Getting people to your website is just the first step.
Unless you’re using a bargain bin business strategy (undercutting everyone on price isn’t a sustainable option for most of us), you have to give visitors other reasons why they should choose you instead of your competitors.
A lot of people have company blogs, but they don’t have a clue how to use them effectively. Most company blogs do more harm than good. They’re something to cover up instead of showcase. Above all else, they’re a colossal waste of time and money.
Good company blogs are rare, but they bring you readers and legitimacy. Captivate people with your blog, and you’ll have a much easier time getting them to like, trust, and buy from you.
How do you make your blog work for you instead of against you? How do you get people to read and come back eager for more?
It all comes down to writing engaging blog content…
Does Your Blog Suck? (Your Readers Won’t Tell You)
The problem with most business blogs is dead simple.
A two-year old could point it out.
And that problem is this…
Your blog (in all likelihood) kind of, well, sucks. Sounds harsh, but you need to hear it from me because no one else is going to tell you that. You can’t count on your visitors to let you know. They’ll express their opinion in a different way: by clicking the “back” button on their web browsers when the tears of boredom start to well in their eyes.
Did I miss a secret marketers’ cult meeting where we made an unspoken agreement that company blogs must be boring?
Spend enough time online, and it sure seems that way.
Why Most Company Blogs Suck
Okay. Most company blogs are boring.
In other news, the sky is blue.
But why are they so boring?
You can’t chalk it all up to poor writing (though there’s plenty of that). I’ve seen plenty of company blogs that are well-written, but I still can’t get through them. Maybe you’ve had some of these “this blog is atrocious, but I can’t quite figure out why” experiences, too.
The reason(s) most company blogs repel readers goes beyond the quality of the writing. It comes down to any of these things below:
- The blog content isn’t targeted towards the right people;
- The articles are about as lively as a puritan picnic; or
People won’t read content that doesn’t interest them, entertain them, or offer them something useful. They’ll skip stuff they would have read if it’s too dry to keep them engaged. And they’ll run screaming into the comforting arms of your competitors if your blog exhibits both of these horrors.
Writing Engaging Blog Content in
3 Simple Steps
Don’t scrap your company blog If that’s what you’re thinking. You can right the ship on this thing and turn your blog into a valuable asset.
An effective company blog – one that users read eagerly, come back to read more, and and even share with their networks – is your trump card in the online space. You can use it to drive SEO traffic to your site, encourage people to sign up to your mailing list, raise your profile as an authority in your niche, and generally mop the floor with your competitors.
Imagine being able to get people looking forward to reading the very content that’s moving them closer to becoming your customers…
Great company blogs are that powerful. And while they’re slightly more common than unicorns, they are out there. Yours can be one of them. It takes time and consistent effort, but it doesn’t require anything fancy.
Here’s how to do it in 3 simple steps:
Step 1. Lighten Up
People come to your blog because they want something. Whether that’s help, entertainment, or just to bask in your rhetorical genius all depends on which industry you’re in and your unique personality. People also come to your blog because they want a glimpse of you.
Don’t be afraid to let your hair down a little in your blog posts.
Your blog is the perfect place to have extended interactions and back and forth (through the comments) with your visitors. It’s where you can let your personality – the personality that defines your brand – shine through… if you don’t stifle it.
You can witty and still be insanely useful. You can be charismatic and still build your authority in your niche. I actually think dropping the college professor act will help you do all of those things.
Your company blog isn’t a term paper. There’s no reason to treat it like one. The best way to connect with people on your blog is engage like you would in real life. What do I mean?
- You’d be casual.
- You’d ask questions and not hold yourself out as the “guru” who’s better than everyone.
- You wouldn’t be afraid to share a funny picture or video.
- You’d tell stories that would interest them.
It’s time to stop using your company blog like a never-ending press release from a giant corporation. Lift the veil and let readers get to know the person behind the brand. That’s what they want to see anyway.
Step 2. Stick to Topics Your
Audience Cares about
Not being boring is a great start, but you need to do more than that to connect with your readers and turn your blog into a lead generation platform. You also need to make sure you’re publishing content that interests your ideal customers.
The way to win the blog game is to take “you” out of the equation as much as you can. Chances are, your ideal customers are in different businesses or industries as you. Their interests don’t line up perfectly with your interests.
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the common trap of writing about stuff only you and your competitors find interesting. Writing engaging blog content isn’t about you.
Derek Halpern talked about a lawyer friend of his who was struggling to get traction on his law firm’s blog. So when Derek checked it out, he noticed the lawyer was writing content that was interesting to him (court decisions, complicated legal jargon, etc.) but not people who would potentially hire him.
You can’t afford to do this. Before you put out your next piece of content, ask yourself the following question:
Do the people I want to do business with me care about this?
If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board until you find something your readers are into. Check out your most commented/viewed posts and see if you can spot the trends. Do some recon on successful competitors’ blogs to see what’s striking a chord. And don’t be afraid to ask your customers straight up what they want to read more about.
Step 3 (optional). Hone Your
Writing more blog posts consistently will make you a better writer over time. But there are a few more things you can do to rise to the cream of the blogging crop.
I understand this won’t not interest all of my readers (how’s that for taking my own advice from the previous section?). You’re focused on getting more traffic and converting that traffic into paying customers. There’s only so much time in the day, and you have a business to run. I get that.
If you do have a little time on your hands (and the inclination to improve your writing skills), check out the following websites for awesome, practical advice to build your blog’s audience and connect with readers on a deeper level:
- Be a Freelance Blogger– Sophie Lizard, the creator of Be a Freelance Blogger, is a blogger, copywriter, and all-around helpful lady. Although this site focuses on freelance blogging, it’s well worth the time for its practical advice. Sophie has done a great job of building a loyal community around her blog. So check it out… and take notes!
- Boost Blog Traffic – this is my go-to spot for blogging advice online. One of the things I like the most about Jon Morrow’s site is his willingness to go against the grain of the conventional blogging advice you find regurgitated all over the internet. Every post is thorough, engaging, and thoroughly helpful for newbies and veterans alike.
- Copyblogger– the granddaddy of them all. You could spend months just going through their archives, and you’d probably get a better (free) marketing education than in most business schools. Hop on to their email list to download a bunch of free ebooks about how to build traffic on your blog.
- Writers in Charge– this is a great site from Bamidele Onibalusi, one of the most prolific guest posters I’ve seen. Bamidele figured out this blogging thing at a young age and made good money helping clients build their platforms. He’s incredibly generous and always willing to help, and the articles up there are great too. Check him out!
Although writing is something that fascinates me endlessly, I understand that’s not the case with many of you. That’s why I focus on traffic generation and conversion strategies. But for anyone interested in upgrading their writing skills, I can’t recommend the above sites highly enough.
You don’t have to improve your writing skills to have a great company blog if you don’t want to. You can always hire a professional to handle this for you while you use your talents elsewhere.
Making Your Blog One of the Best
The best blogs do a great job of attracting the right people, getting them to share content with their friends, and separating themselves from their competitors.
You can do this too.
With some planning and consistent effort, you can change the direction of your blog and make it one of the best in your industry. This is a long-term play, but it’s worth it The results compound over time.
Writing engaging blog content is easier than you think. It’ll help you get as many customers as you can handle and more.