Blogging for Business’ Sake


It’s a wonder more companies don’t do it,” Paul Gillin, B2b Content strategist, observes, referring to topical blogs. Topical blogs, Gillin says, connect with customers about topics that are mutually interesting. The purpose of a topical blog, he says is to “offer practical information that helps readers be more successful and productive, thereby associating the sponsor with that expertise.”

Serving as a “go-to” source for online readers can be a winning strategy for business owners, showcasing the blog content writer’s own expertise while offering useful, actionable, information to readers. This is in no way disingenuous, we firmly believe at Say It For You, because when people go online to search for information about a product or service, they’re aware of the fact that the providers of the information are out to capture business.

“An advertorial is ‘softly softly’ advertising,” cautions The art of writing a good advertorial, explains, is getting the right balance between story and sale. “An effective call to action will act as a logical extension of your blog posts, the authors of the Ivy Tech Study Power Leaders’ Guide add. “Your calls to action should never seem abrupt, or you’ll struggle to get the reaction you’d hoped.”

According to About.Com, “a Subject Matter Expert is an individual who understands a business process or area well enough to answer questions from people in other groups who are trying to help.” Individuals designated as subject matter experts (SMEs) are sought out by others interested in solving solve specific problems meeting challenges. Provide good useful information and establish trust and credibility – sales will follow,” Think eBiz Blog concludes.

The stance we’ve adopted at Say It For You in our blog content writing is this: If the information in a blog is “topical”, meaning it’s relevant to the search, helpful and useful, with no hint of a hard-sell, most readers are perfectly OK with the concept that the company providing the information would like to have them customers or clients.

Because readers understand that they are the ones in control, we believe, they have no trouble being “softly softly sold”.


Blog Posts Don’t Seal – They Enable

Will blog marketing “close” deals in the same way as face-to-face encounters between prospects and sales professionals? The answer is obviously “no”. This week’s Say It For You posts are devoted to the topic of blog marketing and its place in the overall sales process.

In the book Close the Deal, authors Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman suggest that a salesperson faced with a demanding prospect ask “What concession do you need from me to close the deal right now?” In blogging for business, of course, such a “bargaining” exchange would not be taking place between the business owner/practitioner and the reader/customer. On the other hand, one purpose of blog content is to persuade readers to act.

A very non-technical way I have of explaining the concept of blog marketing is this: Rather than running traditional ads for your brand of hats, vitamins, travel, or paint, you provide lots of information on the history of hats, on why vitamins are good for you, about exciting places to go on safari, and on the psychology of color. Consumers interested in your subject, but who never even knew your name, come to see you as a resource.

When blog readers follow your “calls to action” by phoning your business or practice, faxing in a request or an order, signing up for your newsletter, subscribing to your blog through an RSS feed, or proceeding to your shopping cart to buy your product or service, you know your blog marketing strategy is working Understand, though – it’s entirely possible that none of those things will happen at the first “meeting”.

Just as in traditional selling, you need to use blog content writing to “prove your case” by:

  • offering statistics about the problem your product or service helps solve
  • comparing your product or service with others on the market
  • providing testimonials from past and present customers and clients

Generally speaking, as I often stress when I offer Say It For You corporate blogging training, blog posts are not ads, and there should never be a hard-sell or boastful tone to the content. Blog posts are closer in nature to informative “advertorials”, positioning the company or practitioner as helpful, well-experienced, and knowledgeable.

Primarily, the blog post has to add value. Not just a promise of value if the reader converts to a buyer, but value right then and there in terms of information, skill enhancement, or a new way of looking at the topic. The best blog posts are never about yourself, your company, your services, or your products, but about why you see things the way you do.

Typically, a blog post doesn’t “seal” the deal, so much as it “enables” the deal.


Does Unconscious Awareness Play a Part in B2B Blog Marketing?

The discovery of unconscious meanings attached to products and services allows advertisers to design appeals to tap those motivations, the authors of Persuasion in Advertising explain. In our last Say It For You blog post, we explored ways in which unconscious awareness plays a role in both the blog marketing of products as compared with using blogs to market professional services…
Is there a difference in the way blog marketing should best be sued to market B2B as compared to B2C marketing? Joshua Nite of TopRank makes a number of observations concerning business-to-business marketing, four of which are very much in keeping with practices we teach at Say It For You:

1.  It’s never been more important for brands to show purpose.
For blogs to be effective, they must serve as positioning statements. The “visit” has to conclude with readers understanding exactly what your particular philosophy or mission is. Effective blog posts must go from information-dispensing to offering the business owner’s (or the professional’s, or the organizational executive’s) unique perspective on issues related to the search topic.

2. On a chart ranking traits that B2B buyers value in salespeople, problem solving is near the top, while creativity is at the bottom of the list.
Business executives (or their staff members) are online searching for answers to their questions or solutions for dilemmas they’re facing.  Or, they might need a particular kind of service and aren’t sure who offers that.  Or maybe they need a product to fill a need they have.  Don’t think of it as business blogging; think of it as providing solutions to someone’s problem.

