“Don’t just say ‘Clients have problems with dinosaur attacks,’ advises Allison Carter of Roundpeg. Why not? That’s too general a description to engage interest. Now, if you talk about “vicious velociraptors breaking through bedroom windows”, well, readers can feel the pain of that very specific situation, she adds. “The more details you can give, the easier it is for clients and prospects to feel that pain acutely – and understand how you can help them get rid of it.”
As a corporate blogging trainer, I explain this by saying that your blog content has to “put the hurt front and center”. That means focusing readers’ attention on the risks they’re facing and the problems they have that drove them to seek information about what you know and what you know how to.
Once readers are hooked by your understanding of their “hurt”, you can offer the “rescue”, the solutions your expertise and experience can bring to the table. The other side of this, by the way, is that in too many marketing blogs, the content is meant to scare consumers, with the idea of getting readers to do something about their fear right now! In blogging for business, I prefer to take a more moderate route, including enough information in the blog post so that it’s the solutions you’re provide that become compelling, rather than the fear.
One question that’s been posed to me, especially by newbie content writers, has to do with Carter’s “vicious velociraptors” idea of being very specific and personalized when presenting the “pain” situation. Isn't there a problem with getting too specific, they ask. Doesn’t that narrow the number of people who will associate with the pain of that very situation?
That goes back to the structure of the blog, accorder to Allison Carter. In a problem – solution –lesson architecture, she explains, once the readers can “feel the pain”, in the lesson portion at the end of the post, you can “broaden things back out to make the lesson more widely applicable.”
And, if you end up “losing” some lookers because they couldn’t identify with the specific slant of the opening anecdote, that’s OK, too. I like to say blog writing is made of very “stretchable fabric” Today’s blog post can slant in one direction; tomorrow’s can take the same theme or “leitmotif” and deal with it in a different way.
Bottom line is, Allison Carter is onto something: velociraptors are better attention-grabbers than dinosaurs!