The pointy-headed boss wants Dilbert to show him how to download apps on his new phone. “How often do you expect to download apps?” asks Dilbert. “It’s hard to say. I just know I want all of them. How many are there?” To which Dilbert replies: “Four”.
Comic strip writer Scott Adams is using dry humor to convey a message about non-productive effort. (Dilbert knows perfectly well that the number of phone apps is closer to fifty thousand than four, but he isn’t interested in spending time teaching phone apps to a man who’s failed to catch on to Excel after Dilbert spent eight sessions teaching him).
There are a couple of messages here for corporate bloggers, too. As I explain to freelance blog writers and business owners, trying to engage potential customers, anyone with a computer has access to the largest repository of information in human history, namely the Internet. Online readers, though, can absorb only so much in a sitting. Still, the statements in SEO marketing blogs must be correct and truthful – four in place of fifty thousand just won’t do.
What I’ve found in my work as professional ghost blogger is that both sides may need some business blogging assistance. Blog content writers, on the one hand, need to keep each blog post focused on one main idea, one “app”, if you will, out of all the products and services and expert advice the company has to offer.
Blog content readers, on the other hand need to gain perspective about the information they’re being given. Is that different than what I’ll find with your competitor? In what way? What makes your company so special? How will the information you’ve offered benefit me? Assuming the reader understands that you’ve offered technically correct information, that reader may still not know what to make of that information.
Like the pointy-headed boss, readers want an answer to the question “How many are there?” Effective writing for business serves to reassure those searchers that you can, over time, offer help with all of the “apps”. But, for today’s corporate blog post, teach just one.