If you’re a founder, you’re a blogger by default. You know you need content, you need it early and often, and chances are good you’ve been the primary creator of that content from the beginning. But should you continue to be your only writer.
Like any function of your business, you’ve started small and you’ve done it all yourself—or a small founding team has shared the responsibilities. But as you’ve grown, you’ve outsourced or hired help to take over things like legal, financial, and development. So, why are you still blogging?
Why Content Marketing?
You’ve probably heard it all before. You know content is vital to your marketing plan. Isn’t it? Maybe you haven’t seen much ROI from your content marketing just yet. But of course you haven’t—you’re spread too thin to make it work!
Content takes time and effort to produce consistently and effectively. Time you don’t have, because you’re busy growing and running a business. So maybe you do your best to blog once a week, or once a day, or once a month. Maybe you go through the motions. Chances are pretty good you’ve skipped a week or two. Or six. Why bother? It doesn’t seem to matter, anyway.
You’re not a content company. You’re in the business of making and selling a product. The entire point of content is to support that effort, not to become its own full-time job. But if you don’t nurture it on a nearly full-time basis, it dies.
It Does Matter
If you don’t believe it, just look around you. Everybody is doing it. Those who do it well see results.
Image courtesy of Neil Patel
The problem is not in the technique. The problem is you.
Don’t take it personally. The fact is, it’s near impossible to blog well and consistently when your creative energy is being used in twelve other places. You simply do not have the time to give it the focus, strategy, and research it needs.
When is it time?
“That’s all well and good,” you’re thinking, “But I can’t afford to hire a full-time writer! I’m barely paying myself over here.”
We get that. And that’s why we understand when a founder is trying to run a blog all by herself. But you need to think of building your team in terms of making an investment, not taking on an expense—because strong, consistent content will increase your bottom line.
There are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to step away from the keyboard and hand the reins over to somebody else.
Take a look at your blog. How long has it been since your last post? If it was recent, what was the longest gap between posts? If it was more than a week or so, that’s a sign.
What about your analytics? Are you getting the kind of engagement and growth you want? Is your content being shared? Is it converting? If not, why are you bothering?
What about your email list? How much has it grown in the past 30 days? If it’s staying stagnant, it’s probably time to make some changes.
And finally, look at yourself. How much sleep did you get last night? How is your stress level? When you think about blogging, do you get tense and overwhelmed? Has it become one more chore on an endless list?
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In-House or Outsourced?
Once you’ve decided it’s definitely time to get help, you’re faced with another dilemma: should you hire a full-time content marketer? Should you find a freelancer? Or should you outsource to an agency?
Hiring a full-time staffer is a huge step. Chances are pretty good if you’ve been blogging yourself up until now, you don’t have the funds to commit to a full-time salary and benefits. Maybe you’re still looking for another developer or a customer support person. We get it. Eventually, maybe it’ll be right to bring somebody onto the team full-time. But right now, you just can’t swing it.
Your next option is finding a freelancer. You probably have a headache just thinking about it. Don’t get us wrong—there are some incredibly talented freelance writers and marketers out there! In fact, many of them work for us here at Audience Ops. But it can be a needle in a haystack situation to try and find the right one on your own. Sites like Odesk and Elance are full of people offering $10 blog posts. Content mills abound, offering a steady churn of mediocre blog posts. If it sounds too good to be true…well, you know what they say.
Do not waste your time and money with a generic content mill—somebody in another country churning out paint-by-number blog posts for a hundred different clients just like you. Yes, you need content. But you don’t need crappy content, and you probably don’t need the headache of sifting through all the crappy content providers in search of a diamond in the rough.
That leaves content marketing agencies. These vary in price and in services. But we’re pretty partial to the idea of a full-service end-to-end production team.
AudienceOps, for example, is made up of a combination of full-time team members and hand-selected freelancers. We’ve done the work of screening and searching for you and can guarantee our writers are vetted and qualified. Our team includes expert writers, editors, designers, and managers.
From customer research and strategy, to marketing automation and list-building, to writing, promotion, and blog management, we can offer you the best possible content for your audience—consistently and effectively.
A good agency or content team has a reputation to uphold. They are experts in content marketing, and that’s what you need. The right team can deliver the benefits of hiring a full-time content manager without the expense.
Whatever you decide, don’t let your content marketing efforts fall by the wayside. Every day you’re not blogging is a day lost. Start building your audience and bringing them value now, and it’ll pay off for years to come.