Even the word “blog” sounds boring, doesn’t it? Say it – “blog.” Ugh! But it doesn’t have to be. “Blog” is defined by the Miriam Webster dictionary as “a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.” The complete definition is “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; the contents of such a site.” It can also be a verb; a blog·ger is a noun, blog·ging can be a noun or a verb. The word itself is short for “Weblog.” Not so boring, huh?
Blogging has become the new, smart buzz word in business, in personal life, and in social media. A blog doesn’t have to be “yawn, yawn.” It can impart trends, the newest business technology, interesting and unknown facts, as well as personal opinions and experiences of interest to the reader.
Essential to a captivating blog is, first “know your reader.” Who are you trying to reach? A business associate, a friend, Google search, a potential client, or a current client? A blog needs to be geared to the needs and interest of your reader. And you gotta hook ‘em with the first line or they are already on to something else.
Humor is a great way to begin a blog. A little chuckle to lighten your reader’s day, pertaining to the subject of the remainder of the blog content is, too often, a neglected and unused tool. Why can’t a blog be fun as well as informative? A stupid joke, however, is not the way to go. Humor needs to be subtle and clever, not “in your face” yuk, yuk. Humor should be carried throughout the blog, making it light and airy, not heavy and difficult to digest.
Something else to consider – what vocabulary will you use? Are you writing for engineers? Then utilize “engineer speak.” Don’t use that same technical language to a reader who could care less about specs and logistics. Bring the reader grade level down a bit depending on who your reader is. A blogger doesn’t have to prove how smart or proficient they are in their knowledge of the English language by loading the blog up with four-syllable words. Keep it as simple as possible.
And can we discuss acronyms? DON’T DO IT! A blog filled with acronyms foreign to your reader will have them clicking to another site before you can blink. No one wants to have to Google an acronym to understand the subject of your blog. If the acronym is essential to your subject matter, follow it with the full definition in parentheses. Nothing frustrates a reader more than not knowing what the acronym stands for.
Blogs are a great tool to flow out into social media, reaching thousands of potential readers. There is LinkedIn – a social networking website for people in professional occupations. List your business there along with your associates. Find a way to move to the top of the list in Google, or any of the search engines. Facebook is now moving into utilizing professional pages for businesses. “Twitter” your blog site and don’t forget Instagram. The technological age is upon us – use it to your advantage.
A blog doesn’t have to be just another boring blog. Blogging is a tool to inform, educate, amuse, promote, obtain or maintain clientele. It’s the new business letter only better. Use it!
Many thanks to Bonnie Brockway with the LMI360 Team for crafting this content.