In the U.S., processed foods are required to list ingredients on their labels, and the ingredients have to be listed in order of their weight in the final product. So, if tomatoes are listed first, that’s the main ingredient; if sugar heads the list of ingredients, that means there’s more sugar than any other substance in that product. It’s quite a simple concept, and one that’s paralleled in the way search engines evaluate and index blog posts.
When a search engine is visiting a website or blog, it reads the information on it, measuring the relevance of the material it finds to what the online searcher appears to be looking for. When the key words (which match what the searcher typed in) appear in the title of the blog post and towards the beginning of the text, it’s assumed that those are the “biggest deal”, indicative of what that blog post is mainly about.
There’s a second parallel I found between blogs and food labels. If a label says “Reduced Calories),that means that food product must contain one third less calories than a comparable, non-reduced-calorie food. By definition, blogs should be “reduced calorie” compared with corporate websites. Blogs should contain at least a third less content than a promotional brochure or a website page, and should focus on one idea having to do with the business – highlight one product, one service, debunk one myth, one comparison, one testimonial from a customer, one true story, one link to a news story.
As a professional ghost writer of blogs, to me a “sugar free blog” is one that goes light on the hard-sell, and one that offers valuable free advice.
As blogging consultant Mack Collier points out, most companies spend too much time blogging about themselves. The way to make blogs exciting, Collier advises, is by finding your "bigger idea". In other words, rather than touting your company’s pet grooming product, blog about the proper way to groom pets. In business blogging, best to keep things lean and syrup-free!
There are no federal guidelines, I learned, for the use of the word “natural” on food labels. Many foods whose labels say “natural” contain artificial preservatives, artificial coloring, or artificial flavors. To me, "natural" in business blogging means to keep the tone informal, yet informative, giving your readers a “taste” of your personality, as well as the special personality and culture you’ve created in your culture.
In fact, the special challenge I love about my profession of ghost blogging is to capture the special flavor of each business in their blog posts! In fact, one of my clients described it as follows: "I cook my own stew, and my ghost blogger adds the condiments, spices, and flavoring!"