As I spoke, her eyes got wider and wider in amazement and disbelief.
“You can do that?” she said in an awed whisper. “But isn’t that like… cheating?”
“Not at all,” I responded with a bit of a forced smile. “Loads of businesses hire a writer to help them write their blog posts.”
When I got started in this line of work, calling myself a ghostblogger, that was the reaction of many of my potential clients.
Even today, the idea that you might hire a copywriter to write your website copy, or some emails for you, or even a script for a webinar or video doesn’t seem odd to most online entrepreneurs, but the idea of hiring someone to write your content — your blog posts, weekly newsletters, podcast notes, or social media posts — still feels kind of foreign, dangerous somehow, and yes, even a little like cheating.
Let’s break it down and look at some of the biggest objections — and misconceptions — I hear about working with a blog writer.
I hire copywriters for specialized copy, but not for blogs
Lots of entrepreneurs and business owners will be the first to admit that they don’t have the specialized skills it takes to write website copy that converts visitors to leads, or copy for sales pages that moves someone to make a purchase. For every type of copy you might need to run your business, there are copywriters out there who specialize in exactly that sort of writing.
But why is blog writing any less specialized?
I think, because anyone can start a blog, people assume that anyone can write a blog. And while, yes, I’ll grant you that if you can type and have a basic grasp of the English language, sure, you can physically write your own blog — the same could be said of every other type of copy.
Blogging for a business is about quite a bit more than sharing what you had for lunch or describing your latest board meeting. If you want your content to create a conversation with your audience and help move people toward a sale, there is definitely some skill involved.
If you intend to drive traffic to your website and leads to your business with content, a blog is arguably just as important as a sales page writer or email copy writer.
It wouldn’t be authentic to hire a blog writer
I’ll admit this one puzzles me a little, especially when the person saying or thinking this would be perfectly willing to hire someone to write their website copy, sales pages, or sales emails for them.
I guess the feeling is that blogs are more personal, more intimate somehow than sales copy. I would argue that sales copy needs to be just as authentic as anything you put on your blog or social media — and if your sales page copywriter can’t be “authentic” to you and your brand, they aren’t a good fit.
The way we work with our clients, we interview them, learn from them, start with their notes or previously published content (like books, courses, videos, speeches, podcasts, etc.) and create articles that are authentic to them and their ideas. We aren’t putting words in their mouths; we’re just simplifying the process of getting those words into writing for them.
It’s too expensive to hire a blog writer
I guess “too expensive” is relative.
I’ve talked before on my blog about how much you should expect to pay a blog writer as well as about the ROI of a blog post for your business.
I’ve also talked before about the fact that sometimes ROI isn’t measured in direct money in to the business, but rather in time, effort, and sanity saved by the business owner. I had a client once who told me it generally took her four hours to write a blog post; “If I can book even one additional coaching client in the time I save, your service will more than pay for itself,” she told me.
Just this week, I was speaking to a potential client, and I told him how much a Leadership Marketing session with me would cost. He nodded. “That’s about 10 percent of what I was planning to invest in content this year,” he told me. “Seems totally reasonable to spend that much to ensure that every piece of content I put out works better.”
- How much is your time worth? How many hours are you currently dedicating to blog writing?
- How much is a blog post worth to your business?
- Are your current posts driving traffic and leads? Would your blog perform better if it was written by a professional and following a clear strategy?
- Are you regularly making time to focus on creating content as a part of your strategy, or is it falling off your to do list? Would your business benefit from more consistent marketing?
Once you’ve asked yourself those questions, you might have a different opinion about how much is “too expensive” to invest in blog writing.
I should be able to write my blog myself
I had a therapist once who told me, “Should is other people talking.”
Who is telling you that you “should” be able to do this without help? Your coach? Your peers? Your ego? Your business idol?
I have worked behind-the-scenes in enough famous internet business brands by now to tell you that your favorite business idol may be generating the ideas for the content, she may be involved in creating it — but I guarantee you that she has a ton of help executing on it. And if she does write all her own content (some do) she is investing heavily in help somewhere else in her business.
Your favorite actress didn’t write her own script.
Your favorite politician (is there such a thing??) doesn’t write their own speeches.
That doesn’t make the words any less powerful, the emotions less genuine, the ideas less impressive.
It’s OK to invest in help to achieve your goals in your business. It’s OK to decide that your time is precious and might be better spent doing something else. It’s OK not to love writing; it’s OK to love writing and no longer have time for it. It’s OK to dedicate your writing time and brain to creating your next book, your next course, your next TED talk.
The idea that you “should” be able to do it all is false, and a fast track to overwhelm and breakdown.