It seems impossible to imagine a world without websites, but just over 25 years ago there were none—really. After the first website went live in 1990, its baby of blogging was born soon after. Today, blog posts have matured into one of the leading relied upon venues for information—and a vehicle paramount to the success of a company’s overall marketing strategy
With over one million posts generated daily around the globe, the competition for attention seems intimidating. As an entrepreneur you know blogs are crucial for business, but you may wonder if it’s worth it. Why would your post matter? How will it be relevant in social media?
If you’re thinking of waving the white flag before even attempting blogging, remember it’s not about who you are—it’s about what you contribute. Here are some thoughts to get started and enjoy the process known as blogging:
- Imagine yourself at a cocktail party.
Everyone loves a good story—if they care about the topic. Just like a group of friends gathered together for a few drinks, your audience should be as interested in what you have to say.
Knowing your audience is key to a resonating message. For example, if your audience is boaters in the Midwest, a blog post about local golf clubs may fall flat. Put yourself in their Top-Sider: If prime boating season occurs during the same three months hitting the green is an option, boating wins out in their minds. There are many resources out there that can help you understand your audience; one of my favorites is from Neil Patel at Quicksprout. Check it out!
- Dance with your topic (and make your reader want to hit the floor with you!).
When choosing a topic for your blog post, ask yourself if you feel the rhythm. Just like a good song that makes you want to dance, the topic should move you enough to write about it. Whether you’re a plumber who is inspired to educate about leaky faucets or a manufacturer of rubber hoses showcasing ways these connect an automobile’s key functions, the message is one that makes you want to sing its praises—and your own.
But, never forget that your reader has to want to dance with you! Your blog’s introduction should make two want to tango, but if you lose your audience in the first few sentences you’re dancing on your own.
Let’s say your topic is drug costs. An obvious way to begin the blog may be:
“Prescription drugs are increasingly expensive in the United States.”
True, but not necessarily intriguing. Instead try:
“Even if you have health insurance, you aren’t immune to the high costs of prescription drugs.”
Find an angle that draws the reader in, speaks to them and want to read more. Here are some quick tips on mastering compelling intros.
- Make it personal.
As a writer who works closely with the healthcare and manufacturing industries, I’m often asked how I make very complex topics understandable and interesting. I can’t stress enough it’s about who you talk with—your clients or a key resource—who help create an interesting piece of content. Reach out and take the time to talk with them; think about what these conversations taught you and how a blog can educate your audience. And, don’t be afraid to ask for visuals to publish with your story.
It’s not unusual for me to interview 20 people in one week on topics ranging from hip implant surgery and the latest cancer treatments, to aerospace manufacturing. (To keep it all organized, I love the transcription service Rev). From one of these conversations, I got to know a patient fighting a brain tumor and facing the reality of soaring drug costs. His story touched me and became a blog post on the why and when of prescription drug costs that also promoted my experience in producing healthcare content. While the topic of drug costs can be daunting, making that personal connection makes it much more understandable. Even more important is that it shows you care!
- Rest up and finish primping for the big party.
Congratulations! You’ve nailed down a topic, created a great intro and provided interesting, valuable content in your blog. But, it’s important to let your draft have a good night’s rest before you begin the party. Let it sit and give it a good editing in the morning. While the editing process is often overlooked, I can’t stress its importance enough.
While a blog post is a great way to share your commitment to your audience, isn’t it sad when you show your comitmant instead?
Even with spell check, mistakes happen leaving your brand just a bit tarnished. Ask a pro or coworker to copyedit and proofread your post before going live, or check out these online editing resources to make sure your copy is ready for the party.
Just like an infamous annual party can draw anticipation from its guests, so can your blog. Put your signature on it, turn on the music and welcome in your people!
By Beth Kapes, Content Creator | Pro Storyteller | PR Enthusiast | Moving Words Into Action
Beth A. Kapes is founder and president of Moving Words Into Action, LLC. She loves telling the story that makes a difference! Contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call for a real conversation, 440.773.5324
Listen to Beth Kapes share more storytelling secrets on Platform FM Podcast 4/12/17