My last post was about not blogging, and hey, guess what? So’s this one. This is probably not a very good blog post for me to write, but I’m going to do it anyway.
I have some news for you.
You don’t have to blog.
This is probably not really news to anyone. But perhaps it is news to you. I know I’ve read countless things that say that if you’re going to have a blog, it needs to be updated regularly, and you need to focus relentlessly on what your potential customers want to read, and yadda yadda yadda. I’m not saying that’s not good advice, because really, you should do this, if your blog is supposed to be part of an effective content marketing strategy.
It’s also true that if you run a business, marketing is part of your job and you have to put time and effort into it if you want your business to succeed. I am very good at making excuses not to do this, because I love editing but hate marketing, which is why this probably isn’t a very responsible blog post for me to write.
But still. You don’t have to blog.
Is it better to blog regularly than not, from a marketing perspective? Sure it is. The more quality content you put out there, the more likely people are to find you and hire you. If you have a blog, you should carve out time in your week to work on it. But here’s the thing. Sometimes there just isn’t time.
As well as running a freelance editing business, I’m trying to run a home with two children under ten in it. I’ve just organised a conference. I’m a member of the school’s PTA. I have a husband I like to talk to now and then. I have, in short, a life. And I have editing work, and sometimes my deadlines are hellish. And sometimes, when all those things are piling on me, as they have been recently, the guilt of not blogging sits on top of them, making me feel terrible.
So I tell myself this: you don’t have to blog.
Not blogging, if having a blog is part of your marketing plan, is bad. But there are things that are worse.
Getting RSI or a migraine because you haven’t taken long enough away from your computer is worse.
Not eating lunch for three days straight because you don’t have any goddamn time is worse.
Doing a sloppy job for a client and then losing that client because you rushed through the work is worse.
Barely seeing your children’s faces except when it’s to yell at them for disturbing you is worse.
I’m not saying that when you’re busy you shouldn’t worry about doing marketing. But I’m also not entirely not saying that either. There are only so many hours in the day, and there is only so much any of us can give to our work before it becomes detrimental to our lives. Nobody can be a perfect business owner all the time, especially if you have other responsibilities. Priorities have to shift, and something has to give. Let that be the least critical thing. At times, that’s going to be your blog. Accept that, don’t let the guilt be one more thing taking your energy, and make a firm plan to address the problem when the storm of busy passes.
And there are things you can do to address it. Jot down ideas for blog posts whenever they come to you. When you have time, flesh out those ideas into drafts, so that next time you hit a pressure point you have something more than a blank page to start from. Ask colleagues if they’d like to guest blog for you sometime. And while you are busy, you can still squeeze in smaller marketing tasks – posting quickly on social media or forums, sending out a quick email to past or prospective clients. I must stress again – I’m not saying it’s OK to opt out of marketing your business.
But your blog, and your business, will survive being temporarily neglected. Your clients, and your mental, physical and emotional well-being may not fare so well. Your blog may be an asset, but your business’s biggest asset is you. Look after it.