3.  Business customers see value in maintaining relationships with influencers.
In blog marketing, therefore, the content writer must “interview” the influencer, asking the right questions so as to elicit thoughtful, detailed responses, positioning the company owner or practitioner as a thought leader, someone who defines purpose in a marketplace craving direction.   In a face-to-face (or Skype) interview with a business owner or executive (or professional practitioner), I am able to capture their ideas and some of their words, then add “framing” with my own questions and introductions, to create a blog post more compelling and “real” than the typical narrative text.

4. With news about the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the internet, B2B marketers must be careful not to sound too opportunistic.
Even though today’s most searched-for topic may not be what is most often talked about tomorrow, I teach at Say It For You, you can benefit readers by tying your blog content to popular topics. While the focus of your business blog will be on the business owners and the services, advice, and products they offer, the content can reflect current happenings and concerns.

On the other hand, “content has to contribute value and fit organically within the cultural context of your target audience. Otherwise, you risk appearing opportunistic and losing their trust,” cautions. COVID-19 is a perfect example of a topic that must be incorporated in blog marketing only to the extent it is relevant to the solutions the marketer is offering.
At Say It For You, where we create content to market to both businesses and to consumers, we know that in both cases, our main goal is to raise prospects’ awareness of solutions to the issues that drove their online search. Just as, in marketing to consumers, we are not aiming for an immediate sale, the same is true for B2B marketing. We blog content writers keep on telling our client’s story in its infinite variations over long periods of time, knowing that the readers (whether consumers or businesses) who end up as clients and customers have self-selected rather than having been “sold”.

Business Blogging and SEO – How Strong is the Bond?

SEO and blogs

One of the points Carol Tice lists in comparing blog posts to articles is that blog posts are “built around SEO keywords”.

Does blogging help SEO?  To be sure.  Kristen Hicks of HostGator lists six reasons why:


  1. Blogging keeps your website fresh and current.
  2. A blog keeps people on your website for longer.
  3. Blogging helps target long-tail keywords (half of all searches are for terms four words or longer).
  4. A blog offers opportunities for internal linking.
  5. A quality blog gives other sites more reasons to link back to your site.
  6. A blog helps you connect with your audience (which encourages sharing and driving traffic to the site).

All true, but…. Are blogs – should blogs – be “built around” SEO keywords? “ Every successful blog is built on a solid foundation of content, but it’s consistency that’s the real key to successful search engine rank,” offers top web infuencer Neil Patel. “Using your keywords in a natural way in your post isn’t a bad SEO practice,” Patel says,” “but don’t overdo it”. .


SEO is the practice of optimizing content to clearly define what your webpage is and what information it is providing, explains Elena Terenteva in the SEMrush Blog. Some areas that need to be optimized, Terenteva explains, include:
  • page titles
  • meta descriptions
  • alt-text
  • internal links
  • anchor text
  • URLs

“Above all, your blog post has to be a good piece of writing!” cautions ( The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin is the guide our blog content writers at Say It For You rely on).


So, no, Carol Tice, blog posts should not be “built around” SEO keywords. As the Yoast article so aptly concludes – “The days when a few SEO tricks were enough to get your website to rank well in Google are long gone.  Nowadays, quality content is king.”



Contagion on Purpose Through Blogging

In recent months, the word “contagious” has certainly taken on frightening meaning.  But in his book Contagious, Jonah Berger explores ways to create contagion around good ideas, products, and services. “Regardless of how plain or boring a product or idea may seem,” Berger says, “there are ways to make it contagious.”

Every one of Berger’s ideas for achieving contagion, I found, is directly applicable to blog marketing:

1.  Find inner remarkability (break from what people expect from the experience of using the product or service). For every fact about the company or about one of its products or services, a blog post addresses unspoken questions such as “So, is that different?”, “So, is that good for me?”  

2.  Leverage game mechanics (use elements of a game to keep people engaged, motivated and wanting more. A core mechanic is the essential play activity players perform again and again in a game. Each business blog post should impart one new idea or call for a single action. 

3.  Make people feel like insiders (scarcity and exclusivity drives desirability). Hitting precisely the right “advertorial” note is the big challenge in corporate blog writing. Exclusivity is one of the five “key copy drivers” which business content writers should use to enhance audience response.

4.  Use “triggers” to keep ideas and products fresh in the minds of consumers, associating your product or service with some familiar aspect of life. In your blog content, link your products and services to prevalent trends.

5.  Use emotional content to evoke feelings that drive people to share and to act. Evoking emotion creates a feeling in your audience of being connected with you and the people in your business or practice.

6.  Provide practical information that helps others save time, energy, and resources. Chunking, or breaking down information into bite-sized pieces , allows readers to digest and more easily use new information.
7.  Embed your ideas in stories that people want to hear and retell. Let stories about people tell the story of your company, your products, and of the services you provide.

When it comes to spreading ideas through blogging for business, the word contagious can be a very good thing indeed!