B2B Wins #19: Why Blog?
Why do I do this? Why should you?
As I mentioned two weeks ago, content remains king. And surprisingly (at least to me), blog content is at the top of the heap when B2B marketers are asked about the effectiveness of various types of content.
It may seem like there’s a huge lump of irony in a blogger not believing in the effectiveness of blog content. It’s not ironic at all. Most of the writers that I know are always looking at their craft and questioning. Have I found my voice? How do I make it more effective? Why am I doing this? You’ve probably had similar moments in your marketing content journey.
After 19 weeks of blog posts, I’ve tried a couple of different formats. I’ve seen the data on what’s working and what’s not. I’ll continue to tinker. Seeking to understand things at a deeper level is not just part of my writing process it’s part of how I operate.
Coincidentally, in this moment of introspection, my buddy Mark Schaefer published a blog post about the “10 Benefits of Blogging Even If Nobody Reads It”.
Before I go on, I’d like to thank the 49% of my subscribers who are actually readers. But even if there weren’t a few fans of my work, would it be worth doing? Mark says there are ten reasons to soldier on. Three of those resonated.
1. Fueling the brand
Who am I? Who am I to you? Hard questions to answer, even for me.
This notion of personal brands has been on Mark’s mind for quite some time. He even wrote a book about it.
Mark’s central thesis on personal branding is that if you are known for something—recognized, respected, and trusted in a particular area—you’re more likely to break out from the crowd. Break out personally. Break out professionally.
A quick Google search of anyone will likely turn out a LinkedIn page and not much else. Is your LinkedIn page really all you have to say to the world? Is it a demonstration of your unique abilities? Does it show the world what you’re capable of? Nope. It’s a Polaroid snapshot in a world of video.
A blog is a better reflection of you than any static representation in your LI profile, your resume, or a cover letter. Not only is it going to be more dynamic over time, evolving as you’re evolving, but it’s going to go deeper than some artfully crafted bullet point on a resume.
Now blogging isn’t for everyone. Some folks truly struggle to get the written word on a page. So maybe your thing is PowerPoint slides—short, visual, punchy. Or audio. Or video. Blogging platforms like Substack provide the ability to publish in whatever format makes sense for you.
Blogging, or any other content creation effort that you’re going to use to establish your brand, isn’t a quick fix to becoming known in your profession. It’s a longer game. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll get that longer-term benefit.
When I started a fly fishing blog on June 1, 2009, it was simply an outlet for my thoughts on techniques and tactics related to stalking trout. Over the course of the next four years, I was traveling to exotic destinations on someone else’s dime, being invited to review products, winning awards for my writing, and getting published in print magazines. It took time to find my voice and my niche. None of that happens without you getting started. Now.
As Mark points out in his book, the goal is to create a “sustainable interest” in your content rather than just trying to be a viral, flash in the pan. Use your authentic voice and your unique point of view to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
2. Personal Growth
I write because I read. I’m not one of those folks who is continuously learning. At least not intentionally.
At my core, I’m an operator. I love applying knowledge. Learning while I’m doing, adjusting for realities, and delivering outcomes is what make me tick. But there are cycles when my learning goes deeper. It’s during those times when I have growth spurts. And I have more growth today because I’m invested in vehicles such as this blog.
Creating content forces you to keep learning. Part of that is to feed the beast. As Mark points out, being a consistent author and creator is critical to building an audience. But part of it is to have an interesting point of view to apply to both content creation and operating your business.
3. Clarity and Confidence
I find that the final stage of synthesis of any new information occurs when I’m writing on the subject. I have to check my facts. I have to check my understanding of how things work, and what people think.
As Mark mentions, having already rolled a topic around in my brain gives me the confidence to have an opinion on a subject.
Now folks who know me know that I’ll often opine on things where my knowledge is relatively shallow. That said, having exposed myself to a topic allows me to know that despite my depth, what I’m saying will be accurate.
We all want tips and tricks to be better marketers. I’ll continue to work to help you with that dimension of your growth. But also recognize that part of your success in your given field is being known for the expertise that you demonstrate every day in your work. Maybe it’s time for you to figure out how to show the world your unique point of view and demonstrated success.