5 Ways to Create Delicious Omelets and Blog Posts


There are four types of omelets, Course Hero explains: American style, French Style, Frittata, and Souffle. Interesting information, I thought, but Upfront Magazine’s article “Good Eggs: 5 Ways With Omelets” is a better example for my blog content writers. Why?  The Upfront piece went beyond providing information to readers, offering ways they can put that info to use.  blog post illustrations

The five “ways” (each attributed to a particular chef) include:
  1. using pizza toppings
  2. trying sweetness (tucking banana slices into the omelet, with powdered sugar and chocolate sauce)
  3. adding richness with goat cheese, meet, and herbs
  4. adding yogurt
  5. going Midwestern by adding fried kielbasa
I found a number of things in the “5 Ways” article that illustrate good practices for blog content writers:
It’s a “listicle”. 
Lists spatially organize information, helping create an easy reading experience, and by most accounts, search engines like lists as well.
It uses “chunking”.
Chunking is a way for business bloggers to offer technical information in easily digestible form, tying different pieces of advice and information into a unifying theme. The “5 Ways” article combines cooking advice (“It shouldn’t be brown or crisp” with a variety of ideas.

It uses visuals.
Visuals are one of the three “legs” of the business blog “stool”, along with information and perspective, or “slant”. Whether you use actual original photos or “clip art, visuals add interest and evoke emotion, in addition to cementing concepts in the minds of readers. “5 Ways” is headed by pictures of the 5 types of omelets being discussed.

It has an effective title
“How long?” is one question I hear a lot at corporate blogging training sessions, referring to the blog post itself, but also to the title. While the most effective length for a title is whatever it takes to signal to online searchers that “right here” is the place they want to be, titles should not be overly complicated or cumbersome.

It curates and properly attributes to sources
Quoting others in your blog adds value – you’re aggregating resources for the benefit of your readers. Then, as business blogging service providers, we need to add our own “spin” to the material based on our own business wisdom and expertise. At the same time, it’s crucial to properly attribute quotes and ideas to their sources.

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To the Blog Writer, It’s One Thing; To the Reader, It Might Be Another

blog marketing
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it dozens of times in this Say It For You blog – blogs are not ads.  Still, always on the prowl for good ideas, I happened upon a full page ad (for sleep chairs, of all things!) that could actually serve as a model for us blog content writers. 
The headline consisted of a quote from a customer:
“To you, it’s the perfect lift chair. To me, it’s the best sleep chair I’ve ever had.”

Then, beneath a picture of the lift chair, there was a three paragraph article.  “You can’t always lie down in bed and sleep. Heartburn, cardiac problems, hip or back aches, dozens of other ailments and worries. Those nights you’d give anything for a comfortable chair to sleep in.”
It’s a good idea to build the occasional blog post around a customer success story. Good testimonials give prospective customers peace of mind, providing proof that people have tried your products and services and approve of them.

The second paragraph went on to highlight some special features of the product – heat and massage settings, battery backup, and a lift mechanism that tilts the chair forward.
In one of my favorite books about selling, Mitch Meyerson’s Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars, the author points out that features tell us two things about a product or service:  what it does and what goes into it. In this ad, of course, the benefits (what the product does for the customer) are emphasized first, with the features described second.

The third paragraph highlighted “white glove delivery”, with professionals unpacking the chair in the customer’s home, inspecting and positioning it, even carrying the packaging away.
Since at Say It For You, our content writers serve the needs of both product vendors and professional practitioners, I was very interested in this paragraph about extra services associated with the product. Blog content writers should make lists of ways their business individualizes and personalizes services to customers and clients.

The bottom of the page had the phone number (with a special code), along with a color and fabric chart.
While blogs are not advertisements, I often explain to content writers that a Call to Action does not at all invalidate the good information provided in the piece. As long as the material is valuable and relevant for the searchers, they’re perfectly fine with knowing there’s someone who wants them for a client or customer. In fact, the Call to Action in the form of a phone number to call or a link to click makes it convenient for readers who are ready to buy.

To the blog writer, the product or service might represent one thing; to individual readers, it might represent another, all the more reason to vary the approach in different posts. 
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Help Blog Readers See Themselves in Your “Home”

