Hurdles to Blogging #17 – “I hate writing!”
“I hate writing” is a classic hurdle and a complaint I get very often when I mention blogging. But what if I told you your blog doesn’t have to be primarily written content. What if I told you, you didn’t have to write it at all?
There are many reasons people hate writing – some find it time-consuming, some find it unfulfilling and some find it genuinely very difficult due to dyslexia or related language concerns. However, I believe passionately in the power of having a blog on your website and the value it brings in terms of marketing, sales, SEO, reputation and more. (Read my Why blogging is good for business?). Therefore, it is important to me to make blogging accessible to all.
Read on to find out how to overcome this hurdle.
Focus your blog around images, videos or audio
Remember a blog doesn’t have to be called blog. You may prefer to call it ‘News’, ‘Events’, ‘Resources’ ‘Our stories’…etc…etc.
Similarly, a blog also doesn’t need to be just writing. I would recommend that you have a bit of writing for SEO purposes and to ensure that your page has enough explanation, but you certainly don’t need to be writing 1000s of words. Ideally, you only need to to get to around 300 words, as a minimum.
Firstly, you could base your blog content around images. This is great for those who attend regular events or have lots of products to show off. It also works well if you produce imagery for a living, such as a blog for a photographer or artist.
You can take different pictures to tell a story, share a whole gallery of related images or take photos to guide someone to do something – like a recipe or making something. Ensure you include alt text for each image you include for accessibility and give each a caption or short explanation.
You may have heard the term ‘vlog’ – this simply means a video blog.
You may have a YouTube channel already. If so, have you considered sharing and embedding some of your videos as blog posts? You can choose to add a written description, the full transcriptions (especially if you have captions/subtitles ready any way) or give a ‘menu’ of the content – identifying specific times in the video when you cover useful items or answer a particular question, for example.
Even if you don’t have a YouTube channel, you can still create a series of videos specifically for your blog. You can have them unlisted on YouTube or keep them completely private using a platform like Vimeo. They are then easy to embed on a webpage or blog post.
Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having the videos both publicly available on YouTube, as well as embedded in your blog post…then they can be found in multiple locations.
Are you interested in starting a podcast? You could start by recording yourself talking about interesting topics related to your business and industry and post them to your blog – have a clickable audio file, rather than a video.
Even if you have a podcast, there is no reason why each episode can’t also be placed on your website, in a blog style.
Traditionally, podcasts have ‘show notes’ so you can include this as text on your blog post and you can also offer a time stamped list of content, as discussed for the videos above.
Did you know that when you record a Zoom meeting you receive both a video file and audio file? This means you can record yourself in a meeting (on your own or with others, such as an interview) and offer both a video version and audio version meeting the needs of both those who prefer to watch (especially if you add subtitles too), as well as those who prefer to only listen.
Use content from other (reputable) sources
Firstly, let me remind you that plagarism is illegal and stealing content from others and passing it off as you own blog content is a complete no-no!
However, in some industries there are memberships and franchises that will share blog post content that you can reproduce, with their permission, on your website.
You can also consider if you have other sources of written material that you have created in the past that may be able to be given a quick tweak and uploaded as a blog. This may not work for regular posts but can certainly help fill some gaps when you really don’t feel like writing.
Let other people write your blog posts for you
If you truly hate writing but see the value of a written blog for your business, then there are ways to help remove the pressure from you having to do all of the hard graft!
There is no reason why your blog can’t be a whole series of blogs written by other people. You could find fellow industry expert, clients, suppliers and supporters to write a blog for you ….especially those who actually like writing!
To give your blog some consistency you may need to supply a bit of a guide as to what you want to be written about and the length. You can even create a house style guide to get more consistent submissions.
Remember, for a fellow business owner, it’s great as a guest blogger that you get a trusted backlink to your website and perhaps promotion of your business and social links to a new audience. So, it’s win-win!
Forget the dictaphone and having to take notes in shorthand…you can easily get lots of written content from others by simply asking a series of questions (5-6 open questions can often be enough), via email or even WhatsApp. You can then cut and paste your question with the answers of the interviewees in to a blog post.
It is a good idea to ‘top and tail’ the interview with an introduction to the person being interviewed and to summarise the content and add a call to action at the end, but essentially the bulk of the content will be written for you.
As above, there are lots of people you can ask. You can interview customers, clients, suppliers, employees and fellow business owners – anyone who has an interesting story to tell, advice to give or an interesting case study – all will add value for your ideal clients.
Team member bloggers
If you have employees or team members, have you asked them if blogging is something they would be interested in? Just because you don’t like writing, doesn’t mean they despise it too.
If you have more than one person interested in writing, there is no reason why they can’t share the posts. They can either adopt one ‘company voice’ or they can make it explicit who is writing what.
As with most things….if you really don’t enjoy writing or it’s just not your forte, consider outsourcing.
A good copywriter who knows about blogging can take your ideas and create written content on your behalf. You can leave them to do the majority of the research or, (the way I love to work) you can talk to them all about the blog topic area and then they will go away and write it up into coherent and flowing written narrative.
Outsourcing can also ensure your blogs remain regular and consistent.
Don’t let your hatred of writing stop you starting a blog
I hope this blog post has proven to you that there is so much more to blogging that simply trying to get a 1000 words down! There are lots of ways that you can have a ‘blog section’ and provide regular updates to your website, even if you hate writing.