I met with a new client today – oh yeah! – and he admitted that while he was completely on board with a responsive new website, he didn’t really understand the value of this whole blog thing. Well! I quickly brought him up to speed on the many, many benefits of a really great business blog, and on the way home, I thought about how I can improve my pitch so that potential clients are on the blog train before we even hammer out the details. And from that thought process came this: three tips for rocking that business blog. Kind of a wander from point A to point B, but I promise this is useful information, no matter how the topic came to me.

Don’t Mistake Your Blog for a marketing vehicle

If all you do is share your latest promotions or tell people why they need to hire you over anyone else, your readership will be pretty pathetic. Maybe your mother will be a faithful reader, but that’s probably it. You have to look at your blog from the perspective of your potential clients and customers. They’ve searched a specific keyword phrase or made the jump from a social media post, and in that search engine result of social post is an intrinsic promise. You better be paying it off when people make that leap of faith. They don’t necessarily care about your business – they’re in it for how it will benefit them.

Your business blog isn’t a sales forum. It’s a spot where you share your expertise in your field – for free. And you do it well. Giving people useful information gives your visitors the warm fuzzies – you’re establishing a relationship before you even get the chance to meet. And that can be really powerful. So when it comes time to brainstorm post topics, picture who you’re writing for and how you might best help them. Maybe it’s by answering a commonly asked question. Maybe it’s offering handy tips for rocking their business blog. Whatever it is, be authentic and fulfill the promise you make in the title of the post.

write like a real person

If your website is the polished, professional version of your business – the best foot forward, you might say – then your business blog is the casual, tie-loosened, after-work drinks version. That should be evident in the tone of your posts. The writing is impeccable, of course, but it’s also more conversational, maybe a little irreverent. Write like you would speak to someone, without the industry jargon or the sales pitch or the boring passive voice. Work in plenty of contractions to keep things casual – that’ll loosen your post right up!

When you nail the conversational voice, you’re changing the perception that you’re speaking at someone. Nope, this is like a two-way conversation that really engages the reader. Maybe you’ll even get a comment, an email, a like, a share, or – jackpot –  a customer.

remember that every element counts

From the blog post title to the opening paragraph and down to the conclusion, you have to grab your reader by the horns, wrestle them to the ground, and leave them panting and exhilarated some 500 words later. And you can really do that, whether you’re writing about business blog strategies or industrial real estate. In no particular order, here are a few pro tips for this kind of construction:

  • Be descriptive, but not flowery
  • Even if it kills you, stick to numerals in post titles – they tend to be more effective at stopping scanning eyes
  • Pique someone’s curiosity (remember that implicit promise?)
  • Remember that the average attention span is embarrassingly short, and cut to the chase – quick
  • Offer insider tips, shortcuts and simple formulas – the kind of stuff that’s easy to execute
  • Go out with a bang – don’t use your conclusion to rehash your entire post, and opt instead for something memorable and actionable

If any of these sounds easier said (read?) than done, it could be a sign you’re better off out-sourcing your business blog. If that’s the case, click here and let’s make it happen. Otherwise, practice makes perfect, so get out there and make me proud.