Blogging to Help X Do Y

“Ultimately, your company profile matters. It can intrigue a new visitor to check out your products or services in more detail, and nudge potential customers into choosing your business over competitors,” Caroline Forsey writes. Forsey uses the Starbucks company profile as an example, incorporating the company’s mission, background story, products, and even folklore regarding its name.

All that material makes excellent fodder for website content, I thought. When it comes to blog marketing, however, I liked the very simple model for a business profile offered by Linked In sales enabler Missy Parrish: – “We help X to do Y”.

At Say It For You, we teach, blog content writers’ initial focus must be on the X. Even if your products and services are top-rate, that’s not enough to keep content fresh and make conversions happen. Your knowledge of the target audience has to influence every aspect of your blog. In fact, the very essence of content marketing is not “pitching” prospects and customers, but providing content that is truly relevant and useful to them

What about the Y? Most of the time, I explain to newbie blog content writers, at stage #1 of their search, online readers don’t know the name of the individual, the business, or the practice they want. What most consumers are likely to type into the search bar are words describing:

1.  their need
2. their problem
3. their idea of the solution to their problem
4.  a question

That means telling those visitors (the X) about the things you can help them learn and the things you can help them do (the Y) is what is most likely to lead to a next step. Always keep in in mind that, when you’re blogging, you’re talking to a friendly and interested audience about things that might help them (as opposed to forcing your message in front of people who are trying to avoid it).

What if you have more than one X and more than one Y? In fact, most business owners and professional practitioners tell me they have more than one target audience for their products and services. There may be one demographic that accounts for the majority of their customers, but they also have “outliers” who bring in just enough revenue to matter.

That is precisely the beauty of blog marketing. In fact, what you don’t want is an all-in-one marketing tool that forces a visitor to spend a long time just figuring out the 99 wonderful services your company or practice has to offer.  Each blog post will offer just enough to convey to individual searchers they’ve come to the right place (which they will have, based on the search terms they used).

Your welcome to those very visitors is the message conveyed in that very blog post: You help X’s like them to do Y!


Blogging to the Smarter Buyer

”Smart buyers want to gain as much as possible while spending as little as possible,” Tom Sant teaches in his book Persuasive Business Proposals. “If you don’t show them how much they gain by choosing your recommendations, they will inevitably focus on the other half of the equation, spending very little.”

Several of the elements Sant stresses concerning proposals can be especially important in blog marketing:

1. Smart buyers want a business proposal to address their issues or problems right away, giving them assurance that the recommendations will be relevant.
At Say It For You, we emphatically agree. Corporate blog writing for business, will succeed only if two things are apparent to readers, the first or which is that the business owner or professional practitioner understands online searchers’ concerns and needs. That assurance need to find expression early in the blog post content.

2.  Smart buyers want clear, specific recommendations tied back to solving those problems.
Buyers need to understand that you and your staff have the experience, the information, the products, and the services to solve exactly those problems and meet precisely those needs. Since, other than the clues offered through the words searchers have chosen to type into the search bar, their individual needs are as yet unknown to you, include anecdotes as examples of common issues that have been solved using your products and expertise.

3.  Smart buyers want evidence that the vendor can deliver on time and on budget.
At Say it For You, we realize that having a specific audience in mind and choosing the best evidence for that target audience is crucial.. It’s specific evidence that will resonate with the right audience, including:

  • statistics about the problem your product or service helps solve
  • your years of experience, degrees, newspaper articles written by or about your business or practice
  • testimonials

Choosing the best blog marketing evidence is crucial!


In Blog Marketing, Is Timing Everything?

“You’ve probably already seen a lot of tricks and tips about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of success,” says Michael Breus, author of a book on Circadian science. “But there is another crucial question that must be addressed,” he posits. In fact, Breus claims, the question When? “ is the very foundation of success.”

Is timing, in fact, “everything”, when it comes to blogging for business? Dr. Breus writes about the best time to eat lunch, ask for a raise, write a novel, and take meds. Depending on the chronotype of the writer, there may well be a “best” time for creating  blog content. The question is, since there’s no way to know the chronotype of each blog visitor, is there a best time to publish blogs?

Over the years, relates, various studies have analyzed data to find out the best time to publish a blog post. Each study has a different slant, measuring social shares, comments, or clicks. Several studies found Monday to be the best day for maximum traffic (pageviews). On the other hand, Saturday appeared to be the best day for comments, keeping in mind that 80% of the U.S. population is found in the Eastern and Central time zones. For B2B marketing, the hours of 7-9 AM and then again from 4-6 PM seem to draw the greatest number of eyeballs. When promoting your posts on social media, the best time to get noticed appears to be around 5PM, adds.

A sort of contrarian view on the subject is offered by “While planning your blogging strategy and schedule, you want to avoid busy times, when a lot of brands are posting to their blogs and there is increased competition for readers’ attention.”

At Say it For You, we tend to agree with this blogtyrant statement: “Creating consistently high-quality content is more important than the time you publish your blog post….Remember, once a blog post is published and indexed by the search engines, it can be found.”

The issue for many business owners and practitioners is often less that of choosing the optimal posting time and more about finding the time to create content to post! Because blog content writing takes considerable time and effort (two scarce commodities in business owners’ lives), writing for business too often is put on – and too often stays on – the back burner.

Research continues apace on the “when” of blog post publishing. Dan Zarrella of Hubspot comes to one important, albeit rueful, conclusion: “It is “increasing publishing frequency that leads to more traffic and incoming links.”



Connecting the Dots in Your Blog

A persuasive bio has to ”connect the dots” between your employment history and the reason you’ve chosen to do what you do, Diane Wingerter, the Career Strategist™, explains in her book, Hunting2Hired. Most professional bios don’t do anything of the sort, she points out, instead offering a long bullet-pointed list of employers followed by a “loves-tennis-and-walking-her-dog” shallow glimpse of the person behind the bio. Answer the question, Diane advises, “If you were no longer in this career, what would you miss about it?”

At Say it For You, there’s a similar question we ask business or practice owners whom we are helping start a blog: “If you had only ten words to explain why you have chosen to do what you do, what would those ten words be?” When you blog, you verbalize the positive aspects of your business in a way that people can understand. But, just as when you’re creating a bio, you’re explaining “who you are” and what kind of mark you’re trying to make in your industry or profession.

Prospective employers are “buyers”, Diane wants job candidates to understand, and connecting the dots for employers means using the narrative of your bio to connect your experience with the value you have to bring to the new company. A Persuasive Bio is based on the understanding that people are driven by desire first, and only later by knowledge. Similarly, blog content writers must never forget that buyers care about benefits, not features. Each “claim” a content writer puts into a corporate blog needs to be followed with a “which means that…” narrative.

The Career Strategist™ offers another tip to job seekers that is something blog content writers need to keep in mind: Don’t use tentative language, she advises, such as “could”, “might”, or “perhaps”. (If you’re not sure, why would you expect a prospective employer – or prospective customer – to be?) For us as content writers, one big goal of the writing we do for our business owner and professional practitioner clients is positioning them as experts in the eyes of their clients and of online searchers. As Renee Quinn advises in, “Be confident in your knowledge”.

Whether composing a bio or blogging for business, it’s important to connect the dots. For each point you make, imagine the employer – or the blog visitor – asking “So what? What’s in it for me?”