To rank high in the search engines your website must include fresh, quality content. Blogging is essential, but you don’t have time and you don’t have a writer on your staff.
The tidal wave of businesses seeking solutions for this very scenario is building. Thus, industrious entrepreneurs are scrambling to meet their needs.
Here’s an example of a solicitation I recently received. This company filled out the “Contact Us” form on my Icon Presentations website and included this comment:
Additional Comments/Questions: Your site looks great, but I noticed that you’ve only had three blog posts since Thursday, June 7. I’m sure you are just too busy to write blog posts every week! Luckily now you don’t have to! (Blog Company Name) can get you your choice of original blog posts every week for only $79/month. Click to find out what Inc. Magazine and the Wall St. Journal already know: “We work like a dog to fill up your blog!” https://blog company name
OK, first by posting this through the “Contact Us” form on my business website this person has displayed a lack of understanding of how business websites are meant to work. The “Contact Us” form is NOT an invitation to spammers. This approach just irritates me and makes me think this person does not understand new media marketing.
Second, please don’t lie to me and insult my marketing efforts at the same time. If you had really looked at my website, as you say, you’d know that I’ve had 17 blog posts since June 7, not three.
Aside from this approach, which turns me off from the get-go, does this company have something valuable to offer? I took a look at their website. They appear to be a business that churns out ghost blogs for anyone for a ridiculously low fee. Then I looked a little closer and found that this website is crowdsourcing their ghost blogging. Apparently for $79 per month you get to choose from several posts pre-written for your site by a “crowd of excellent writers”.
Wow. To be honest, I was horrified. This is even worse than hiring an intern to do your social media. Here you are trusting the voice of your business to a crowd of very likely underpaid writers who you never even get to meet. Every week, your blog could be written by some other anonymous entity. And what about the writers? It sounds like, if the post you wrote is not picked, you are working for free. I have to question the fairness and ethics involved here, particularly in economic times such as these.
Content Marketing: A Three-Pronged Approach
But let’s look at this hypothetically. If I were desperate and needed to post something on my website, maybe it would work. How do I make sure the blog posts I’m purchasing will be seen? What kind of social media support do they offer? You guessed it, none.
Content marketing is only effective if readers are visiting your website. Finding the right community and engaging them on the social media platforms they frequent is essential for promoting your content. It is a three pronged approach: build community, create content, promote content to your community.
Pulp blogging services may be helpful for certain businesses at certain times, but beware of heavy reliance on a service that does not intimately understand you and your business, let alone the nature of social media marketing. Chances are that if you don’t have time or resources to write a blog post once a week, you won’t have time to build community and promote your blog posts on social media platforms. Fresh content alone, will only take you so far. If you want the very real returns so many businesses receive from a quality content marketing strategy, you’ll need to invest in it either by taking the time to do it yourself or hiring someone who will.
But, as this company says on their website, “if you want to get blogging off your to do list and just get blogging done, sign up.”
(Photo by creepyhalloweenimages)