The "Wizard of Id" comic strip is about politics, but bloggers can take a few lessons from its messages. In one episode, the subjects complain to their ruler, "We’re tired of your tap-dancing around our questions. Why is it your answers have nothing to do with what you’re asked?"
Since the whole point of business blogging is to "win search", it’s crucial for the information provided in your blog to have everything to do with what you’re asked! The search engines’ goal is to provide the most relevant answers to browsers’ queries. Relevance, in fact, is one of the main criteria used in ranking blogs on Google, Yahoo, or MSN.
Second, blogging is a form of "pull marketing", which attracts potential customers and clients because they’re already interested in something you sell, something you know, or something you know how to do, as I explained in my earlier blog (see Blogs And Billboards Strike Only When The Iron Is Hot). So, don’t "tap dance around" – give your readers the valuable information they need. Yes, in answer to a question I’ve often heard from my ghost blogging clients, you will be giving out information "for free", but that’s exactly why many of those readers will choose to work with you rather than with your competitors.
My friend Doug Karr, blogging and social networking expert, reminds bloggers to include a "call to action" in each blog, a way for blog readers to contact you via email or phone, a procedure for posting questions or comments, and an easy connection to your website.
Just as the Wizard of Id sbjects didn’t like not knowing their ruler’s position on the issues, your readers will want to hear a clear "voice" in your blog posts. Allow your passion – and your point of view – to shine through, making it very clear how problems can be solved using your services and products. Tap dancing around the issues is a no-no. But include consistent and targeted blogging in your marketing strategy, and the results could give you a reason to dance!