Blog marketing maven Seth Godin says the first question every website designer must ask is "Do you want the people visiting this site to notice it?" That’s a subtle but essential question, says Godin, and the answer for most business owners, he says, should be a definite "no"! That’s because, if the user notices the site, as opposed to the story on the page, the business owner has lost.
Godin’s talking about websites, but essentially the same principles apply in business blogging, I think. Keeping the "story line" paramount is indeed crucial. I’m talking about the content being more important than not only the interface of the blog page itself (what I like to call the "masthead" on the top and the side of the page), but more important than the photos, videos, graphics, the font you use, or any bolding or italics in the posts.
Essentially, visitors found your blog because you sell something, do something, or know about something they need. The main "job" each post has to accomplish is telling them "Welcome! You’ve come to just the right place!", telling them why that’s so, and then possibly generating some action on their part.
Amazingly, says Godin, (if you don’t want to draw attention away from the content), the site itself can’t be too cutting edge, clever, or slick. It also can’t be too horrible, garish, or amateurish, he adds, comparing the effect you want to the clothes you’d want the person giving a eulogy to wear. "No Armani, no cutoff jeans".
A quote I’ve used in these blogs posts before is a favorite motto of sales trainers: "Solve a problem, own the customer." My work as a professional ghost blogger is focused first and foremost on helping each business owner client give "voice" to their story about how they solve customers’ problems. But, no matter who is composing the blog posts, keeping the problem-solving story at the top of the priority list – that’s what blogging for business is really all about!