Access to the blogosphere means anyone can become a journalist. Unfortunately not everyone is a good one. The cost of traditional publishing prevents most hacks from inflicting their drivel on the public. Unfortunately there are no such restraints online. As a result, fact checking, grammar, and basic civility sometimes take a back seat to self-expression. Because blogging is such a personal activity, we’ll focus on using blogs to sell something. Keep in mind, writing for style and meaning are just as critical for blogs as with print. Maybe even more important, because once it’s on the Internet, it’s never going away. More people can see it, share it, comment on it and love it or hate it. Remember, once it’s posted it will last forever.
Here are some other purposes of blogs for business or pleasure;
Pick any topic but make sure you do your research. Make sure the facts can stand up if you’re making a claim. Cite your sources and be clear when you’re stating your personal opinion.
These should reflect a more human side to a company or brand beyond a recitation of features and benefits. Perhaps personal stories, unusual facts or other information that makes the reader want to like the company as well as buy its products.
Maybe you have some expertise with certain ethnicities, age groups, neighborhoods, or hobbies that you’d like to share. Marketers may be able to use your information or it may just be entertaining to a general audience.
Geeks read what other geeks write. Maybe you want to share what you saw at the Consumer Electronics Show. Or you tried the next killer app. A lot of people want to know what’s the next big thing.
Industry specific blogs:
You may have some information to share about what’s new in any given industry, including advertising. You can discuss what’s in and what’s out and look like an expert in your field. It’s amazing how many blogs start with “The 10 hottest trends for _______.” It works!
It’s OK to vent, just do make it clever and entertaining. Give solid reasons for your criticism beyond, “That really sucked.”
Reveal hidden details the ordinary tourist never sees. Talk about the people you’re encountered and share their stories. You may encourage someone to explore the world or just entertain the armchair adventurer.
These can range from random musings about anything and everything or they can be very focused about specific topics. More than any of the above, they must be well-written. Double and triple check everything before hitting that send button.
Here are a few tips to make your blogs more interesting, relevant and searchable.
Ask don’t tell:
Perhaps you lead with a provocative question to draw readers in (refer to chapter 8 discussion of headlines). Or you close with a thoughtful question that encourages comments.
Visuals attract readers. Review chapter 6 for basic design and web design trends and find something that’s compelling and relevant to your message.
Your blog may have it’s own Google+ or Facebook page. That’s a perfect place to promote your latest post. It will generate more comments and help your search rankings. Tweets can also encourage visits to your blog.
Support other bloggers:
Use social networks to comment on other blogs and retweet other blog posts occasionally. Your support will be reciprocated.
Study blogs you admire:
Find some blogs you really like and follow them for several weeks or months. Discover what makes them consistently interesting, well written and meaningful. Then interact. Let them know you value their effort. A lot of the motivation behind blogging is ego. We all seek validation.
Adapted from Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, Design, 4th edition, Tom Altstiel and Jean Grow
Watch for Advertising Creative,
4th edition–January 2016.
For more detailed information about how to maximize the impact of company blogs, contact Bill Elverman, Vice President/Public Relations Director at PKA Marketing.