Business Bloggers, the Ancient Mariner Was Wrong – Part One

Remember "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?  (Do they still teach that poem in high school?) The stranded seaman laments, “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Just two years ago, I wrote a series of six Say It For You blog posts called “Learning Around for Your Blog”. The point I was trying to get across to Indianapolis business blog content writers was this:  The secret of sustained blogging for business is learning from everything you see, read, and hear. “Ideas, ideas are everywhere,” my professional ghost blogger verse might begin, and all we need to do is add our own slant – and “drink”, meaning use those ideas to keep blog post content fresh and engaging.

To prove that the best kind of business blogging help is all around us if we’re just alert to it, I used those six 2010 posts to offer examples of blog content “triggers” ranging from a golf training facility to a delivery truck for exercise equipment, to soup can labels and family filing cabinets.

There are two reasons all of this came to my mind today:

a) Even after all these years offering corporate blogging training, the most frequent excuse I hear from business owners and professional practitioners for not starting a blog goes like this: I’ll run out of ideas after the first few posts.  After all, there can’t be that many different things to say about a business/practice, right? In other words, they’re saying, there’s only so much “water” in their “jug”, not nearly enough to sustain their business blog content creation over weeks and months and years.

b) The more immediate reason I decided to resurrect the “learning around” concept: I tuned in to a QVC show on TV. Think about it: QVC has a website with pages and pages of online catalogues of women’s clothing.  In a fraction of the time it took me to watch that hour-long show, I could have checked out all the basic information about each of the QVC holiday sweaters – color, size, price, fabric, availability – you name it, online. So, why does QVC bother to run a entire hour’s programming with the host taking five to seven minutes to talk about the details of each garment?

That’s when I had my “learning around” QVC blog content writing epiphany: Letting a human being point out features and benefits of the product works. Giving potential customers ideas about different ways they can use the product (with the sash that comes with the blouse worn as a neck scarf, with the blouse paired with slacks or a pencil skirt, with it worn open over a  camisole or buttoned, with jewelry or without, throwing that animal print top on over a pair of jeans to run the kids to piano lessons or wearing it over a velvet skirt for Thanksgiving) – works!

Websites present the big picture – the different services and products the company offers, who the principal players are, the mission statement, the geographic areas the company deals with, the “unique selling proposition”. What each blog post does, then, is focus on just one aspect of your business, so that online searchers can feel at ease and not be distracted with all the other information you have to offer. Just like the QVC host, each single blog post helps the reader visualize how this one product or this one service you provide, how this one piece of special wisdom you’re imparting can be used by this one reader.

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