Is your blog a bit of a jerk?
In its defence, it may not know it is. Perhaps no one was around to teach it. Maybe it’s a latch key blog: it comes and goes as it pleases, without guidance and no fucks given. (I really like the sound of your blog, btw. Not what I should be saying but boy, can I relate!)
So how can you blog better? What I’m really saying is how can you WRITE better. Because that is fundamental to its success. The purpose of your blog will determine its success. Success is whatever you define it to be so you decide what that means. Is it growing a group of faithful readers? Is it about gaining more organic traffic? Do you want to build brand awareness? Maybe having the respect of your peers sucks your success lollipop. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is the words on the page.
Shall we take a look at 6 ways to blog better? Well, shall we?! Great! Here goes:
1. Blog, don’t brag.
We’ve all had the misfortune of reading a braggy blog. And yes, I nearly always mention this each time I write about blogging (which is a lot). Alas, brag blogging is still very much ‘in’. A business blog will often be one of two things: boring or self-indulgent. (And if you’re ‘lucky’ it might be both.) We’re all guilty of navel-gazing from time to time but for some, it’s their marketing MO.
Don’t misunderstand me, I want you to write as you (or your organisation). That’s your spice, and it’s the main reason your blog will tease the content tastebuds of your readers. Tone of voice is the seasoning you rub into your word meat. And as disgusting as that sounds, it’s very true. People won’t keep reading if they hate your style. But wait! A blog is not to be confused with a sales page.
“No one is confusing those two things, Sarah.”
Well, Terence, they might so I’d like to clarify the difference (you supercilious bastard). A sales page has one purpose—to make an immediate sale. If people wanna buy, they don’t give a shit (generally speaking) about how it’s written. The need for that product was there before they started reading. The sales page is doing the final conversion bit.
(Have I said this before, yes but I’m saying it again coz like advertising, I’m hella repetitive.)
Some folks will enjoy the way you write. That might be the only reason they sign up for it. And like I said, if success is building a fanbase, that’s perfect.
2. Speak to who your audience is and where they is—are.
As I write this now, I imagine I’m performing a monologue. (I just read that line back and it’s cringe, I’m sorry but it doesn’t make it less true.) The tone I use could vary depending on the situation. For example, I could be giving a sales pitch, a business presentation, or speaking to a friend. (That’s a lie, I don’t have any friends.) That then leads me to think about the setting. If this is a casual conversation, I might be sitting in a cafe. It could be an intimate, slang-riddled tête-à-tête down the local. But it might also be a formal discussion in a high-rise board room. The point is you know (or you bloody well should know) who is listening and where they are doing the listening. If you don’t, get tuned in.
3. Understand what they’re saying.
Like any good conversation, it should always be a two-way street. But how do you have a convo when there isn’t anyone physically there to talk with? Well, you don’t, that’s mental. But you have a good idea of what your audience is thinking about. You already know what questions they’re going to ask. Because if you haven’t, you need to find out.
And how do you do that? ASK THEM.
When you’re armed with that knowledge, you can preempt those questions. You can say stuff like, “I know what you’re thinking” and they can say, “Oh my god, I was just going to say that! How the hell do you know what makes me tick?”. And you can respond, “I’m a business writer, it’s my actual job.”
4. Tell a story.
Please, I know it’s lame but let me finish (that’s what she said). The story thing always has me confused. “Tell a story” what, like a once-upon-a-time kinda story? I interpret it to mean this: use your life experience to weave engaging content. But be careful, that could lead to brag blogging. Why not add some embarrassing stories? People love that stuff (well, the people I write this for do). Silly little things that might crack a smile and get the point across.
5. Quality is the main dish.
Blogging isn’t regarded as proper writing.
Bloggers struggle to shake off the reputation that they are writers only for search. We hear the word ‘optimised’ and we think terrible, unimaginative writing. And the real kicker is that some bloggers are still writing that way (stupid sods). Google has evolved. Technology doesn’t stand still, but often our perception does. Things take time to sink into the social consciousness.
It makes me sad that a lot of business blogs are especially bad. But that’s because business people have no idea how to write a business blog. Many are nothing more than refuse depots where half-arsed information is dumped.
🎵But don’t cry for me, business owner🎵
I’m stridently bucking the trend of crappy business blogs.
6. Make it fun for you.
Blog better by doing writing that you like doing.
Don’t work your content tail off if you hate it. This shouldn’t be like going on the game to feed your crack habit.
You can live without digital content creation.
And businesses run without it—yes, I just said that. Not everyone has to have a blog, they don’t have to have a website for that matter. People do still manage to make money offline. (Prostitution is actually a fine example.)
If you love blogging—DO IT!
But if it is for your business, figure out if you need to do it before you invest your time and cash.
Would you like to lick your blog into shape? Book a one-to-one with me and we will get it sorted out.