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Expectation vs. Reality: The Honest Truth About Business Blogging

Expectation vs. Reality: The Honest Truth About Business Blogging Blog Feature

March 16th, 2015 min read

the_brutally_honest_truth_about_business_bloggingIn honor of Nation Frozen Food Month (yes, that's a thing), Mashable wrote an interesting post entitled, "How TV dinners really look vs. how they're advertised."

Photoshopped box shots were juxtaposed with deflated noodles and peculiar colored mystery meats to provide readers with an eye-opening look at what to expect from these meals in real life. 

This concept of "expectation vs. reality" got me thinking about how misguided people can be when it comes to a number of things. Business blogging, in particular. 

From our experiences with prospects, far too many marketers are incredibly misled when it comes to the perceived value of blogging as a means to grow their business.

Their perception is skewed, their understanding is limited, and as a result, they're missing out on a huge opportunity in terms of progress. 

So to provide clarity, we've detailed 4 common misconstrued blogging expectations alongside their respective realities in an effort to set the record straight. 

Expectation: "I doubt our audience even reads blogs. This won't work. "

Reality: Sure, maybe your specific audience isn't snuggling up to their RSS feed with a cup of joe every morning, but that doesn't mean they don't read blogs.

Think about it. Just because they're not loyal subscribers to anything in particular shouldn't discredit that fact that they're definitely still Googling things. 

And the funny thing about Google is that when you plug something in, the search results almost always contain blog articles. 

As long as you have a strategy aimed at answering the terms and questions your ideal customers are searching for, the odds of them turning up (and reading) one of your articles are ever in your favor. 

Expectation: "Okay, I built my blog now I'll just wait for people to start reading."

Reality: What we’ve found is that many businesses are plagued by the “if I build it, they will come” mentality. That’s not the case.

Publishing posts with no plan in place for promotion and distribution is a recipe for disappointment. So rather than sit around and wait for people to make their way to your content, consider setting up an instant notification email for your blog subscribers to land yourself a spot directly in their inbox. 

Don't have a ton of subscribers yet? Drive traffic back to your website by identifying where your ideal audience is spending their time online and distributing your content there. We've found that social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn serve as high engagement platforms for content distribution, as well as popular industry forums and communities. 

When you think about it, it's sort of like fishing. You can't just buy a fishing pole and expect fish to jump out of the water Free Willy-style and hook themselves. If you want a catch, you have to bait your line and put it out there where the fish are. 

Expectation: "Every post I write is going to be awesome. I'm awesome."

Reality: You're right. You are awesome, but the truth is, some posts simply miss the mark. Some times it's the content, other times it's a lackluster headline. In worst case scenarios, it's both. 

However, the sunny side to blog post fails is that they serve as a valuable lesson to help better direct your content marketing strategy. As you build up a content library, you'll find that it's easy to look back on your achieved posts and identify what worked, and what needs work. 

By using data-driven insights to improve your approach, you'll find that your hits will quickly outweigh your misses. 

Expectation: "Blogging is going to eat up all of time. I can't afford to waste my precious time."

Reality: No, you can't afford to not "waste your precious time." While I'm not going to argue that fact that blogging is certainly time consuming (after all, it is my full-time job), it is entirely possible to strike a balance. 

Our first word of advice, avoid going into the process blind. What i mean by this is that you'll find that it's much easier to be productive when you have several topic ideas laid out a head of time. 

Essentially this helps to eliminate that whole "white screen/blinking cursor" moment that has the ability to unravel your efforts if it carries on for too long. 

In addition, keep your buyer personas on hand during this process. Having the ability to reference their needs and distinctions while writing will help to guide the process, and make it easier for you to get ideas down quicker. 

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