More than 3m people have been affected by the dreadful floods in Pakistan. It is shocking news and I am sure your heart goes out to them – and perhaps your cash. Our TV screens have been full of appalling scenes, the newspapers have had page after page of coverage and the Internet is piled high with news and images. But think for a second what would have happened if these floods had not occurred. Yes, millions of people would be in a far better position than they now find themselves in and thankfully many would still be alive. But, thousands of miles away in the newsrooms of London and New York, the reporters and editors would be happily carrying on with their work, regardless. The pages that currently have floods from Pakistan on them would have had something else in their place.
The fact of the matter is, newspapers, TV news and the like simply HAVE TO put something on their pages. The amount of space they have is fixed by the amount of advertising – or the number of minutes in a news programme. They can’t change the space or time they get. That means if no disasters happen in the world, the reporters have no choice – they have to write something.
Why? Well, partly it is commercial; if they don’t fill the space, the advertising is reduced and so the income is lowered. But there is an important psychological point in the readers – we expect EVERY page to be filled. We expect the TV news programme to be 30 minutes, not 10 because they couldn’t find anything else to fill the time with. Audience expectation is a significant driver in the news business.
What this means is that the reporters don’t worry if they “don’t have anything to say”. They always have something to say, it’s just that on some days, like today, the news is more dramatic and of higher importance to the world. On other days, frankly, it’s rather lame and potentially boring. But the advertisers are happy that they can push their products and the readers are – to some extent – happy because they have “their newspaper” (albeit a little less interesting than yesterday’s, for instance).
Now consider blogging. Bloggers often only write when they “have something to say”. The problem with that is the blogging becomes sporadic, occasional and thereby difficult for readers to know when to expect anything. If you blog every Friday for instance, your readers know they can look forward to your insights each week. If you blog every day, similarly – like a daily newspaper – people know it will arrive; they can trust you to write something for them. Blogging regularly, helps maintain reader loyalty. So even if you have nothing to say, write something. True it won’t be as good as the blogs you write when you truly do have something on your mind. Some days you will be brilliant, others you will be ordinary. But your readers will know that you will provide something. Equally, some days your newspaper is full of gripping material, such as the Pakistan floods, on other days all you get is a skateboarding duck or the latest tittle tattle from a C-list celebrity. Hey ho.
But there is another reason why regular blogging is important. Simply “being there” with your blog encourages people to want to do business with you. Research from HubSpot shows that regular blogging produces more business leads than occasional blogging. Merely producing blog content on a regular basis leads to more online business than blogging when you “have something to say”. Other studies, such as that from EngagementDB, have shown similar results – regular and frequent blogging is more important than occasional blogging when it comes to generating business.
More than this, regular blogging has another impact; it affects your Google ranking. Google prefers blogs which are regular, compared with blogs that are occasional. Search for anything you like and you will find that the higher rankings go to sites with regular blogs. Again, research by HubSpot has confirmed this by showing that blogs which are updated regularly and frequently get more pages indexed by Google and higher rankings than web sites with blogs that only have infrequent posts.
So, there are three reasons for blogging even if you have nothing to say:
- Your readers become more attached to you because they know you will provide something
- You will produce more business leads than if you only occasionally write things
- Your website or blog will get higher rankings in Google
Simply blogging when “you have something to say” will not help you achieve these things. It means you need to blog regularly – and frequently – even if you can’t think of what to write about. And don’t go complaining about quality. One thing we know is that regular writing improves quality. Blogging only occasionally actually makes it more likely your quality will be lower than you could achieve if you wrote every day. So, there’s a fourth, bonus reason for blogging even if you have nothing to say:
- Regular blogging improves your writing quality
The result? Better blog quality over time leading to more readers, more interest, more business. And all of that even when you have nothing to say..! Not bad eh?
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+