When I’m talking to new clients about setting up their blog, I sometimes need to address their fear of giving away valuable information "for free". Those "giveaways", I hasten to explain, are exactly what makes blogs successful in positioning you, the business owners, as "go-to" guys and gals.
Business bloggers can take a lesson from a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop "advertorial" I found in the paper. Along with color pictures of the American Goldfinch, there were some 500 words of text. I counted a mere eight of those words that were used to promote the company; the rest were devoted to interesting facts about goldfinches.
Wild Birds stayed true to feature/benefit format, sharing with readers that goldfinches don’t nest until mid to late summer, long after most other birds have started their families. "This very delay in nesting affords bird enthusiasts the opportunity to focus their attention on goldfinches during this exciting time of song and activity, especially since other birds are less active because of their new family lives."
In short, I found no "Buy our goldfinches!" messages, only lots of information that might make me want to buy goldfinches!
True, the Wild Birds article is a printed piece, not an online blog. A well-crafted blog, however, might use this same feature/benefit formula, adding key phrases to help online searchers find their way to the blog post, and from there to the company website, through search engine optimization.
Blogs need to provide just that kind of immediate value to readers, making those online searchers glad they found your blog and inviting them to learn even more by clicking through to your website. Like small birds, small blogs provide big value – and a potential big payoff to your business.