In “Stage a Home That Sells”, AARP’s Upfront/LIVE magazine is talking about appealing to young couples when selling real estate, but what I noticed is that three of the recommendations listed under “What Buyers Want” are made to order for blog content writers, no matter what the product or service we’re marketing:
“Buyers want a home they can see themselves in.”
Help online visitors to your business blog assimilate your message through visualizing, I advise at Say It For You. Painting word pictures is an important part of blog marketing. Sure, there is room for technical, precise language in discussing your product or service, but you want listeners to “put themselves in the picture” by becoming customers or clients.
“Buyers want a sense of wellness in the home.”
According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina, “In order to communicate effectively, we need to order our words and ideas on the page in ways that make sense to a reader”. Assume your readers are intelligent, the authors advise, but do not assume that they know the subject matter as well as you. Using familiar words and word combinations gives readers a sense of comfort and “wellness”.
“Buyers want a home with potential for connectivity.”
Does creating connection relate to blog marketing? In every way. “How would most people describe their relationship with your company?” asks Corey Wainwright of hubspot.com. Is the relationship purely transactional, making you just a place they go to get something they need, or do you elicit more personal feelings
Each claim a content writer puts into a blog post needs to be put in context for the reader so that the claim not only is true, but feels true to online visitors.
Home buyers typically look at under a dozen  homes before making a decision, but, in that same timeframe, online readers can scan dozens upon dozens of posts before making a decision about a product or service.
My way of describing the process of blog marketing is this: painting the picture (“staging the home”) is only Step #1; What comes next is putting the reader into the picture!
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A Recommended List of Reading Genres for Better Business Blogging


“Reading fiction, it seems, could be a way to break old habits and unlock more effective, empathetic marketing,” Carina Rampell of the Content Marketing Institute observes, quoting William Faulkner. (Good news for me; since the pandemic stay-at-home thing began, I’ve worked my way through some 18 different novels!)

Like all writers, marketers have a lot to gain from exposure to literature, Rampell continues. “Marketing is all about empathy and storytelling, and great stories are proven to make us more empathetic.”’ But not all reading – and not all stories, she cautions, are the same, and “some genres are more effective than others in helping you “improve your marketing chops”.

 

Rampell lists advantages we content writers can gain from reading:
  • Reading poetry teaches us clarity and precision.
  • Reading the classics teaches us compelling storytelling structure, building tension to pull an audience along to a satisfying resolution.
  • Reading helps us get away from our subject or product expertise and unlock our creativity.

One of the principles I stress at Say It For You is that, in order to create a valuable ongoing blog for your business, it’s going to take equal parts reading and writing.  I’m often asked when I train business owners and employees or newbie blog content writers for hire is this: Where do you get ideas for blog posts? My answer is – everywhere!  But that doesn’t mean the ideas are going to jump right onto your page. At least half the time that goes into creating a blog post is reading/research/thinking time! The lesson I try hardest to impart in corporate blogging training sessions is: “The more you know, the more you can blog about”.  Business content writing in blogs is the result of a lot of reading and listening on the part of the blogger.

 

The Rampell article discusses the value we blog content marketers can gain by reading and classical novels. A genre I can add to her list is one that, on the surface, seems the very antithesis of the “fresh” content we aim for in blog writing – historical fiction.

The insight I gained? Material doesn’t need to be “new” in order to be “fresh”. Readers may already know some or all of the information you’re presenting in your business blog, but they need your help putting that information in perspective.  In fact, that’s where blogging for business tends to be at its finest, helping searchers with more than just finding information, but helping them understand its meaning and significance.
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Best Communication Practices for Business Blogging

blog communication
No surprise – a special research study conducted for the Journal of Financial Planning on ways planners communicate with clients showed that, in most categories, more communication is better.  But exactly what kinds of communication matter most?

As Evan Beach, CFP® reports in the article, several different types of communication were examined:

1.  Educational pieces about investments: These had a high positive association with satisfaction and trust, but the difference was marginal when sent more than once per month.

2.  Non-investment-related educational pieces: These seemed to result in the most referrals, particularly when sent digitally.

3.  Interest and hobby-based pieces:
These are best sent quarterly, and should be focused on clients’ interests, not planners’.
Just as financial planners are trying to offer information, encouragement, and thought leadership to clients, we blog content writers are using different methods of reaching out to readers.

If we substitute the product or service being marketed for “investments”, we can use all three of these communication categories in blogging for business, seeking to increase reader engagement and trust:

 

1. Educational blog posts –
Business blogs are wonderful tools around facts.  That’s why business owners and professional practitioners can use corporate blog writing as a way to dispense information, but, even more important, to address misinformation. Blog content writing is a way of “cleaning the air”, replacing factoids with facts, so that buyers can see their way to making decisions.
2.  Non product or service-related blog posts –
One company that made the list of Forrester’s Top 15 Corporate Blogs was 37 signals.com. Why were they chosen? The company “rarely blogs about their products, instead devoting their blog content writing to sharing advice about business and other topics.”

3. Interest-based pieces –
One of the realities about corporate blogs that is toughest for newbie Indianapolis writers of blog content to accept is that other people, specifically online searchers, are interested, first and foremost, in themselves and their own needs, wants, and interests. Their curiosity about what you do – or about what you have to say or sell, I explain in corporate blogging training sessions, will be at its most intense when it concerns testing their own limits or their own knowledge.

Remember, Evan Beach told those financial planners, ”marketing events are just a conduit to get people in the door when the time is right for them.”  For us blog content writers, we use blog posts of different types to get readers “in the door”, so they can act when the time is right for them.
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