Congratulations if you have - or plan to have - a blog for your business. After all, it's a powerful tool for connecting with customers.
I think of my business blog as my business' own digital printing press for taking the world by storm online. I'm not dependent on publications or TV channels or billboards - or million dollar budgets - for communicating directly with my customers.
It's a heady notion. Thanks to digital resources - such as a business blog - you, too, can connect with customers in a way that used to only be available for Fortune 20 type organizations with cavernously deep pockets.
That said, a business blog represents a serious undertaking. It's the kind of tool that takes consistent and ongoing effort in order to generate dramatic increases in traffic to your site, and in customers for your business.
It also requires that you think strategically about your business and your customers. The more you know, the better because the best blog articles are ones that focus intensely on your customers!
I bet you're wondering how do I write good blog articles?
On one hand, it's really straightforward; on the other, it can be challenging. However, if you're asking yourself that question, you're on the right track for writing good blog articles.
Here are my 5 'secrets' to success for writing good blog articles so your business connects with customers:
1. Have a human voice when you write blog articles.
What I love most about blogs is that they allow a business to be human. After all, a business is made up of human beings with distinct perspectives. Those human beings tend to be passionate about what they do. How better to communicate that depth of feeling than through a blog? Especially when customers (who are also human beings) want to connect with fellow people, and are actively on the lookout for real people willing to share real perspectives.
That means being comfortable talking about your business from a perspective your customers can relate to. Sometimes that means highlighting competitors and acknowledging you aren't perfect.
The more human your blogging voice is, the more likely it is to be believed by prospective customers. If people believe you are human, they are more likely to trust you and eventually do business with you.
What's not to like about that?
2. Be interesting when you write blog articles
Who wants to be bored? I don't. I bet your customers don't either. The best way to avoid boredom is to be interesting when you write blog articles.
Interesting means being a good writer.
It also means a certain level of relentlessness in educating, or entertaining, or provoking your blog audience with unique perspectives on a topic.
You don't want to be talking only about yourself and how wonderful you are. You do want to include links to resources which offer deeper meaning to the topic you are writing about.
You don't want to be boring.
3. Focus intensely on your customers when you write business blog articles
If you start with your customers in mind, you will come up with endless content to write about in your blog articles.
What are the issues customers encounter when in the market for the products or services you offer? How might you use your vast knowledge and experience to demystify the situation, to simplify the options availabe, to help your potential customer emerge not only victorious, but also satisfied from the experience?
When you write blog articles which focus on customers and the issues they encounter, you are truly able to increase the digital visibility of your organization. Good blog articles allow you to be found online via search.
4. Not all blog articles need to be thought leadership pieces
That's right. A business blog is a practical tool which helps you answer questions prospective customers have. They don't always want a dissertation on world peace. They do want answers to questions they have related to finding a solution to the problem they have.
Answer those questions in your business blog. Explain how to use the product or service you offer. Help them make sense of the variety of options available. Explain when one option matters over another. Guide them in caring for your product or service. Help them evaluate choices and deal with exceptions. Assist them in diagnosing whether they have a problem or not. Be aware of calendar cycles and how those affect prospective customers' lives.
If you'd like real inspiration on how to write good blog articles and the importance of focusing on your customers, I invite you to read this NYT interview with Marcus Sheridan titled Revolutionary Marketing Strategy: Answer Customers’ Questions.
In response to a question about business owners not knowing what to blog about, Marcus responds:
A. That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard, and I hear it a lot. What they should be doing is just listening to every single question they get and answering it. In my consulting business the first thing we do is brainstorm what questions the company gets on a regular basis. I’ve never had a company come up with less than 100 questions in 30 minutes."
5. If you're serious about writing good blog articles, develop a content calendar
You have to be serious about your business blog if you intend to use it to connect with customers.
Having a business blog can be intimidating. It means a commitment to a regular and consistent publishing schedule - i.e., at least once per week. Producing blog articles that frequently can be a daunting undertaking for many businesses. Producing good blog articles, even more scary!
A schedule or content calendar helps keep the intimidation factor at bay. It keeps you on track and on topic. It prevents you from relying on empty filler pieces. It keeps you focused on your customers.
Those are my five secrets for writing good blog articles.
If you're interesting in writing good blog articles for your business blog, consider focusing on your customers - relentlessly, intensely and consistently. Before you know it, you will have created an impressive and credible business blog resource that potential customers will gravitate towards...
If you have different ideas about how to write good blog articles, please share them with us in the comments.