“When you’re a winter Olympian, there are no sick days or nights,” reads the headline for the Vicks Dayquil® and Nyquil® ad.
Now, there‘s a good example of a “pow” opening line, I thought, recalling the way I advise blog content writers to begin each post, grabbing readers’ attention and offering a glimpse of the topic to be discussed. But, really, is it a good line?” I reflected. After all, 99.9% of the Oprah Magazine readers who will see that ad aren’t Olympic athletes!
(This week, I’m focusing all three of my Say It For You blog posts on lessons we blog content writers can learn from advertising copy writers.) On closer examination, this particular ad appears to fly in the face of one important rule I teach about blog content writing. The content of each post, I continually stress, must be centered around the needs of our target audience, and, as I pointed out, Opra's audience probably isn’t made up of Olympians.
Still, what makes the ad work is that it’s “au fait” (informed, up-to-date, and abreast of what’s going on in the world.) “The blogging format lives and dies on current information,” emphasizes Susannah Gardner in “Writing a Good Business Blog”. The Olympic Winter Games are in the news now, and it’s easy for readers to compare the demands of their own busy lives with the even more rigorous demands of the athletes.
In general, I teach, it IS important to blog about time-sensitive, current topics everyone else is covering. Sure, searchers have the choice to go directly to more complete and even more authoritative sources when it comes to topics in the news, but what you have to offer is your unique perspective as you "translate" the information for the benefit of readers. If your post helps readers make sense of the news, you'll come across as a trusted and understandable authority.
Even if you’re no Olympian, you need a good night’s sleep. And, even if your readers are no Olympians, linking your business blog content to what’s in the news can be an effective way to grab attention.