Is Your Blog A Cut & Paste Ransom Note
I am surprised at how often I am asked if I write blog posts for hire. (Short answer: yes, I do, but you probably can’t afford me). After the potential client and I go back and forth a bit about rates, the next question is usually, what about hiring someone on Elance?
I believe every business can benefit from a blog. I also believe that if you are unwilling or unable to devote any time to blogging, then you should not have a blog.
Your blog is the public face of your business. It is a customer relations powerhouse. It is, at least ideally, a two-way street where your customers can sing your praises or air their concerns – and then get answers and action.
How is any of that going to be accomplished by paying $10.00 to someone in either Bangalore, India or Muncie, Indiana?
Will a blogger for hire know your business? Will they know your niche? Will they know what your clients dream about?
Then why on earth would you pay them to write cut and paste boilerplate that screams out, “You, my loyal customer, are not worth even the tiny fraction of my precious time that it takes to write a post”?
REPEATING THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST
When the world wide web first became an every day experience, businesses everywhere scrambled to build web sites. Now, every product from cream cheese to Q Tips has a web site. Every business owner from a one person fix it shop to the largest multinational conglomerate has a web site. Everyone has a web site.
And a shocking number of them haven’t been updated since 2001.
When you walk by a store display that hasn’t changed in 6 months or a year, are you tempted to buy? Probably not. In fact, stagnation usually has a negative effect on consumer purchases.
Imagine this situation: In April, 2005, a salesperson convinced you to devote one of your store’s prime end caps to their latest product. They gave you shelf talkers, promotional flyers, maybe even discount coupons. It’s now almost four years later. Those “new” products are still on the shelf, gathering dust (literally). The shelf talkers are torn and defaced. You just couldn’t think of anything else to do with the shelf space, so you ignored the display. Some day you hope to get back to it, but right now you are too busy to stock the shelves.
Is there a store owner anywhere on earth who operates like this?
Or, more accurately, is there a store owner who wants to stay in business who operates like this?
Of course not. And yet, this is exactly the impression created by out of date web sites.
The public does not see your good intentions. We see only what’s on the screen.
“But that’s exactly why I want to pay someone to write my blog!” you say.
DO THE MATH
Let’s leave aside the argument about whether a typist for hire can adequately represent your business and look just at the dollars and cents involved.
How often does a blog need to be updated to avoid becoming stale? At least once a week, I’d say. Three times a week would be better. Daily would be optimal.
And what is the revenue generating potential of a low-impact blog? Realistically – close to zero.
What is the good will, the publicity, the customer loyalty created by a once a week, outsourced blog post worth? Again – realistically – close to zero.
And what is the lowest price you are likely to pay per post? About $10.00.
Surely, there is something better you can do with your marketing dollars than throw $500.00 or $1,500.00 or $3,650.00 down the drain.
DOING SOMETHING BADLY IS NOT BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING AT ALL
Do yourself, your customers, and your readers a favor.
Sit down with a pencil and paper and make a list of 5 things you want your blog to accomplish. And then write out what steps you need to take to reach those goals.
And please, if none of your goals involve delighting your readership – don’t start a blog. Spruce up your web site instead.
Photo by re-ality Released under Creative Commons License