The Hire or DIY Decision in Blogging


Should you hire an accountant or do your own taxes? That’s the Point/Counterpoint question John Peragine tackles in Speaker Magazine this month.

“Don’t hire” responses included:

  • “Organized people can do their own taxes.”
  • “I’m a trained CPA, so I don’t need outside help.”

“Yes” responses included:

  • “Tax professionals know their stuff.”
  • “I hate taxes and billing. I sleep well at night knowing the experts are doing what they know how to do best while I am doing what I do best, which is bringing in the money that they have to work with.”

Reading Peragine’s column, I couldn’t help thinking that the same two “camps” would form when it comes to hiring professional content writers for a corporate blog. Just as many speakers felt they can handle their own financial records; others felt they lacked the time, the expertise, and the inclination to prepare their own tax returns.

In the same way, while a minority of business owners and professional practitioners prefer to do their own writing, most lack the time – or the inclination – to compose corporate blog content with enough consistency and frequency to make a difference in search results and customer engagement.

There’s another important way in which business tax reporting and maintaining a blog are similar. No speaker’s CPA (who is not the CFO of the company, keeping track of finances throughout the year) can prepare tax returns for that speaker without being given correct and detailed information by the client. As one professional speaker described her process, “I have a bookkeeper for my everyday finances and payroll, and a CPA for my tax returns.”

Similarly, a freelance blog content writer can do the most effective job on any business owners’ behalf when there is a free flow of information from owners and from their boots-on-the-ground  sales and customer service employees to the writer.

Just like a CPA, a ghost blogger is a specialist – in writing, and in particular, writing for online marketing, and writing with consistency over extended periods of time. Most business owners lack the time to keep up that effort.




Blogging for Business, Not Search

sharpening pencils with a swordWinning search has long been our main motivation for blog content writing, but, as Social Media Examiner’s Marcus Sheridan so aptly reminds us, it needn’t be. “Blogging unleashes the power of team,” Sheridan says, referring to companies where each and every person is contributing to building the company’s content base, with magic and momentum truly happening as a result.

But what if the magic isn’t happening, because no one has the time or the inclination to keep up the discipline of constantly creating content? And what if the company is just one or two people, both scrambling just to keep the day-to-day stuff going? Is there any “team magic” to be had when you’re using a freelance blog content writer? You bet. Effective blogging for business takes a blend of ideas and talents, and a professional ghost blogger becomes part of your team, working alongside you to articulate and give form to your thoughts and ideas.  

“Blogging sharpens your sword,” Sheridan says. Because you’re generating new content (either on your own or through a freelancer), that forces you to stay up to date with the newest developments in your industry, to remain conscious of the competition, and explaining things in a consumer-friendly way. (The fact  is that your content writer is not working in your industry can be an advantage, forcing you to see things from ‘the other side”.)

“Blogs are qualifiers,” Sheridan notes. There are generally two types of consumers, he points out: price shoppers and value shoppers. Spending sales time with unqualified leads is counter-productive sales effort for any business.  Letting customers self-sort after they read your current,  information-heavy content saves time and aggravation all around, he points out.

As a corporate blogging trainer, I couldn’t agree more.  Blogs, I believe, can help potential client and customers make better decisions without the business owner or practitioner – or salesperson – needing to step into the conversation in the initial stages.  How?

a) by suggesting questions readers can ask themselves while choosing among options.

b) by showing how different choices relate to differing results. Since people don’t like to be sold, you can use the blog to offer them help in making a buying decision.

Marcus Sheridan sums the matter up nicely:  “There is much more to having a company blog than just getting more visitors to your website because Google decided to send them there.”