Blog to Become the JND

 blog marketing

It’s a term from the field of psychology, but the concept is one to which we blog content writers can certainly relate. The JND (just noticeable difference) is the minimum level of stimulation that is needed for a person to detect it, at least 50 percent of the time. For example, if you were asked to hold two objects of different weights, the just noticeable difference would be the minimum weight difference between the two that you could sense half of the time. The just noticeable difference applies to a wide variety of senses including touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight, explains Kendra Cherry in If an experimenter were to slowly add tiny amounts of sand to one of your hands, asking you to say when you notice that one hand feels heavier than the other, that would reveal your JND.

“It’s best to think about who your prospective leads are online and what they might want to read, before sitting down to write a blog post,” Campaign Creators advise. The JND will be the precise point will online readers notice that their needs are being addressed and that the information you’re offering is relevant to their search. According to Internet Live Stats, there are around 5.5 billion Google searches per day or more than 63,000 search queries per second. With such an ocean of material available on the internet on every conceivable topic, at what point will your prospect undergo that minimum level of stimulation need to command her attention?

Always on the alert for ways to convey marketing messages through corporate blog content writing, I couldn’t help recalling Jeffrey Hayzlett’s advice in Success Magazine about grabbing the attention of would-be customers: “Aim for speed and immediate relevance”. There can be no “relevance”, blog content writers need to understand, until and unless the reader experiences JND.

To help that process, I teach Indianapolis blog writers to address five “why’s”:

  1. why YOU (the reader)
  2. why ME (the blogger)
  3. why THIS (the offer)
  4. why now (the urgency)
  5. why this price (the value).

Blog to help the Just Noticeable Different happen!


Blogging From End to Beginning

the little red writing book


“Strategically, the summary or conclusion should come at the beginning of an expository piece, not at the end,” explains Brandon Royal in The Little Red Writing Book. Royal is referring to a top-down approach, where readers understand from the beginning what the main idea of the piece is, then are given the supporting facts or details.

The author compares two kinds of writing:

  • Expository writing (the primary purpose is to explain and inform)
  • Creative writing (the primary purpose is to persuade or entertain)

Blog content writing, I suppose, is a blend of both expository and creative. Certainly one motive for business owners or professional practitioners in maintaining their blog is to persuade readers to use their products or engage their services. Yet informing readers and answering questions is a primary goal as well.

A well-conceived blog post will proactively interpret information in ways that are not only understandable, but usable by readers, “unwrapping” and drilling down to the core of the message. But, how are searchers to know they’ve come to the right place? Once readers have actually landed on your blog, it takes a “grabber” to hold interest and keep them moving through the information (That’s where the concept of putting the summary at the beginning instead of at the end comes in.)

Unlike novelists, we blog content writer simply cannot afford to focus on arousing curiosity by being enigmatic in our titles and in our opening lines. If we fail to assure readers that they’ve come to the right place to find the information that satisfies the needs that brought them online to find answers, they’ll bounce away from our site before we get to share our thoughts!

The way Brandon Royal sees it, “We should think about giving the reader a destination first before giving him or her the directions on how to get there!”  Blog post opening lines set the tone and arouse curiosity, but in business blogs, it’s best not to sustain a sense of mystery for very long!




Blogs Must Optimize for Users, Not Search Engines

Music Multi Media Microphone Entertainment Concept

“No longer should SEOs optimize web content just for search engines,” cautions The 2016 Enterprise Buyer’s Guide to SEO, “They must focus on optimizing for consumers. SEO success is achieved when consumers find a brand’s content to be relevant, top quality, and valuable.”

Thinking of search only around traditional search engines, the Guide author Relevance adds, is too limiting, because nowadays, social platforms are being used to answer questions, solve problems, and entertain.

In fact, a true content contribution solves customer problems in three ways:

  • by educating
  • by informing
  • by entertaining

I agree, and, as a blog content writer and trainer, I have something to say about each one of these elements.

One big goal of the writing we do for our business owner and professional practitioner clients is positioning them as experts in the eyes of their clients and of online searchers. But, in order to be positioned as an expert, you can never stop educating yourself in your area. Only after you’ve done that will you be equipped to, in your blog, discuss topics of interest and newsworthy developments in your industry, showing your level of knowledge on each topic while remaining relevant and current.

There’s one big difference about presenting material in blog posts versus other media. Once I’ve posted content on this Say It For You blog, for example, it can remain on the Internet forever.  Past blog posts don’t disappear; the content remains on the site in reverse chronological order. And what that means is that blog content writers need to include material that is evergreen, information that can continue to have relevance even months and years later.

Ideal blog content includes material that makes people laugh and then makes them think. While good blog posts can and should be entertaining, most online searchers are not pursuing a recreational activity, but instead are on a fact-finding mission. You can hook them with humor, but the material you serve up in your posts needs to be not only valuable, but actionable.

SEO, Relevance concludes, was once all about building off-page links.  Today, brands need to first create valuable content to contribute to their industry space. Blogs, simply put, must optimize for users, not search engines!