Anyone involved in corporate blogging for business should read the latest e-newsletter by business speaker Todd Hunt, who warns readers that Five Guys Burgers and Fries has an unusual application for the word "little". If you order a Five Guys hamburger, I learned, you’re served two beef patties, while their "little hamburger" order contains only one. (Anywhere else, Hunt points out, two patties is called a "double".) So, I thought (not to be "punny"), what’s Todd Hunt’s "beef"? That the customer discovers the anomaly only after he’s ordered, paid, and then opened the foil package, Hunt explains.
As a professional involved in providing both blog writing services and corporate blogging training, one principle I emphasize to business owners and freelance blog content writers is to deliver on the implied promise of the blog post title. In other words, online readers should not "open the foil package" by clicking on a title only to find that the content doesn’t match up.
Todd Hunt implies that two thin patties is not a good thing when you were expecting just one fatter one (even if the quantity of beef is the same). Since online searchers tend to scan rather than read, the "impatience factor" makes surprises even less welcome when it comes to SEO marketing blogs.
An interesting study out of Rensselaer Polytechnic and Texas Tech University addresses the writing of navigation in online help systems. Overall, the largest problem participants reposted in using the help system wasn’t in processing the information, but in the frustration they experienced in finding the correct help topic!
While this may not constitute a perfect parallel, I think the findings in this study could be useful to blog content writers. Providing startling statistics or surprising insights in business blogs is a very good way to add value and engage readers. But those readers are likely to experience only frustration if there are surprises when it comes to the blog post content not matching the title of the blog post! Surprises aren’t fun after you’ve "opened the foil"!