My friends from the MindTripping Show thought a nice feel-good story would help get rid of mid-winter blues, and they were certainly right. Interesting thing, though. While the story they chose to share in their Mind Trip of the Month did change my negative perception of rats, the tale has little to do with the wonderful kind of mind-tripping and magic that are the hallmark of Christian and Katalina’s long-running show.
There’s a lesson here for us business blog content writers, I thought. In fact, I’ve found going off on “tangents” can serve a real purpose in business blog posts. The business blogging challenge is both simple and daunting: How can the content of a business blog stay relevant over long periods of time, without becoming repetitive and even tedious to both writer and readers?
True, it’s important for business blogs to stay on task and on topic, because the search engines help readers find your blog based on topic. On the other hand, there are compelling reasons for not being repetitive in blog posts:
Technical reason: avoiding “duplicate content”. Search engines tend to penalize rankings of sites that duplicate content that’s already in the blogosphere.
Common sense reason: avoiding staleness and continuing to engage readers.
OK, then, so, how do you keep talking, several times per week over periods of months and years, about essentially the same thing, without becoming either duplicative or stale? Answer: You go “orthogonal”, meaning you veer off-course. On purpose. You come up with material that’s unusual and unexpected, given the nature of your business. My Say It For You blog, for example, is about business blogging. So why, back ten years ago, did I blog about an advertisement for a piano? I was being orthogonal.
The Mind-Tripping Show hosts were being orthogonal, presenting the story about heroic rats trained to ferret out land mines in order to save human lives. Blog posts need to capture readers’ attention in precisely the same manner, by presenting examples and illustrations that don’t at first glance appear to relate to the subject at hand.
A good story can get rid of the business blogging blues!