By Ryan Malone

Blogging can benefit businesses of all sizes with increased search traffic, more indexed pages, higher search result rankings, and increased lead generation and conversion.

Yet, the only way for marketers to truly reap the benefits of blogging, is to update the blog consistently (at least weekly) with rich content.

Many businesses miss out on blogging’s benefits because they are not actively updating their content. I’ve heard just about every lame excuse out there for not blogging consistently. Below I will count down the top 10 lamest excuses for not blogging consistently and provide a rebuttal for each excuse.

Lame Excuse #10: “I don’t have the time.
Yes I know we’re all busy, but this is an empty excuse. There are myriad ways to save time, such as assigning blog posts company wide or working with a freelancer or agency. One special tip is to have an agency conduct blog interviews with experts at your company and then write up blog posts using that content and paying special attention to the expert’s voice.

Lame Excuse #9: “I can’t think of anything to write about.
Take your top keywords and phrases and set up RSS feeds, bookmarks on sites like Delicious.com and trigger Google alerts around those words. This will generate a constant stream of new ideas, blog posts and articles to write about. Google blog search and Twitter Search are two more useful tools to find out what people are talking about in your industry and blog about those topics.

Lame Excuse #8: “Nobody cares what I have to say.
Actually, Google cares what you have to say. Google treats every blog post like a new page on your website. Every post you write can be SEO optimized for keywords and links. The more you blog, the more content Google indexes and the better your search traffic and page rankings become. Also, the more you blog around targeted keywords, the more likely it is for qualified leads to find your site.

Lame Excuse #7: “I am not the right person at the company to be blogging.
If you are not the best voice or personality to be blogging, then go after the right people. Look in every department or silo, for those extroverts and social media savants who have a lot to say about the industry or their role at the company. Incentivize these people to blog with contests for whoever gets the most traffic or comments.

Lame Excuse #6: “I’ve never been a great writer.
Blogging is conversational. The best bloggers write in their own voice. Pick a topic and pretend you are writing an email to a client about a new development in your industry. This will help you find the perfect business casual voice.

Lame Excuse #5: “I don’t want to invite negative comments.”
Usually the negative blog comments, where a reader respectfully disagrees with your post, are the ones that spark the interesting and productive conversations. A debate happening in your blog comments will gain you new followers and traffic. A negative comment is simply another opportunity to position yourself and reinforce your brand values. Use some comment judo and turn a negative into a public positive.

Lame Excuse #4: “I work in a highly regulated industry.”
That’s no excuse. Get on the phone to your legal contacts and find out if there are any parameters for blogging. See if legal will vet new blog posts before they go live. Finally, develop a boiler plate disclaimer to tack on the end of each post to cover any liability concerns.

Lame Excuse #3: “My customers don’t read blogs.”
I’d venture to guess your target audience DOES read blogs. If they are online, they are likely consuming content–often in the form of a blog. Blogs are no longer for tech geeks. They are now a widely read and trusted source for news and opinions.

Lame Excuse #2: “I don’t know how to get started.
There are so many tips and how-to’s out there for starting a blog. Many blog solutions have free or low cost versions and user-friendly set ups. If you want to blog but don’t know how to get started, broach the subject with your whoever hosts your company website. This way you can integrate the blog into your existing website to better capitalize on blogging’s SEO benefits.

The #1 Lamest Excuse: “What’s a blog?
When I hear this question, I am tempted to welcome the person to the year 2001, but sarcasm really doesn’t get you anywhere. So here’s a straight answer:

The word blog comes from “web log” and is a more organic part of a website where users can update content daily with posts and let readers comment, share and interact with the material. Blogs are a great venue to incorporate video, photos, polls, sharing and other Web 2.0 features. For many companies, blogging is a secret weapon, used to increase traffic to the company’s website, improve visibility in search rankings and convert visitors into leads.

If you think of any more excuses for not blogging consistently, leave them in the comments and I’ll be happy to respond!

Photo: Arpit Gupta from this Dilbert comic.

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Ryan Malone

About the author

Ryan Malone is the founder and CEO of SmartBug Media and is a veteran of Deloitte & Touche, Seagate and several venture-backed technology companies. When he's not leading SmartBug and helping clients build high-octane marketing organizations, he's loving his wife and daughters and unsuccessfully learning the guitar. Go Terps! Read more articles by Ryan Malone.