I’ve always been a people-watcher, noticing faces, the way people carry themselves, what they selected by way of clothing and accessories, how they talk with others, how they gesture, how well or ill-groomed they are – I find all those details endlessly fascinating.
Over the last five years, as I’ve developed my Say It For You professional ghost blogging business, I’ve added a new hobby – writer-watching. Now, what I’m noticing are differences in writers’ style, presentation, word choices, organization, use of slang, whether their tone is more formal or more casual – and I find those details endlessly fascinating as well.
What brought this all to mind was a half-page feature article In the Indianapolis Star about two weeks ago, called “People-Watching: The 20 Most Interesting People to Visit Indiana This Fall”.
(It wasn’t just the number in the title that drew my attention, although it’s an interesting coincidence that the title of the Discover Magazine article I quoted in my last blog post was a list of “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Cars”.)
In corporate blogging training sessions, I caution new Indianapolis blog content writers about the limited attention span of the average online searcher. That means the way the content is organized and presented in any SEO marketing blog post will probably make a big difference in how much of the post gets read, or even in whether it gets read at all!
Keep in mind that the People-Watching article in the Indianapolis Star was easily 1400 words long. The typical SEO marketing blog post, by contrast, is less than a third of that in length. To be sure, there are different schools of thought concerning optimal length of blog content, but 1400 words is, well, l-o-n-g!. What made the piece “digestable” was the way it was organized.
For each interesting-person-to-visit-Indiana-this-fall, there were the same four pieces of information offered:
- Claim to fame:
- Current project:
- Seeing him:
In blog content writing, not every post needs to be organized in the same way, but the clearer the path along which readers are led within the post, the greater the likelihood they will remain engaged and the greater the chance of them heeding your call to action.
Business blog content must show the “claim to fame” of the business or the professional practice. As business coach and author Jim Ackerman puts it, every business owner must be able to start a sentence with “I am/we are the only……” Then, the blog writing needs to talk about the “current project” (What have you done lately? What are you doing these days?).
A quote or personal statement from the business owner or service provider helps prospective clients identify with “real people”. Under “Seeing him” in the Star article, we learned that we could meet Steven Amstrup at his free lecture at Butler University, or buy tickets to see George Lopez at Crackers. In blog content writing, the “Seeing him” is the call to action.
Writer-watching reward of the day for freelance blog writers in Indianapolis? (With apologies to Julie Andrews), a spoonful of organization can help the message go down!