Beginning With the Protagonist in Blogging for Business

Always begin with your protagonist,” advises N.M. Kelby in Writer’s Digest Novel Writing. “The readers need to discover who the hero is and why they should root for him….Introduce your protagonist, either directly or indirectly, within the first 300 words.”

With business blog content “servings” typically not much larger than 300-500 words apiece, SEO marketing blog writers need to move that piece of advice up a few notches, to the first sentence or two of each post.

According to humor speaker and coach Bill Stainton, the first five minutes of any talk must be indicative of what the audience can expect. The audience will go along with any number of different approaches, he explains, but they want to know “the deal”.

Translated into blog writing for business, what this means to me is that when readers arrive at your business blog, it’s because they already have an interest in your topic and are ready to receive the information, the services, and the products you have to offer. But, from the get-go, it’s up to you to assure them that they’ve come to precisely the right place to get what they’re after.

From an indexing standpoint, of course, by using keyword phrases in the title and in the very first sentence of a blog post, you’re providing clues to the search engines to help them “match” your material with online searchers’ queries.

Aside from that compelling technical motivation for introducing the focus of each blog post early on, we Indianapolis business bloggers can learn a lot from what Writer’s Digest has to say about readers, online or off. “Your readers should know exactly where they are… Establish time and place.  They have to trust that you are in control of the story.”

The tight focus on one, and only one, aspect of your business or profession, one service, one product type or feature, begins with the writer.  Posing the question, “Who will be the protagonist today?” is the perfect prelude to writing sharp, engaging, reader-compelling blog posts.

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