My Mother Was a Sneaker

sneakersBlogs are not ads, as I am careful to emphasize in corporate blogging training sessions. That’s not to say, though, that we blog content writers can’t learn a lot from ad writers.

I love the Samuel ad for men’s dress shoes, for example. “My mother was a sneaker. My father was a dress shoe. … I can’t help it. I was born this way.  Insanely comfortable and ready for a day in the office.”

You shouldn’t try to give searchers information about everything you have to offer, all in one blog post.  With each post, stress just one major aspect of your company or practice, I teach. On the other hand, you want your blog to stand out, to be unusually interesting, so that readers will want to stay awhile and maybe even move on to your business’ website.

And when you put two things together that don’t seem to match – that can be a good technique to capture people’s interest. Having the shoe “talk” to the reader, and suggesting that a comfortable shoe is the “offspring” of sneaker and a dress shoe is just different enough to startle and engage.

The “nucleus” around which business blog posts are formed is their topic, the expertise and products that business offers. The key words and phrases around that topic are what bring readers to the blog posts. But, even though the overall topic is the same, there is endless variety that can be used to make each blog post special. The technique used by Samuel Hubbard Shoes is metaphor – making an unusual comparison – in this case between parents and shoes.

If you place a ripe banana next to a green tomato, the tomato will ripen, too, explains Brian McMahon in Mental Floss Magazine. Interesting facts such as this can always be of business blogging help, but that advice comes with two provisos:

Your reason for including the fact in your post must be apparent early on in the blog post, and the new information should relate to something with which readers are already familiar.

What “different” metaphor or comparison can you include in your blog that catches readers’ attention but still stays true to your message?

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