“We call them ‘utility items’,” explains Dennis Ryerson, editor of the Indianapolis Star, referring to that end of the information spectrum that is not traditional big breaking news, but stories “designed to help you navigate your community and your life.”
Come to think of it, blogging for business is designed around a similar concept – helping online searchers navigate their lives and find information they can utilize.
Ryerson’s examples of utility items in that issue of the Star (10/16/11) include:
- Telling you what to look for if you have gold jewelry to sell.
- Telling you how to capture a great fall photograph
- Learn ways to fight the flu.
- Tell you about fall festivals.
- Telling you ways to save money while shopping.
- Giving you advice about home remodeling.
- Telling you how to care for a product you’ve bought to preserve the benefits.
While corporate blog writing would, of necessity, have a narrower focus, concentrating on one business or industry, the “utility” in SEO marketing blogs comes from just the sort of practical tips Ryerson’s list includes.
Telling you what to look for. Readers who are looking for a product or a service need more than a photo and a price list; they need to know how to judge the value of what you have to offer. Does your corporate blog writing help readers ask the right questions?
Telling you how to… The people who are likely to find your blog are those who need your product, service, or expertise – they don’t want to do it themselves. Using blogging for business to share advice and information serves to showcase your know-how and build the kind of trust it takes for searchers to become buyers.
Telling you about fall festivals….I’m always telling blog content writers in Indianapolis that the blog is an ideal bulletin board to preview – and then review – special events and special sales the company is hosting.
“Big stories or small, you can learn a lot here,” promises Ryerson in the Star. Precisely the promise, I stress in corporate blogging training sessions, that freelance blog writers should strive to fulfill!