In an earlier blog, From Meat to Mustard, I explained that as a professional writer, I take pleasure in nicely turned phrases. Since words are the tools of my trade as a ghost blogger, I’m a bit more aware than the average Jill of how writers and speakers use words. So, whether I’m reading a novel or a news magazine, listening to a talk show or to a weather report, I always have a sharp eye and ear out for ways in which ideas are given impact through the choice of words.
In the April’s Washington Monthly Magazine, editor Charles Peters comments on various political doings. He mentions a government-wide problem of people at the top not knowing what’s going on down below. Peters explains that in an organization, and specifically in our national government bureaucracy, bad news tends to be buried. “No one wants to tell bad news to the next fellow up the ladder, for fear thatâ€¦.his or her career will suffer”. It’s the title of this little section of the editorial page that I found so fascinating: “What Goes On Must Go Up”. First of all, in just six small words, Peters is able to capture the essence of a monumental problem prevalent in large organizations. He “hits the nail on the head”.
Since ghost blogging is never far from my mind, once I started thinking about those six words, I saw that they could contain a valuable lesson about business blogs. In an organization, stuff is “going on” all the time. But nothing changes so long as nothing “goes up” to a level where there’s some call to action and where there’s someone with power to make the change. In a way, the situation is the same with a business blog. A lot can be going on – lots of good information and content, posted frequently, well-written, relevant – it’s all great. But absolutely nothing is going to happen unless your blog has some “call to action”. Your potential customer needs to progress to your website, and the blog has to have created an urgency – something the reader now wants to do, to get, or to find out more about. In short, not much will be going on unless the customer is going up to the next step in the process of doing business with you.