Recently I’ve become increasingly convinced that many solo business owners like you should stop blogging. Despite the plethora of (dated) advice that a blog is a marketing necessity, you’re telling me it simply isn’t working for you on an emotional or measurable level.
Why you should consider stopping blogging
Maybe you’ve never had blogging success. Maybe you tried it for a while, but it now feels wearisome. Some of you say you feel obliged to blog, even though you find no pleasure in it, and analytics show it’s not helping to grow your website traffic.
There are still some SEO arguments in favor of blogging, but my philosophy is, if it’s neither effective nor enjoyable, life is simply too short for promotional activities that suck your time and drag down your energy. Blogging regularly can feel like a grind, even for those of us who love to write. And a neglected blog on your website looks a hundred times worse than no blog at all.
So let’s say you’re tempted to step back from blogging, or to stop altogether. You still need to get your website in front of new eyes, and you still need to engage those new visitors.
Here are 8 suggestions for what to do instead of blogging:
1) Write guest articles for relevant websites
Find sites which have an audience who would welcome your content, and who would enjoy getting to know you. Get to know their style, topics and preferences for submissions, then send a thoughtful pitch. Be prepared to follow up gently if you haven’t heard back within about 2 weeks. It’s perfectly possibly you’ll get paid for this kind of writing, and Make a Living Writing has excellent resources on what to do and what to expect.
2) Write for Medium
Medium gained huge traction in 2019. The appeal of both being discovered by new readers and earning a bit of money for your articles isn’t hard to understand. However, as with many marketing efforts, you need to be consistent, and don’t expect cash to rain down on you immediately from your efforts. This podcast episode gives an excellent, balanced overview of what you should know about writing for Medium.
3) Post articles on LinkedIn
I’m no expert on LinkedIn and my own account lies pretty dormant these days. However, the platform offers the ability to write both short posts and longer articles, so there’s scope here for both quick thoughts and in-depth pieces. Well worth a look if you’re seeking to establish authority or make professional connections: here’s a great guide.
4) Be a source for the media through HARO
Depending on your niche, it could be worth signing up for a free account with Help A Reporter Out. You’ll get email notifications when journalists want sources for a story, and if you’re quick, relevant and thoughtful, you can get mentions in national publications through this method. Know that you might spend a lot of time sifting through requests, and days (or weeks) may go by until an ideal opportunity appears.
5) Pitch yourself as a guest on podcasts
While written guest articles usually need to be original content, when you’re interviewed on podcasts you can be a little more repetitive in what you say. Once you get comfortable making your main points succinctly, you’ll probably find the interview takes less time than drafting and polishing an article. And you’re likely to make a more meaningful connection with the host, too. As with pitching articles, don’t spam every podcast you can find: research them a little and make a thoughtful, personalized pitch.
6) Get out and speak
If you find you enjoy talking about your subject, then it’s time to get out and speak in front of groups. Public speaking may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a skill you can practice. You’ll have more authority, and more of your audience’s attention, when you step onto the floor as their invited guest speaker. Start with small, local groups as you build your confidence and narrative ability.
7) Make a short book
Maybe you have old blog content that’s languishing, or you have fresh ideas that feel too good to be lost on your low-traffic website. Gather together your best pieces in a logical order, fill in the structural gaps, and publish this collection as an ebook. If you’re not previously published, you’ll gain valuable credibility as an author on your chosen topic. How to Blog a Book is (not surprisingly) a comprehensive resource here.
8) Make a lead magnet
Worried you don’t have enough suitable content for a book? Just 3-5 high quality blog posts can contain ample material to make an enticing lead magnet for your audience. Compile and format these nuggets appropriately, and you have a valuable resource to offer in exchange for an email address. Instead of sharing individual blog posts on social media, you can now promote your lead magnet. Put your blog-ish ideas to work and grow your email list. That way, you’re not reliant on casual website visits to reach your ideal audience.
Clearly, I’m still blogging(!) but this year I’m paying special attention to options 1, 5, and 6 too. I’d love to hear how you’re supplementing, or replacing, your blogging activities.