Don’t Be Afraid to Suck

In my post Advice on Corporate Blogging I offered the tip to “edit lightly” so as to let the real voices of your company come through.  Blogs are held to a different standard than other kinds of marketing communication.  Trying to make your blog conform to the same standards is not a great strategy — it wastes time and resources and diminishes the true power of blogs.

A corollary to that is my new tip: Don’t Be Afraid to Suck.

Not every single blog post will be a masterpiece and that is okay.  Honestly, the so-so blog post is 10x more helpful than the unwritten one.

When you are blogging, especially early on, your mantra should be to post a lot.  As much as you can stand.  Every day if you can swing it, at least three to five times per week if you can’t.

Here are some reasons why blogging early and often is good for you:

1. The more you write, the better you get: Write every day and you will find after about a month or so that your writing is better, more cogent, livelier.  Practice may not make perfect, but it sure makes better.

2. The more you write, the easier it gets: I can sometimes bang out 500 words in about 20 minutes.  And they are 500 good words, too.

3. The more you write, the more ingrained the habit becomes: Write often enough and it eventually becomes automatic.  You no longer have to “make time” because the time has built itself into your routine.  Plus, it gets easier and you get better and that is a self-reinforcing loop that makes the habit fun.

4. The more you write, the more readers you will have: Attention is the scarcest resource today, and readers will quickly lose focus if you aren’t publishing often.

5. The more you write, the more content you have for other stuff: Part of the beauty of blogging is that you are creating a repository of content that you can re-use and repurpose.  Even mediocre posts may one day come in handy and can be turned into something great.

Ultimately, your blog will be judged by the overall quality, not the quality of each individual post.  As long as most of your posts are good — and a few are excellent — the occasional dud won’t doom you.

For a different, but complementary, perspective on this idea read The Most Horrible Blog Post Ever on Copyblogger.