To the Blog Writer, It’s One Thing; To the Reader, It Might Be Another

blog marketing
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it dozens of times in this Say It For You blog – blogs are not ads.  Still, always on the prowl for good ideas, I happened upon a full page ad (for sleep chairs, of all things!) that could actually serve as a model for us blog content writers. 
The headline consisted of a quote from a customer:
“To you, it’s the perfect lift chair. To me, it’s the best sleep chair I’ve ever had.”

Then, beneath a picture of the lift chair, there was a three paragraph article.  “You can’t always lie down in bed and sleep. Heartburn, cardiac problems, hip or back aches, dozens of other ailments and worries. Those nights you’d give anything for a comfortable chair to sleep in.”
It’s a good idea to build the occasional blog post around a customer success story. Good testimonials give prospective customers peace of mind, providing proof that people have tried your products and services and approve of them.

The second paragraph went on to highlight some special features of the product – heat and massage settings, battery backup, and a lift mechanism that tilts the chair forward.
In one of my favorite books about selling, Mitch Meyerson’s Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars, the author points out that features tell us two things about a product or service:  what it does and what goes into it. In this ad, of course, the benefits (what the product does for the customer) are emphasized first, with the features described second.

The third paragraph highlighted “white glove delivery”, with professionals unpacking the chair in the customer’s home, inspecting and positioning it, even carrying the packaging away.
Since at Say It For You, our content writers serve the needs of both product vendors and professional practitioners, I was very interested in this paragraph about extra services associated with the product. Blog content writers should make lists of ways their business individualizes and personalizes services to customers and clients.

The bottom of the page had the phone number (with a special code), along with a color and fabric chart.
While blogs are not advertisements, I often explain to content writers that a Call to Action does not at all invalidate the good information provided in the piece. As long as the material is valuable and relevant for the searchers, they’re perfectly fine with knowing there’s someone who wants them for a client or customer. In fact, the Call to Action in the form of a phone number to call or a link to click makes it convenient for readers who are ready to buy.

To the blog writer, the product or service might represent one thing; to individual readers, it might represent another, all the more reason to vary the approach in different posts. 

Help Blog Readers See Themselves in Your “Home”

In “Stage a Home That Sells”, AARP’s Upfront/LIVE magazine is talking about appealing to young couples when selling real estate, but what I noticed is that three of the recommendations listed under “What Buyers Want” are made to order for blog content writers, no matter what the product or service we’re marketing:
“Buyers want a home they can see themselves in.”
Help online visitors to your business blog assimilate your message through visualizing, I advise at Say It For You. Painting word pictures is an important part of blog marketing. Sure, there is room for technical, precise language in discussing your product or service, but you want listeners to “put themselves in the picture” by becoming customers or clients.
“Buyers want a sense of wellness in the home.”
According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina, “In order to communicate effectively, we need to order our words and ideas on the page in ways that make sense to a reader”. Assume your readers are intelligent, the authors advise, but do not assume that they know the subject matter as well as you. Using familiar words and word combinations gives readers a sense of comfort and “wellness”.
“Buyers want a home with potential for connectivity.”
Does creating connection relate to blog marketing? In every way. “How would most people describe their relationship with your company?” asks Corey Wainwright of Is the relationship purely transactional, making you just a place they go to get something they need, or do you elicit more personal feelings
Each claim a content writer puts into a blog post needs to be put in context for the reader so that the claim not only is true, but feels true to online visitors.
Home buyers typically look at under a dozen  homes before making a decision, but, in that same timeframe, online readers can scan dozens upon dozens of posts before making a decision about a product or service.
My way of describing the process of blog marketing is this: painting the picture (“staging the home”) is only Step #1; What comes next is putting the reader into the picture!

What’s Tops in HVAC Blogs is What’s Tops in Blog Content Writing – B

Marketing company looked for certain qualities in compiling their list of top HVAC Blogs in 2018. Earlier this week, I commented on six of those points, because they can work for  blog content writing in any industry or profession. Here are six more:

Advice on finding the right components
Employment consultants name four things workers need:  people who help them, tools, information, and an exchange of ideas. Blog readers need those same components.

Region-specific posts
Niche marketing means targeting the information you offer in the blog to a small portion of a market that is not being readily served by the mainstream product or service marketers.  Your blog helps you serve specific “regions” or “niches” through providing up-to-date, frequent, and relevant content that applies specifically to their needs.

Numerous posts (there’s a lot of content to pick from)
With frequency and recency playing such important roles in search engine rankings, what the consistent posting of content on behalf of a business or practice provides readers with “content to choose from”.

