Blog writing has never been more popular and it remains important to anyone trying to develop a good content marketing strategy.
But that doesn’t make it any easier to write timely, effective and informative blogs, especially for busy business owners beset with the challenges of running their companies. With the growing intrusion of AI (artificial intelligence) in our lives every day, it’s not surprising that there are now ways to “automate” your blog writing.
While I’m not here to bash services that might help a stressed-out business owner who is trying to be involved in social media, blogs, podcasts or other good marketing channels, obviously I’m also not here to tout such automation.
Writing is an art. It requires attention to detail, time, focus and a willingness to practice. Sure, we don’t all have time to write our messaging (that’s why companies like mine exist, frankly), but as business leaders we should understand, if not practice, the importance of good business writing.
Clearly, there is so much going on in our hyper-information world that any kind of helpful tool might make sense. But for writing? AI just seems to go against everything that writing is about: being your genuine self, speaking in your voice and connecting with your clients and potential customers.
Perhaps I am being hasty in my conclusion that a smart business owner is better off hiring a real writer than purchasing an AI software that will generate a blog based on the information you input into its pre-programmed fields. Can such an approach be genuine to who you are as a person? To me this is one of the biggest issues.
Who are you really?
We ghost write blogs for many clients. We don’t use a machine or a software (other than Word). Our writing is based on info outlined by the client and their needs, the research we conduct and the draft versions we share.
Keep in mind that many clients have a different “style.” One of our clients wants to ensure that the blogs written under his name are informal, relaxed, and even “folksy,” not stiff business messages or lame marketing/advertising pleas.
Another client wants a lot of research, facts, sources and information to show that the blog is well-thought out and considers all of the options in that industry, one that is highly emotional and critical to the health and well-being of their own clients.
A third client likes us to interview a lot of their team members, quote them and make them the heart of the blog story. I’m doubtful a “machine” can do anything like that.
These are just a couple of examples, but they speak to the idea of “who are you trying to be?” If you want to be yourself, then write it yourself or hire another human being and clearly share what your style is when it comes to communicating with others.
What should a blog be?
A blog should be your attempt to share information and insight where you have great expertise. It’s not a marketing pastiche or an advertising pitch. Just like a press release is not supposed to be a marketing ploy, blogs are intended to be a sincere way to share what you know, and are continuing to learn about your industry, your business and your approach to leadership.
Translating that through a machine program may be possible, and sure it may save you enough time to allow you to actually publish a blog on a regular basis. But the time it takes to input the information the program needs to spit out your blog would be better spent – I would argue – talking with a human being.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am not opposed to new technology. Technology drives much of our daily lives and I know there are many important uses for machines, robots, computers, and softwares in what we do each day. I just don’t see arts like writing, painting or photography being driven by an AI program, no matter how smart.
What is the future of blog writing?
Now there may come a time when few people write anything longer than a tweet. Just look at the world of information we live in right now. Despite all the information we need to digest on a constant basis, people are faced with hard choices when deciding what to read (and write about). And that may be the point – information overload creates a backlash where we seek to get out from under it by trying to escape even more reading.
I sometimes wonder if the same may be true for writing. Sure, not everyone likes to write, and maybe a program solves some of that challenge. I am just troubled when business people don’t understand the importance of quality writing, even if they don’t do it for themselves.
Let’s focus instead on the few things in life – and business – that we call art. There is an art to creating new products and services, to implementing the launch of a new product, to managing a complex team of employees. There is certainly an art to even something like finances where data drives the fundamental need in most cases.
I recently read a Public Relations Journal study, “How Blogs and Social Media are Changing Public Relations and the Way it is Practiced” by Donald K. Wright & Michelle D. Hinson, which showed that blogs “have enhanced what happens in public relations.” It also noted that the “emergence of blogs and social media have changed the way” organizations communicate, especially to external audiences.
Since blogs seem to be changing our communications channels they now exist alongside business journals, industry studies and leadership books as a resource for harried and stressed out business men and women. Not as something we “have to do.”
Blogs that have depth, that are sincere and genuine as well as informative, will not be going away any time soon. So, embrace the idea that you need a blog – maybe even a podcast or a real social media presence.
And lastly, if you agree, take time to figure out how to master these skills yourself, or turn to professionals like those at Logos Communications. We have our own intelligence and I can reassure you, it’s not artificial.