Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+
Why do you blog?
Do you think it will create a steady stream of new customers?
Does it boost your ego?
Is it a way of you getting your knowledge out to the wider world?
Are you doing it purely for financial gain?
During the recent Professional Copywriter’s Network conference in London, this was a subject that came up.
During a panel discussion it became clear that blogging has Marmite qualities – you either love it or hate it.
Firmly in the ‘anti-blogging’ camp was Andy Maslen.
Andy runs a hugely successful copywriting agency and training academy. His argument was that you’d get a far better return for your time if you were to pick up the phone to companies you wanted to work with and talk to them.
That argument definitely has legs assuming you’re the type of person who doesn’t break out into a cold sweat just thinking about cold calling.
But what about using blogging as a promotional tool?
Plenty of successful writers do so – granted it won’t lead to a guaranteed flood of new clients banging on your door (mind you, there’s no guarantee calling people up will either) – but it is a proven way of driving traffic to your website.
And before you shout me down and tell me that large companies don’t ‘Google’ for copywriters, they ask for recommendations, they do – I’ve personally experienced the phenomenon on several occasions.
So is it a waste of time blogging?
No, it isn’t.
- It is a great way to show yourself as an expert in your field (yes, there are others too, such as talking at events, but you can’t deny blogging’s ability to get your voice out there)
- It helps you reach a vast audience
- It’s a good way of adding fresh, high quality content to your website
- It’s a fantastic way to grow your marketing list (by getting readers to sign up to your newsletter)
- It’s the perfect way to add value to your customers and readers
But if you are going to blog, make sure you add value and do something different. Don’t copy your favourite blogger’s style because:
a) You won’t get noticed
b) You won’t be saying anything different
c) You’ll be downright boring
Write stuff that’s useful and that people haven’t heard before.
Don’t be afraid to put your opinions out there – the more controversial the better – and get a conversation started.
And above all, if you’re going to blog for your business don’t outsource it.
An odd think for a copywriter to say, but I believe it’s vital you develop your own voice and style. Your blog is there to create a relationship – if you get someone else to write it for you it’s a bit like being married, but living elsewhere while a stand-in pretends to be you.
So should you blog?
If you have something new and interesting to day, yes you should. But make sure your marketing strategy doesn’t start and end there. If you’re business is to flourish you must adopt several different ways of marketing it – never put all your eggs in one basket.