You know that feeling you have in your body when you’re completely resisting something? Mine shows up as a heaviness and a tightness; it’s like my limbs are being weighed down and it takes immense effort to get them to move. I tell myself to do it, but my body won’t listen.
I get that feeling from two things in my business: outreach and writing.
Or at least I used to.
In 2018 when I started my podcast, the intention was to build a body of work. I wanted people to be able to go down a rabbit hole of my content and decide if I was a good fit for them or not, even before they spoke with me. After 4 years the podcast is still quite sparse, so at the end of 2021 I decided I needed a new plan. I played around with LinkedIn (articles, posts, videos, carousels, and more) but I couldn’t get into it fully. So, my next experiment was born: 2022 would be the year I revived my writing.
But remember that resistance I was talking about? Yeah. Not a good match. And it doesn’t help that so much advice out there is to pick a platform you can have fun with so you can be consistent and not hate it. What do you do when you don’t enjoy any of the platforms? You pick one and experiment.
At first it was a slog. I was overwhelmed, procrastinating, I didn’t have a good routine, and the resistance was brutal. Now, though, I’m actually starting to enjoy it! No one is more surprised than I am.
Strategically, there are mixed opinions on if blogging is a useful exercise to grow your business. Today I want to explore some of the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself if it makes sense for you. I can’t stress this enough: there is no RIGHT way to build a business. You get to have your business exactly the way you want it, you just need to decide what that is.
Let’s start with the cons.
The Downsides of Weekly Blogging
· It’s time consuming. This is by far the biggest con. I take a full morning to write and repurpose my content each week, which is 1/8 of the total time I spend on my business. I could absolutely use that time to see more clients, do outreach, upskill, or any number of other things. There are constantly other things that try to take that space in my calendar, so I have to use firm boundaries to keep my writing time sacred. My secret for this is that I really believe it’s important in the long-term so I make it a priority. Also, I block it off in my calendar for first thing Monday morning so nothing else sneaks in there.
· At first it was hard to think of things to write about. I was always second-guessing if the subject was the most important one to pick. Over time it became easier and easier because I was noticing topics everywhere. Seth Godin has been saying this forever, but I’m finally starting to get it.
· There aren’t any obvious or immediate monetary results. Blogging doesn’t have a clear ROI (at least not the way I do it without sponsorships or paid traffic), so you need to have a motivation beyond making money from it. If you are totally strapped for cash, blogging is not the main thing you should be doing with your time.
The Upsides of Weekly Blogging
· You don’t actually have to be consistent. It’s great if you are, but if your mentality is to build a body of work it’s not the end of the world if you miss a week here or there. I haven’t missed any yet in 2022, and I’m writing some ahead so I can take weeks off, but ultimately probably no one will notice if I miss one. It’s more about your own momentum and not losing that for very long.
· I’m quickly refining my Point of View. For people to hire you, they need to resonate with your philosophies. For example, when I hired a health coach last year I made sure I agreed with her nutrition philosophies. I never would have hired her if she was vegan or recommended following the food pyramid. My articles have been described to me as “permission pieces” which I love. I wouldn’t have realized that if I hadn’t been getting my point of view out in writing.
· Writing is getting easier. I’ve learned more about my rhythms since I started writing more regularly. I now know that I have to write first thing in the morning, I need to leave my desk to do it, and it’s more effective if I have some notes or a topic planned ahead. Because it’s getting easier, I’m enjoying it more.
· People are noticing. When I get on calls with people, they’re mentioning my articles. I’m getting a reasonable amount of engagement on them. My Medium followers are slowly growing. People are sharing my articles with people they know. My email list is growing despite not having a lead magnet.
· My confidence is growing. The point of doing experiments is to grow your self-trust and give your Protector new data to work with. The more I write, the more I believe that I have important things to share. I’m less terrified to publish each week, and I don’t dread the comments like I used to. I always believed that my writing was boring, but I’ve been getting lots of positive feedback from people who are enjoying my writing so that’s another way I’m re-writing old beliefs.
· My self-trust is growing. The consistency of writing is helping me see that I actually can stick to things. I said I was going to do something, and I’m keeping that promise to myself. So often we keep promises to other people (clients, colleagues, family, friends, total strangers) but put ourselves last. By keeping promises to myself I’m showing myself I can be trusted.
· My perfectionism is decreasing. By putting out something every week on a deadline, I can’t wait for it to be perfect. It’s been a long time since I’ve called myself a perfectionist, but it’s nice to see that old habits didn’t resurface when I started writing again. I’m able to write quickly, proofread once, and hit send.
· Clients and colleagues are using my articles. When something comes up in a coaching call or on a peer mastermind call, I turn it into an article. Later, they can keep it for reference, or when it comes up again I can reference the article I wrote. It’s a great way to do something once instead of saying the same thing over and over again. A good example of this is my article called “Should I start a podcast?”
· It’s an ethical marketing strategy I can get behind. I’m using my articles to share real value that someone could take and use. I’m not using it to give surface-level information and then require them to work with me to get the rest. I’m trying to make the internet a better place. I’m trying to help people without them having to spend a penny. It’s my way of leading by example and setting a better standard for marketers and businesses.
Well, that’s my list. Did I miss anything? Do you make content on a regular basis? Let me know if this inspires you to get more consistent or to get started!
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