For small businesses without a large marketing department, the responsibility of creating content often falls on the business owner—or no one. Without any in-between, it’s easy to let the task of writing blog content get pushed aside to make room for the myriad of other activities that the business owner needs to handle.
But the question is: Is it necessary that the business owner writes the content, or are there alternatives?
Is the business owner’s voice essential?
If you’re not only the owner of a small business, but also the brand (such as if you run Mary P. Smith Consulting), your content should come in your voice (that doesn’t necessarily require that you write the content, but we’ll get to that). On the other hand, if you run a business that you aren’t the public face for, your voice may not be essential for all of your content.
Often, it comes down to whether or not you have the time, inclination, and skill to write your own content. Some business owners are prolific. Others slept through English class and shudder at the idea of regularly crafting blog posts. Your writing may put people to sleep or be riddled with errors. It’s all about being honest with yourself about whether you’re the best fit to represent your brand through your content.
It also often depends on whether you are willing to relinquish a bit of control when it comes to your content. Do you feel like you can trust the job to someone else on your team, or to a third party? Some business owners are so close to their business that they feel that no one else can do a decent job in communicating its message. In general, this isn’t a healthy attitude, and it’s one that will quickly mire you in an overwhelming amount of work, so I encourage you to learn to let go bit by bit.
If you conclude that you’re not the best person to write your own content, consider your options.
If you have other employees, it can be beneficial to let them contribute their voice and experience to the blog. You might ask Beth, your marketing assistant, to write a weekly post on your latest company news, and then rotate around the office to get contributions from other employees. Maybe Joe, your sales guy, can talk about new products, and Girardo, your manager, can share customer stories.
Just realize that the more moving parts you have in terms of number of contributors, the harder they will be to juggle. And someone will need to take the title of Cat Herder, ensuring that all contributors get their articles turned in on time. That’s a job in and of itself.
Another option is to work with a content marketing agency or ghostwriter who is experienced in writing content for your industry. While at first glance, you might assume someone outside of your company couldn’t successfully write knowledgeably about your brand, you’d be surprised what truly talented writers can do.
Typically, a writer will interview you to get to know your brand, your content marketing objectives, and any topics you really want to be known for. She’ll start writing content for your approval. If it doesn’t hit the mark, you ask for an edit. You still control the process, but you no longer have the stress of coming up with topics and articles.
Whatever solution you try (or a combination of several of the above), give it time for the dust to settle on your new content marketing plan. As you get into a rhythm and start to see traction on your company blog, extend your efforts to include guest blogging on other sites to expand your brand’s reach.