Blog Writing Alchemy Can Turn Business Mistakes Into Gold

In real life, chances for real “do-overs” tend to be few and far between.  Hopefully, we learn enough from our most terrible mistakes to avoid repeating them – at least not repeating them in exactly the same way.

A recent issue of Mental Floss (a never-failing idea source for me as a professional ghost blogger) related the story of one of the biggest corporate bloopers of all time – VISA.

Before 1958, credit cards had to be paid in full each month.  As Bank of America prepared to launch the first-ever revolving-line credit cards, the company asked each of its Los Angeles bank branch managers to prepare a list of customers who should definitely NOT be issued revolving lines of credit.

Uh-oh…the BankAmericards were issued only to that very group of “no-no” customers! The result – in the first few months of the program, there was a 22% delinquency rate on the new cards, and BofA lost a whopping $20 million in its first year.  Meanwhile, a PR fiasco ensued, with clergy and the press criticizing the company for fostering an “immoral” credit-based economy.

As readers of this Say It For You blog already know, the story of revolving-credit cards continues with a spectacular turnaround, with Bank of America straightening out the problems and changing the name of the card to VISA.

So, what’s my point in calling attention to this business tale gone bad, then great, in discussing SEO marketing blogs? One very important function corporate blog posts can serve is damage control.

As a reader, I enjoyed learning the BofA snafu story because that failure has turned into such a success.  I teach freelance blog writers in Indianapolis to include stories of their clients’ past mistakes and failures. Such stories have a humanizing effect, engaging readers and creating feelings of empathy and admiration for the business owners or professional practitioners who overcame not only adversity, but the effects of their own mistakes!

What’s more, business blogging help can turn out to help with customer relations.  When customers’ complaints and concerns are recognized and dealt with “in front of other people” (in blog posts), it gives the “apology” or the “remediation measure” more weight. In fact, in corporate blogging training sessions, I remind Indianapolis blog writers to “hunt” for stories of struggle and mistakes made in the early years of a business or practice!

Remember the old alchemists who turned junk metal into gold?  When it comes to blogging for business, mistakes and struggles can be “golden” content for blog posts!


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