Career Rookie Magazine advises students to take their cover letter "to the next level". (I get this magazine because I serve as executive career mentor to students at Butler College of Business.) In this month’s issue of the magazine, I found an article that can be useful for bloggers as well as for college students.
First off, it occurs to me that blogs are a form of "cover letter" for websites. The website gives information about the company’s accomplishments and the special expertise its owners provide. But what the cover letter does, as Career Rookie explains, is "state your case" for why you should be selected for the job.
The Career Rookie article lists ten tactics for making a cover letter stand out from the rest. Two of these, I thought are especially fitting for business blogs:
Include Enough Contact Information
Assume your resume and cover letter may get separated. Would the recruiter be left with enough ways to reach you?
The parallel caution for blog posts is to have several CTA’s (calls to action) on your blogsite and in the body of each blog post. Have you made it a snap for readers to find a phone number and an email address to contact you, a place to post comments, and a way to subscribe to your blog? Be sure navigating your site is quick and convenient, or the only direction in which readers will navigate will be "away"!.
Using numbers may be one of the most underutilized strategies in cover letter writing. Numbers are a great way to be specific about your accomplishments. They also show that you pay attention to benchmarks and concentrate on setting and meeting goals.
There are several strategic ways of using numbers to educate your blog readers and demonstrate your own expertise. Numbers help debunk myths. If there’s some false impression people seem to have relating to your field or your product – bring on the numbers to prove how things really are.
The Chabot Space and Science Center blog, for example, quotes a statistic from the National Center For Education Statistics. In 4th grade, 90% of girls believe that anyone can do well in math. By 12th grade, only 36% believe this is true. (Can you see how the numbers lend strength for the case for teachers encouraging more girls to enter sicence and math fields?)
BazaarVoice, a website offering information about online marketing, includes a startling statistic that relates to blogging. Despite 71% of CMO’s stating that their marketing budgets had been reduced, 47% of all those Chief Marketing Officers say they plan to increase their spending on social media!
In one of my earlier blog posts, I advised "Use proof in your blogs to build belief." Statistics can provide factual proof, by showing the extent of the problem your product or service helps solve.
When it comes to using numbers, I agree with Career Rookie‘s advice, that’s for sure. One simple way I can think of to sum up the blogging-by-the-numbers situation is:
Quantify to qualify – and to get the business!