We were given two ears and only one mouth." That reminder seems to pop up in every business etiquette or sales training seminar. The message is a simple one: we would do well to use these organs proportionately, devoting twice the effort to listening as to speaking.
There’s some listening that needs to take place before beginning your blog, as I emphasized last week, in the process of scoping out your blogging niche, in order to target your blog posts to people who need your products and services the most – and the ones most likely to purchase those from you.
We understand the 2:1 ears/mouth listening:talking ratio, but today I want to mention another organ ratio: eyes and hands. The metaphor here, I believe, is that, in order to create a valuable ongoing blog for your business, it’s going to take equal parts reading and writing. As HomeSchoolBlogging.com‘s Karen Braun explains, "Blogging requires a commitment of time…Your blog should be a reference point for those seeking advice and opinions in your field."
Now, there’s a noble business blogging goal, I thought, reading those words. At the same time, I reasoned, that "go-to industry authority" status isn’t going to happen without a business owner spending at least as much time reading (as symbolized by the eyes) as writing (symbolized by the hands). As Braun brings out, "There are things to learn from bloggers who’ve been doing it for awhile."
I’ve been doing it for awhile, but still, when I’m ghost-blogging for a business, I need to keep up on what others are saying on the topic, on what’s in the news, and about what problems and questions have been surfacing that relate to what my client sells and what it does for its clients. At least half the time that goes into creating a post is reading/research/thinking time. The writing part can flow only after prep time is complete.
Two-to-one seems to be the smart rule for selling, with two ears to gather information and one mouth to give voice to conclusions based on what’s been heard. In blogging, it’s two to two. Reading (magazines, books, newspapers, other blogs), at least as much as writing, is what makes for blog posts that are worth readers’ time and attention.