Lists of resources
On a blog, links represent resources  you’ve collected, or curated, for your readers. Adding links to other, credible, resources means you take your responsibility – to keep your readers fully informed – seriously.

Advice on respiratory health
Air conditioning/heating professionals don’t pretend to be healthcare mavens.  At the same time, they realize that indoor air quality affects residents’ or workers’ health. Content writing can be about not just your brand, but about related topics. 

Site updates regularly
The parallel lesson I stress to Indianapolis blog content writers is “yo-yo blogging”.  Spacing SEO marketing blog posts at regular intervals and maintaining consistency has a double advantage. The blogging becomes part of the business owner’s or blogger’s routine. Meanwhile regular readers and subscribers (and search engines as well!) come to expect a regular flow of information.

At Say it For You, we realize, all twelve qualities which pinpointed in “Top HVAC practitioners in any field!.


Do “Huh-Oh” Titles Work for Marketing Blogs?


One important purpose of marketing blog titles is attracting online shoppers. So, catchy and engaging as a title might be, it won’t serve the purpose if the words in it don’t match up with those searchers used.

After all my “reading around” – magazines, books, blogs, textbooks – you name it, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two basic title categories: the “Huh?s” and the “Ohs”. The “Huh?s” need subtitles to make clear what the article is about; “Oh!’s” titles are self-explanatory.

“Huh?-Oh!” combo titles seem to be increasingly popular, I concluded after a recent visit to my local Barnes & Noble the other day. Here are just a few of the dozens of Huh?-Oh! titles I found on the shelves in the sections on business, psychology, and self-help:

  • Seeing Around Corners (Huh?): How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen (Oh!)
  • The Communication Clinic (Huh?) 99 Proven Cures for the Most Common Business Mistakes (Oh!)
  • Getting to Yes (Huh?) Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Oh!)
  • When (Huh?) The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing (Oh!)
  • The Storyteller’s Secret (Huh?) Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t (Oh!)

We blog content writers, of course, don’t have the luxury of using such long subtitles, as the search engines will use only a limited number of characters for ranking. Still, the beauty of the “Huh?” is that it’s a grabber, so the compromise might be to include category-based keyword phrases early in the subtitle.

The other way to “sneak” in the “Oh!” material is the meta-tag, the 160 character snippet of text that describes a page’s content. The meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but readers can see them on the search engine page and they are scanned by search engines.

Huh? In writing engaging business blog content, it can pay to try two-tiered titles.


Look-Ahead Words of Wisdom for Blog Content Writers – Part A

imagery in blogs


Last week, by way of kicking off a new blogging year, I’ looked through my bookshelves at all the business writing-related books I’ve collected over the year 2019. What would I do without these “reading around” gems with their different sorts and shapes of advice and reflection? . This week, with an eye to the year to come, I’ll be sharing even more words of wisdom from ”my shelves”, along with the links to the wonderful authors…

Paint a verbal picture for your followers.
“The successful articulation of a leader’s vision may rest on his or her ability to paint followers a verbal picture of what can be accomplished with their help,” says presentation coach Carmine Gallo.

Imagery helps make marketing blogs more engaging.  True, in business communications there may be times when technical, precise language is in order. Still, you want readers to visualize themselves successfully using your products and services. In a way, you want visitors to “see” as well as hear what you’re saying.

Claiming credit is adding insult to injury.
“Claiming credit is adding insult to the injury that comes with overlooked recognition. We’re not only depriving people of the credit they deserve, but we are hogging it for ourselves. It’s two crimes in one.”
Marshall Goldstein, who coaches global leaders, is referring to corporate employees in his book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, but the principle is the same for blog writers when it comes to properly attributing content to its original authors.

Is quoting others in your blog a good thing? As I’m fond of saying in corporate blogging training sessions – it depends! On the positive side, when you link to someone else’s remarks on a subject you’re covering, that can reinforce your point and add value for readers by aggregating different sources of information (just as I am doing in this very Say It For You blog post). On the other hand, as is true of all tools and tactics, “re-gifting” content needs to be handled with some restraint and using proper protocol by attributing each piece of content to its author.

Every negotiation has two kinds of interests: the substance and the relationship.
“The ability to see the situation as the other side sees it is one of the most important skills a negotiator can possess,” Roger Fisher and William Ury explain in the book Getting to Yes.

By offering more than one point of view, we blog writers can actually showcase our knowledge of the latest thinking in our field, while at the same time clarifying our own special expertise and slant.

No question – I’m a convert to “reading around”. Gems like these are all around, just waiting for you to add your unique twist before sharing with your blog readers.