Following from my post encouraging the use of blogs to promote business, the next question is whether to write your own blog or outsource the task. As a freelance copywriter, writing other people’s blogs is part of what I do, so it’s natural I’m going to demand you hire someone to write a blog for you – but I know when a job’s necessary or not. I’d never encourage someone to hire me if I thought they could do a better job themselves. And there’s a number of reasons that might be the case. Here’s my attempt at a balanced look at the pros and cons of writing your own professional blog, instead of hiring someone to write it for you.
It’s your business, so the blog should reflect you
Pro: A major benefit of writing a business blog is to make your business more personal. People do business with people. The blog should put across your personality, your opinions and your expertise. After all, there’s no sense in presenting a blog that persuades clients you don’t connect with (for whatever reason – a professional blogger might write too casually, to entertain, and attract insincere customers, for instance).
Con: The downside of presenting yourself as the voice of your business is that it can make you seem unprofessional, if your blog suffers from momentary lapses in judgement or inconsistent content. You’re busy running a business – you might hit the odd off-note with a blog entry, or you might not update it often enough. It’s also debatable how much personality you want to put across, as some clients may cringe at too personal a service.
You know your business better than anyone
Pro: You’re the most qualified person to write about what you do, how it’s done or the benefits of your business. You know, better than anyone, why your business is worthwhile, and your blog should reflect that. That puts you in the unique position to write it yourself, so your readers get a genuine feel of your value. If you hire someone to write the blog for you, they may lack authenticity.
Con: By knowing too much about your business, you run the risk of not being able to effectively translate it to your readers. You know what you’re talking about, so everything you write will make sense to you, but readers might not necessarily bridge the gaps. A professional writer should be a researcher too, and must be skilled in writing on subjects they don’t necessarily specialise in. If you hire someone to write the blog for you, they will write it in terms that can be understood by outsiders, as outsiders themselves.
Don’t pay someone for something you can do yourself
Pro: As an expert in your business with the knowledge already at hand, you can write a professional blog without any necessary preparation. All you need is some ideas and a little time to write. Anyone can write, after all, and if you know what you’re talking about the authenticity of your knowledge may be more valuable than a high standard of writing.
Con: It may take you a lot of time to come up with ideas for the blog. If you’re not used to writing a lot, or writing for an audience, it can take a long time to get the writing right. And even though anyone can write, not everyone can write well, and a low standard of writing may offset the value of your knowledge. The balance between the pros and cons of these two points depend entirely upon how comfortable you are with writing.
What’s your time worth?
The question you really need to ask yourself is how much is your time worth. If it takes you an inordinate amount of time to write your business blog then it costs you the money that you could have earned using your professional skills. This happens to me when I spend time doing design work (for instance drawing my lovely archive of images for this site) – it is more profitable to hire someone to do it for me. For my self-published novel I attempted to do everything myself, which included teaching myself how to use InDesign and an early attempt at designing my own cover. Which was later scrapped. I could have written a whole new novel in the time I spent trying to do my own design work. So the question here is not if you can write the business blog yourself, but if it’s good value to write your own blog. Ask yourself these questions, taken from the points above:
- Does the blog require my personal input to create a unique business brand?
- Am I the only person who can explain the details of my business in an effective way?
- Is it the best use of my time to do it myself?
Alternatives to hiring someone to write your professional blog
There are other options available when writing a business blog, however. Firstly, you could enlist a subordinate to write it for you – an employee with more free time than you, and enough knowledge to put together the blog you require. This does not impact your time and should preserve your desired brand image with authentic expertise. But could your employee’s time also be better spent in the business, and are they capable of maintaining a consistent blog?
The other option is to write the blog yourself, or have an employee write it, and submit it to an editor. It may seem like overkill to outsource editing for a blog, but it is an ideal way to combine your personal knowledge and desired personality with professional writing and an outsider’s perspective. A freelance copyeditor is also likely to stay on your back to write new blog entries.
I hope there’s enough here to inform a careful decision on whether you choose to hire someone to write your professional blog, or you want to write it yourself. Please feel free to comment or ask questions below, and get in touch if you’d like to know more about business blogging and freelance copywriting services.
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