On Blogging

Most of the time, when I come to a new site I’ve never been to and I see that it has a blog, a part of me dies a little.

Because that blog, 9 times out of 10, is a worthless piece of internet. It’s taking up space on a server somewhere and it has absolutely no right to.

The latest culprit was a catering company. That’s right, a catering company with a blog. Their latest post’s title was “5 Best Beverages to Try This Summer”.

Who. Gives. A. Shit.

Do you care, even a little, what your local catering company thinks are the best beverages to try this summer?

I don’t mean to speak for everyone, so let me just say that I, personally, do not care. Not even a little.

The point is, the marketing world has convinced the business world that it needs to blog. To be successful, to be valuable, to compete, you need to regularly publish something to your website. You must create content, they say. You must!

Maybe they’re right. Maybe you do need to write blog posts to have a successful website and to show up on the first page of a Google search for “catering company El Paso”.

But boy, I wish things were different.

Overall, a lot more is being written, but almost nothing that is being written is worth reading. If anything, the good writers are getting jobs as bloggers and copywriters, paid to write worthless crap that nobody will read. Then they go home, sit in front of their laptops to finish the great American novel, and they just don’t have the energy. They’ve reached their word quota for the day and we all suffer for it.

But what about those pieces of copy that go viral? The ones that really do take off?

Well, sometimes people do read what you write. If you do your job really well and create some piece of content that is worthwhile, it could be read. Possibly by hundreds or thousands of people. Even if you’re a small company, with the right content, you can achieve virality.

But there are two approaches to that. The first is to spend a lot of time doing planning, research, writing, revision, and strategy development. The second is to write a bunch of stuff very quickly and play a numbers game, hoping you’ll eventually strike gold.

Guess which approach most companies take?

The thing is, blogging takes a lot of time, even if you’re doing it poorly. Every minute you spend writing a post that will not be read is time you could be doing something else, something with greater potential value for your company. The same goes if you’re hiring a freelancer to do your writing, or you hire an employee to do it. Every cent you spend towards their salary could be better spent in almost all cases.

So give it up. Stop writing for the sake of writing. Focus on making your business all it can be. Once it’s big enough, and you have an audience that cares about what you have to say, consider starting a blog. But do not make it a preliminary marketing technique.

Please.

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