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As my blogging on this site has grown in popularity (thanks all!) messages like this have become more common:
“Great blog. I’m implementing many of the things you talk about.”
I’ve even heard from higher education institutions in North America who are quoting concepts from my blog in classes.
Those things are great to hear but why would I continue sharing content, knowledge and expertise if people just use it for free anyway?
I’m done blogging. That thought crossed my mind for a few minutes and then I remembered why I can’t hold all stories and information close to the vest!
That’s like the opposite of storytelling. I will only tell you enough so you’ll hire me to tell you the rest of the story! Please download this crappy case study here. Ugh. I would lose many of my readers and credibility.
Besides that obvious dilemma that me preaching that stories should be free interferes with not sharing them myself it’s also easy to forget that not every one interested and working within my niche is interested in working with me. And some don’t need my help.
But blogging helps with these:
- Story sharing – An easy platform to share stories
- Raises brand awareness
- Helps with SEO (people can find you)
- Customer acquisition and retention
But, Christoph you just said blogging lost you customers? Maybe it’s not a clear cut and easy linear process.
The blog still influenced them, helped them, some bought the book, which costs money. Others have hired me to speak at their event or trained their team. Those things aren’t free either. And now they know me when they or their friends need help.
Content marketing is kind of like the music industry. (I heard this first via Jo Miller, a leadership coach in Iowa.)
- We listen to songs on the radio for free
- Sometimes we buy one on iTunes
- Maybe the whole album is worth buying
- Sometimes we might watch them perform on TV for free (except the TV bill, of course)
- We might go the artist’s concert
- Some of us buy T-shirts while there
Here’s how that translates to content marketing strategists like me:
- The blog is free
- The email, too
- Webinar cost attendees to fork over their email for later follow up
- The book costs $15
- The e-book version is cheaper
- A consulting phone call with me costs usually in the hundred dollar(s) range
- Having me speak at an event usually costs a few thousand
Very similar, the more I think about it.
And thinking of stories and knowledge needing to be free is really the only way to use content marketing and storytelling to build an audience. Plus, people would figure out if we are holding back anyway.
So, don’t feel bad about people implementing and using the information on your blog. Feel great about it. Feel fantabulous, which is a word – I looked it up. You are making an impact.
I’m happy to make an impact to all my community members – no matter which phase of the marketing funnel they may currently be in. Certainly, I need enough to move to the customer stage so I can buy food, Amazon Prime shows and stuff like that. But not everyone will become a customer. Good to remember, but easy to forget.
Be happy about making a difference and offer ways to monetize your knowledge at the right stages. Right stages doesn’t mean all stages.
Okay, I changed my mind. I’ll keep blogging. Totally worth it!