I have written a lot about using social media to become a thought leader, positioning yourself to win customers, promotion or speaking opportunities.
Blogging is a key part of this. All the women contributing to Prime Women have learnt the value of blogging – for themselves and on other sites. Here, I want to share how to write a business blog that will grab people’s attention.
1. What is a good business blog?
I have been trying to persuade a girlfriend of mine to write a blog to promote her writing services. For once, my influencing skills have completely failed! She is a trained journalist and has a great reputation for that – but she refuses to blog because she doesn’t want to be ‘personal.’ I have tried to explain that a good blog is not an Op-Ed piece – an opinion-editorial in a newspaper. While there are great bloggers putting their opinions out there, forget that for a business blog.
In my opinion, a good business blog is written to help your clients and customers. It will in the process position your expertise – but don’t start with this as your aim.
2. What should you write about for a business blog?
I struggled to know what to write about initially, to find my ‘voice.’ Most bloggers I know have had the same trouble. But, my secret now is to listen to the questions our clients are asking. That could be in a training course, a meeting, or a client might ring you up to ask for your views on a technical issue. These questions are your goldmine. Note them down and treasure them!
The added bonus is that if your clients are asking these questions, you can bet others are searching Google for those answers. And this helps you to come top of Google – this blog on thinking like a search engine explains more.
3. Clickability for your title
People are going to find your blog in a few ways, typically:
- Organic search – the tip above, about listening to the questions you are asked, is important so you getting found when people are searching for that information on Google
- Because you and others have shared it on social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
- You have emailed it direct to your contacts
- An RSS feed – people have subscribed to your blog
In all these, the title has to grab attention so you want to click through to read more. There are tips in this blog on how to write a business blog headline and also in our eBook from Amazon on How to write a top-ranked business blog.
4. Get and keep attention quickly
A lot of our clients want to write blogs as if they are feature pieces. No!
You need to write them to capture the attention of someone finding your blog on their phone in commuter traffic or standing in the supermarket queue. As they scroll through, they spot your blog and the title grabs, they can immediately see what it is about and want to read on.
So, in the first paragraphs, you need to make sure the reader knows what your blog is about and why they should keep reading.
5. Tips, insights, and controversy all work
I am itching to do a really great legal blog – we’ve talked to lots of law firms and a lot have started blogging, but I have yet to see a really engaging blog that would be useful. Their instinct is to sum up the latest law in a version of a legal brief.
What I would love to see is some insight into what this means in their office. What do clients struggle with; how do they apply this law in different circumstances; what does the lawyer worry about in litigation? These are insights from every day life. You don’t have to break confidentiality, but you can talk through the law in real life.
For me, this is what really engages the reader – getting up-to-the minute insights that you won’t find in the media or text books. This is adding real value to the reader.
We have pretty good traffic to our blog, but it’s difficult to know who actually is reading our posts. It is rewarding when I meet someone and they say ‘I love your blog on…’ or ‘I really agree with what you were saying about…’ or ‘that blog was so helpful, I really understood…’
You can imagine, it is heart-warming and makes it feel worthwhile to blog – to say nothing of being surprising! But these are the starts to relationships that turn into business. And that is what a good business blog is about.
If you want to know more detail about how to write a business blog, I shared everything I know in our eBook, mentioned above.
I would encourage anyone who is developing their personal brand to look at business blogging.