This week’s Say It For You business blog posting lessons are based on the secrets and shortcuts Geoffrey James shares in his book Business Without the Bullsh*t .
In a way, James’ entire book showcases a point I often stress in corporate blogging training sessions – whether you’re blogging for a business, for a professional practice, or for a nonprofit organization, you’ve gotta have an opinion, a slant, on the information you’re serving up for readers. In other words, blog posts, to be effective, can’t be just compilations; you can’t just “aggregate” other people’s stuff and make that be your entire blog presence.
(Of course, you can do that, just aggregate, I mean, and many sites do. Aggregation may even make your blog site the “go-to” destination for information. But if you ask me, that’s not going to result in readers coming to your business or practice for service, products, and advice.)
James’ book has a chapter I love, called “How to Cope With Management Fads”. The author gives readers career-saving tips for when their employers are in the throes of implementing that he calls “faux panaceas”. Six Sigma? “Expect everything to take 10-20% longer than it otherwise would because of buttinsky experts clogging up the way the organization runs.” Reengineering? “…one of half a dozen euphemisms that executives use when they’re planning to fire a bunch of people.” Matrix management? “The result is predictable: an endless, debilitating turf war.”
The book blurb explains that Geoffrey James writes one of the world’s most visited business blogs. The reason, I firmly believe, is that he’s opinionated, very opinionated. Sure, James’ style may seem far too harsh for you to use anything like that in your own online marketing.. You’re out to nurture the relationships you’ve established and welcome new clients and customers to your business or practice, not “turn them off”.
Still, what I’ve learned over the years of creating blog content for dozens and dozens of clients in different industries and professions is that, in order to turn clients and customers “on”, we must incorporate one important ingredient – opinion. Taking a stance, I’ve found, is what gives a blog post some “zip”.
We must be influencers, I advise clients and blog content writers alike. Whether it’s business-to-business or business to consumer blog writing, the blog content itself needs to use opinion to clarify what differentiates that business, that professional practice, or that organization from its peers.