I often get asked if I’d be willing to blog on behalf of a company. The conversation usually goes like this:
Client: We need to get some more traffic so we got a blog.
Me: Well great. Blogs can be very effective.
Client: But the problem is we haven’t been updating it as much.
Me: That’s not good. You need to be committed to it if you want it to work.
Client: Would you be willing to blog for us? As a ghost blogger of sorts.
Me: Lets see if there is a different way to make this work for you.
There are many reasons why I hesitate. Here are my top four reasons:
Writing is Work – I’m not a natural writer. I can’t sit in front of a computer and write about just anything. There is a reason why I loved math class in college – because you don’t have to write much in math. So, if I write it takes a while and it has to come straight from the heart. Otherwise its too hard for me and I won’t enjoy doing it.
Authenticity – I don’t like to pretend. I can’t pretend to blog about how much I love this and that when I don’t. If I can’t be me then I can’t blog for you, because you are not me and I’m not you. When I have tried to blog for others in the past it has not worked and I don’t enjoy it. You won’t either and most importantly your audience will see right through it and won’t connect with me or the blog.
Expectations – I’m married so I know how expectations can suck you dry. Most companies have very unreasonable expectations on their blogs. Even when I tell them how it works they don’t seem to hear what I’m saying. I just don’t like getting notes from the VP of Marketing every two weeks asking why only two people commented on such and such post.
Voice – Blogs work when you’re real and authentic. Not everyone in your marketing hierarchy understands that so it becomes an issue as things get going. Usually someone higher up finds a blog post and complains about the content or makes suggestions to re-write the whole thing. The most common re-write requests I’ve dealt with is when an old school VP says there is not enough of a dicssuion on product benefits. Then he goes on to suggest that offers and discounts be mentioned IN EVERY POST. Yep, that’s when I shut down.
There are other reasons, but these are my main ones.