Reality Check for Authors of Books and Business Blogs

In the intro to his book “Reality Check”, Guy Kawasaki shares four reasons why, afterReality Check blogging since 2006 (How to Change the World), he decided to put his newest important ideas in book, rather than blog form:

  • A book boots up faster than a blog.
  • A book has better copyediting and fact-checking.
  • A book is not dependent on Internet connectivity or battery life.
  • You can write in a book, stick stickies in a book, and dog-ear its covers.

Having spent a good portion of my life over the past four and half years doing blog content writing for my own Say It For You blog and for the blogs of dozens of clients, not to mention all those corporate blogging training sessions I either attended or led over that same period of time, I found Kawasaki’s take on blogging’s deficiencies more than a bit deflating.

My sense of purpose was re-strengthened somewhat by reading Penelope Trunk’s blog post “5 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Write a Book”.  Trunk says those reasons begin with the fact that “people who have a lot of ideas need a blog, not a book.” (Yes!!!)

Many people think they have a ton of ideas when in fact, she points out, most of us have very few new ideas.  If you disagree, Trunk dares you to start blogging, because “there is nothing like a blog to help you realize you have nothing new to say.”

Reading further, I realized that Trunk’s list of reasons to write blogs, not books, relate more to what blog maven Seth Godin might refer to as “cat blogs” than to the sort of SEO marketing blogs that are the focus of much of my work as a professional ghost blogger. Cat blogs, Godin explains, are written out of a need for self-expression, or perhaps to gain converts to the writer’s way of thinking.  Penelope Trunk believes that people on the cutting edge of any topic are now reading articles and blogs rather than books, because online readers want immediacy.

Generally speaking, my business owner clients know precisely which direction they want to go using blogging for business as one tactic in their overall marketing strategy: UP.  They want their company name to move UP search engine ranking so that those online consumers who are seeking exactly what those business owners have to offer will find them.

My business owner clients want IN.  They know business blog content writing is a form of “pull marketing”, with the power to “introduce” them to potential clients they otherwise might never meet.

My clients need to get the word OUT. For any small business, the first priority is survival.  Guy Kawasaki advises them to “ship, then test”. You can’t wait for perfection, because cash flow starts when you begin shipping! 

That piece of common sense advice is one business owners – and their freelance blog content writers – need to hear.  It’s far more important to get frequent, relevant, and passionate content “out there” on the blogosphere, starting now, even if that content is not “perfect”.

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