There are two types of big questions, remarks @jessanne, editor of Mental Floss magazine. There’s the really, really big kind, the philosophical questions Plato fretted over, and then the ones we’re driven to Google to find out.
These “how?” and “why?” questions are at the very heart of blogging for business. Online searchers arrive at your business blog needing to know how to find products and services, how to do something, how to solve very specific problems. Readers also want to know why: Why should they choose product A over product B? Why is C a better course of action than D? And, as Jessanne so aptly points out, these may not be Aristotle-level existential questions, but they are the very sort of questions that bring magazine readers and online visitors to our pages.
Blogging for business has the potential to reach different groups:
- New (recent transaction) customers
- Repeat customers
- Other companies’ customers
- Potential customers
- Strategic partners (vendors, colleagues, professional associates)
All of them are asking “how?” and “why?”. And, when you provide the answers, remember that they’re still thinking, “So what? So what’s in it for me?”
In other words, people are online searching for answers to questions they have or for solutions for dilemmas they’re facing. Or, they might need a particular kind of service and aren’t sure who offers that. Or maybe they need a product to fill a need they have. That’s when, if you’ve been consistently blogging, they find you, because your blog post gives them just the information they’re looking for.
Generally, online searchers want to:
- Find out what they’ll get if they buy
- Discover whether the product is a good match for their needs
- Gain perspective about how the pricing and the quality stacks up against the competition
But, just because blogs deal with relatively simple “hows” and “whys”, I caution business owners and their blog content writers alike, don’t shy away from the really, really big, “philosophical” questions. One point I often stress in corporate blogging training sessions is that you’ve gotta have an opinion, a slant, on the information you’re serving up for readers. Who are you? People are attracted to and want to understand the person behind the business.
Get at least a little ways into the big, big questions, inserting a little Plato along with the Google…The business owner’s or professional’s own “voice” is a real power source for blog content!