Getting people in your company to write blogs can be tough—heck, even sitting down and having all the motivation in the world to write one yourself can sometimes end in repeatedly banging your head on your keyboard, wondering why you ever decided to try in the first place.
Here at Intelligent Demand, we tend to hear the same five excuses when people are trying to get out of writing blogs. Luckily, we’re also good at countering those arguments. Has your team been using any of the following excuses to get out of writing a kick-ass blog? Look no further to pull you and your team out of your writing rut.
Excuse #1: “I can’t find a topic.”
- Look in your sent folder—we can guarantee that you at least have the beginning of a thought piece in there. Browse popular news websites for your industry, look at other blogs in your realm of expertise or passion. Ask yourself some questions:
- What’s trending in your industry?
- What are you working on?
- What are you an expert in?
- What can you teach others?
- What are common misconceptions about what you do?
- What are you learning?
- What are you curious about?
- What really happened at the end of Broken Flowers? Was that kid really his son?
Excuse #2: “I’m not a writer.”
- As Bangambiki Habyarimana once said, “Writing is talking, except you get the chance to edit what you just said.” As a professional, I’m sure you can talk about topics that relate to your industry all day long. Try just picking a topic and recording yourself riffing on it, then transcribe it, and make sure it flows as writing. BOOM. BLOG. Pat yourself on the back, and buy yourself a chocolate bar, buddy, you’ve made it to the big time.
- There are different formats to create blogs in! It doesn’t always have to be paragraphs on a screen. Try videos, listicles (think Buzzfeed!), Q&As, podcasts, demonstrate a skill using screenshots, make a blog out of GIFs. You can illustrate your blog. Make a cartoon. Think of what skills you already have that you can use to communicate ideas effectively, and use them!
Excuse #3: “I don’t have time.”
- Shorter blogs should only take a couple hours. Longer, more in-depth, comprehensive blogs don’t have to be the time spend of a doctoral thesis. Try blocking off the end of a Friday or some time in-between projects on your calendar. Try sticking to it and acting like it’s a real actual project that has a deadline, not just something that’s optional. A blog is one of the first things people look at to get an impression of what you or your company is about, your company culture, expertise, personality, what you can do, and what you’re currently talking about. Show you’re on the cutting edge of your industry, and you have the basic skills to back up what you say you can do.
Excuse #4: “I’ve run out of things to say.”
- That’s okay. Blogs don’t have to be epic works of art. Most people are not James Joyce, and I doubt anyone wants to read the blog version of Finnegans Wake. Most people don’t even want to read the book version of Finnegans Wake. A lot of people these days (especially those damn Millenials!!) have the attention span of a gnat (or so everything on the Internet tells me, but you know what I—wait, Ryan Reynolds did what? Oooo, seven things I can learn about my future from studying quinoa grains, OH WOW! LOOK AT THIS NEW SNAPCHAT FILTER…).
- Blogs, unless they are specifically long-format for a reason, should usually be between 300 and 800 words. One time, I had to write 2,000 words about mustard for a college admittance essay. You can write 300 words about what you do for a living or what you’re passionate about (this blog has 785 words!). This Internet stranger has all the faith in the world in you.
Excuse #5: “Somebody has already written about my topic. What do I do??”
- Try it from another perspective—or, if you can’t think of one, link to that article, and then offer your ideas, thoughts, and opinions about it—this way you can share it on social media, link back to the original author, and maybe start a really interesting debate about the merits of your differing opinions. Or just get a like and a retweet and some interaction with a new acquaintance in your area of expertise. Either way, it’s a win/win scenario.