"Just blogging" doesn't work, and this is why
May 13, 2016
I want you to hear this: You don’t have to get it right the first time to get it right.
My last three years as a business owner have been a lot of trial and error. At the end of 2015, I decided to call it quits on one of those trials. Here’s what caused the great “just blogging” schism at SeeBrittWrite and why I decided to draw a great big X through that offering on my services list.
One of the best decisions I made last year, both personally and professionally, was to opt out of actions I didn’t enjoy. And guys, the list of things that I didn’t like doing was a long and strange one. It included things like “Halloween bar crawls” and “ugly sweater parties” and “snark.” But at the very top of that list was “just blogging.”
I cut my last “just blogging” client loose last December. It wasn’t working. I procrastinated right up until deadlines and I dreaded everything about the process. So, my SeeBrittWrite boss-side pulled my slacking writer-side into a meeting. We hashed it out. And we realized that while “just blogging” is a pretty big business endeavor these days, it’s not one that gets me excited to go to work. (And being excited Sunday night about the work you get to do in the a.m. is the BEST!)
There are a bunch of reasons that I started SeeBrittWrite, but that one right up there is at the top of the list. Beneath it, though, is my second point (located, quite conveniently, right down there…).
During this meeting my royal We brain convened last month, I realized that it wasn’t the writing of blog posts I had trouble with. (Obviously. I’m doing that right now and digging it.) The trouble comes with the lack of purpose beyond populating a space with content on a regular schedule. There was no strategy behind it, no overarching concept, no deep-dive into whys or hows.
You guys, I love a good deep-dive. I love asking questions about where my clients came from and why they’re so passionate about what they do and where they want to be at the end of this year and next year and the year after that. I’m curious. It’s why I excelled at writing features for magazines, and it’s why I continue to trot those journalism techniques out with my business writing clients today.
For as much as the willy-nilly, spaghetti-throwing “just blogging” gigs didn’t cut it for me personally, they also don’t cut it in terms of marketing investment. Why is that? Oh, let’s take a look at numero tres.
I hate wasting money. And I really hate the idea of business owners wasting money. There are a lot of smoke-and-mirrors, big-money promises out there right now that don’t deliver. Content done right isn’t a smoke-and-mirror proposition. But it’s really easy to do it wrong—that’s why there’s so much of it on the Internet these days.
Digging through all the drek is exhausting, and I don’t want either my clients or myself to add to it. I refuse.
See, when you just write for yourself, that’s great. The purpose there is to figure out your own life. But when you just write for your business, you’re throwing a lot of time and energy and money into a pipeline that’s already overflowing with bland, boring, poorly written, purposeless garbage. Your stuff could be great! But that doesn’t mean it’ll rise to the top.
To do that, you have to figure out a better way. That could mean just about anything. Maybe you nurture a community of people inclined to listen to what you have to say. Maybe you transform hashtags into a receptive networking space that interacts rather than shouts. Maybe you boost your reputation through guest posting or linking your name with industry influencers.
There are a lot of ways to stand out. “Just blogging” isn’t one of them.
It took me awhile to discover that what I loved about my editing roles at websites and magazines wasn’t just the writing; if it was, I’d have been happy to spend the last year freelancing my heart out. What I loved about those jobs was the strategy that informed the writing. I loved planning. I loved establishing goals and plans to achieve them. And I loved executing those plans with articles and series of web posts and social media campaigns.
So, friends, that’s the future of SeeBrittWrite, starting right now. I will no longer be offering “just blogging” packages.
And you know what? I’m really excited. Bring on the Mondays!