Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me! is NPR's popular weekly quiz program, in which contestants test their knowledge by figuring out what's real news and what's made up.
In corporate blogging training sessions, I’m sometimes asked whether quizzes are a good strategy in business blogging. The answer is yes, and for several different reasons. ASTD, the world’s largest training and development association, thinks quizzes are an extremely valuable training tool. Why? Quizzes “help get participants enthused and curious about what they will learn.”
Blog readers tend to be curious creatures and, as a longtime Indianapolis blog content writer, I’ve found that “self-tests” tend to engage readers and help them relate in a more personal way to information presented in a blog.
A second way to look at the Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me! show from the point of view of business blogging, is that we blog content writers are, in fact, telling them. What’s more, often we’re telling ‘em the same information we’re already told ‘em in earlier posts! One concern I hear a lot from business owners or professional practitioners is that sooner or later, they’ll run out of things to say in their marketing blog posts. “I’ve already covered my products and services on my website – what else is left to say?” is the question. In other words, if we content writers make a habit of repeating ourselves, won’t we run the risk of being bo-o-o-ring?
Paradoxically, effective business blogging is centered around the repeated use of keyword phrases and key themes. One of the challenges in blogging for business over long periods of time is keeping the content fresh. Quizzes and surveys are just two ways to vary the menu.
The main goal of training, says the ASTD, is “to ensure that learning is applied to work.” Quizzes can serve as a good start, is the idea ASTD professionals point out. With marketing blogs for businesses or for professional practices, learning is certainly one goal. But a second goal is to invite readers to take the next step by following one of your Calls to Action. In other words, the goal is to move those potential clients and customers down the “sales funnel”.
For me as a corporate blogging trainer, the significance of the radio show name “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” lies in the fact that listeners (and similarly, blog readers) often can’t remember what they once knew about a subject. And while the quiz or the show lets them have a chance to try to recall the answers, readers and listeners what us to tell them the answers and put those answers in perspective.
By telling readers, “Hey, you can do this… let me show you” and then showing them, we create a sense of confidence in prospects,” is Jeff Molander’s idea in “Making Social Media Sell”. Wait-wait-don’t-tell-me blogging for business is great way to empower readers while becoming their go-to source as they prepare to turn that knowledge into action.