Yet, we’ll freely outsource our design and feel guilty if we outsource our content. I’ll never understand this.
Fear #4: I’m not ready to start blogging without a strategy
I was talking with a PartnerCon attendee, Julian Mills. He mentioned that he just started blogging. His strategy? Writing blogs that answer common questions or address common search terms for his business. That’s it. He’s an Infusionsoft expert based in the United Kingdom. He wrote a blog post entitled “Buy Infusionsoft UK”. The post provides helpful considerations when buying Infusionsoft software. It’s not long, it’s not filled with tons of pictures, graphs, infographics, videos, etc., and guess what? Search “buy infusionsoft” in Google and he’s on the first page of organic results.
He didn’t obsess over all the analytics related to a keyword. He didn’t overthink it. He knew that people search “buy infusionsoft,” so he wrote a post on it.
Sometimes the best strategy is DO. It’s easy to use potential pitfalls of blogging as an excuse not to blog or get started. I know, it’s scary to start. But you’ll be in a completely different mindset once you start publishing and doing. You can adjust course, see the quantitative progress, repurpose content across other channels, the list goes on and on when you start blogging. But the list doesn’t start without first doing.