With the “blogging by the numbers” concept fresh in my mind), I took a second look at Indianapolis’ daddy-of-all-lists, the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “2013 Book of Lists”.
“Take-away”s for business owners, professionals, and freelance blog content writers are all over the place in this IBJ Book of Lists:
Make the information in your corporate blog easy for readers to access, understand, and implement. "Book of Lists" is available in hard copy, HTML, PDF, and Excel formats, we’re informed. Customers can download the 2012 version, either as a whole or just for a specific industry.
Be sure the blog site is convenient to navigate. “Book of Lists” contains a table of contents alphabetized by category, from Commercial Real Estate to Travel and Hospitality. Most blog platforms can be set up to enable search by categories as well.
Organize the information. IBJ’s lists are in descending order by size – Largest Indianapolis-Area Manufacturers, for example. One way for business bloggers to re-purpose information is to create “best-of-breed” resource lists. In former blog posts, newsletters, or even emails, you may have “curated” material from other people’s blogs and articles, from magazine content, or from books. Now collate those references into categories, summarizing the main ideas you found useful and inviting readers to explore further. In this instance, the value you add as a business blog content writer lies in offering a hand-picked, ready-to-use list.
Vary the approach in different blog posts. Different advertising sponsors in the “IBJ 2013 Book of Lists”, for example, use different approaches:
Emotional appeal: Roche: “Because of us, Mary has another day with her grandson” or Shoopman Homes: “It’s your dream, we just help build it.
Understanding the customer’s desires: MainSource: “Running a small business is hard work. At MainSource, we understand." or Benesch Attorneys at Law: " I see the big picture in a thousand little close-ups. Photo of one person, pronouns, I and you. I bring order to chaos and drive for a settlement that doesn’t make you feel like you settled for anything less.”
- Play on words: “Central Library Indianapolis: Central to your event” – This is a slogan approach, using a clever play on words
The bottom line for any Book of Lists is the same for business blog posts – to package and serve information to consumers in convenient, usable form.