To pull back the curtain a little bit, I’m an SEO professional, and I do freelance writing and SEO in my “free time” (more like, the time I create to be “free” because let’s face it, there is no free time for anyone with a job, kids, etc.).
(If you don’t want to read this entire post, take this away: If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner who wants to grow your organic search presence (SEO), you must heavily invest in your blog and content creation. If you aren’t a writer, you need to become one, or perhaps you struggle with getting in the writing mood. Either way, I’m here to help coach you. Hopefully the following will convince you of that fact. If not, and you disagree, email me or leave a comment below.)
In my freelance work, I team up with a number of small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them – through their website – grow their organic search presence.
In 90% of those relationships, the process goes a little something like this:
- Client wants core website (home, products/services, etc.) to rank for terms XYZ.
- I perform foundational SEO work just to get site in consideration for ranking.
- I then optimize their website to help it rank better than it currently is.
After this first stage is completed, the next question is usually:
“So is my site optimized now?”
Meaning, after the foundational work and the first wave of optimization, there is the expectation that their site will start automatically bringing in more organic traffic.
(If that were the case, how would any one site do better than another?)
I don’t blame anyone for thinking that…I live and breathe this stuff every single day, so it’s easy for me to answer:
“Yes, but this is just the beginning.”
To them, they have a laundry list of things they need to take care of for their business, and SEO is a single task on that list; once it’s done, it’s done—on to the next one.
It’s almost a shock when I break the news:
”Well, SEO really is an ongoing task. And, if you’re looking to build more traffic right now, and steadily for the long term, I’d focus on your blog.”
My next task is convincing them that, yes, while people are searching for the products or services they’re selling, it’s a capped amount. On the other hand, those who are searching for things related to their products and services, both before they even realize they need your product, and then after they make a purchase? They’d never be able to write enough on their blog to reach all of those people…meaning, the opportunity is endless.
Sure, blog traffic is “higher in the funnel” and not as ready to convert, but the goal is to get people to your site, let them know you exist, and collect their info, and then – when it comes time for them to make a purchase – your brand is top of mind.
But either way, this conversation inevitably leads us at a crossroads focusing on the question:
“How am I (the client) going to produce more content via my blog?”
Their choices are:
- Hire someone else and pay them to write blogs
- Write blogs themselves
- Neglect the blog entirely
From my experience, what ends up happening is the client might hire a freelancer to write, but hires a freelancer who charges way too much for a measly 500 words of a “blog post,” or charges way too little to provide any sort of value (In their defense, figuring out how much to charge for copywriting isn’t the easiest thing in the world).
Three blog posts later, the practice and cost becomes unsustainable, website owner doesn’t see any results, and they’re done with the blog altogether.
The others who go with option two might say they’ll start or attempt to dive back into writing themselves, but can only muster a blog post a month, which just isn’t enough to make a dent, and end up stopping altogether. It’s partly due to not having the time, but it’s probably mostly due to not having the skill to do so without max effort.
So, of the three options, everyone ends back at the same spot—wanting more organic search traffic but not having the resources to create the required content.
Why Entrepreneurs Might Need a Writing Coach
All of that brings me to this point: one of the greatest things an entrepreneur who is relying heavily on their website and website traffic to be successful can invest in is themselves and their writing skills.
I really don’t know what else to say about it without getting into specifics of your particular situation, but I’m certainly willing to get into those specifics if you wanted to chat.
Until then, check out this free eBook to learn how you can start writing successfully, as a beginner. It’s geared towards freelance writers, but the same writing rules apply. (Hint: you don’t have to be as polished and buttoned up as you might think.)