Who says business blogging and reading has to be always boring? Information and entertainment are one of the top reasons readers come to a blog. Then it only makes sense to combine these two to keep readers coming back to your blog. But being casual and conversational doesn’t necessarily mean being flippant. Journalists and columnists often use various writing devices to make their columns entertaining and still send a very strong message to their readers. Wouldn’t you like to know these writing secrets?
Blogging Secret # 1: Listen to your reader
Content marketing is like relationship building. You want to show everything that is in your shop but not appear pushy. Then the customers come because they like to have a conversation with you and are comfortable talking to you.
Let’s say your friend wants to buy a car and you are having a conversation about this. Now you won’t be selling her anything – unless you own a dealership, of course. Imagine how that conversation would progress. You would give your opinion based on what you researched in a similar situation, you would cite your own experience and those of your other friends and it would all be pretty unbiased – except, you would have a favorite that you would bring in now and then.
Now this same conversation would be quite boring if you just laid out a neat comparison of different cars and started showing data from the last five years. It will appeal to a few, but this can still be integrated in the earlier approach and made interesting.
Blogging Secret # 2: Shout out
Your blog’s landing page is like a shop window and the loudest item will attract most attention. Create headlines that call out to the reader.
Consider shop windows and how attractive the shop owner tries to make them. A bakery will showcase their finest wedding cakes or signature cakes, whereas a dress designer will show their best designs. A look at the Williams – Sonoma store window leaves no doubt in your mind about the kind of products they sell. Nor would you msitake Dress Barn for selling cooking utensils. We’ve all heard about how much time, energy and resources departmental stores put in creating their window displays for Christmas! People flock to see the Macy’s windows in New York City whether they can afford to buy the things displayed or not. But they might still end up buying some towels or a can opener.
Your landing pages should be so vocal that they speak out to the visitor.
Blogging Secret # 3: Ask Questions
Pose a question to the reader. How many times have you started a conversation with ‘Do you know about that new place in the 7th lane’ and launched into an engaging dialogue? Your posts need not be any different. Although posts are not chat windows, using questions make the readers feel that they are having a conversation with you. By asking these questions you introduce the topic and anticipate the questions your readers may have.
David Pogue of NewYork Times weaves in a question that his readers might have in relation to life after Hurricane Sandyin his recent post. He uses this question early on in his post to launch into the discussion and talk about the hardships people are facing there.
Readers will be more interested in reading further if these are indeed the questions that they have in mind. Blogs are designed for two-way communication and posing a question is certainly a great way to involve the readers in the conversation.
Blogging Secret # 4: Make Objects Come Alive
Another way to make your writing engaging and a light read is to give life to inanimate objects. It is no secret that readers come to blogs for entertainment. For example, let’s say you have a blog about kitchen appliances and accessories. Statements such as ‘My Calphalon set has revolted and is grumpy about the electric cooking range’ are funny and memorable rather than saying that Calphalon works better with a gas range. We know utensils can’t revolt and they definitely can’t be grumpy! But by making objects talk to each other, you create an imagery in readers’ minds and it makes reading that much more fun. You are still selling a gas cooking range over an electric one, but making it more interesting to read.
These are only a few ways successful journalists and columnists make their writing entertaining. Not only entertaining, but also vivid, so that the readers carry the message long after what they read. Using these devices in your blog writing will help your readers think of you when they think about the service or the product you discussed.
Try using these techniques the next time you write your blog post, and let us know how much of a difference it made. I am also available to talk about this, so leave a comment and ask me more about this.