‘Blog’ is a shortened form of ‘Web log’, and a log is a record of something.  Remember how episodes of Start Trek started with Captain’s log Stardate …?  That was a sort of diary of events – and that’s how blogs started as people’s online diary.

Of course, these days, a blog post can be anything:

  • A knowledge share
  • A story
  • A case study
  • A testimonial
  • A product overview
  • Or an overview of your week/month

The secret of a successful blog is to know what the people you’re trying to reach actually want.  Better still think about what YOU want when you go to read a blog post.

We all have different reasons for reading articles online.  These can include:

  • An interest in learning more about a particular subject
  • An interest in a particular writer and their take on things
  • Wanting to be entertained

So, while we may be interested in a product, we don’t want a sales pitch, we want to know how it works and maybe some user experiences or ideas for what you can do with it.

If you’re writing a business blog then you can include what’s going on in your business – but very few people will be interested in reading it, unless there is some real value for them.  That means you’ll need to relate the events in your business to what that means for your reader.  For example:

  • If you’ve moved premises, they want to know if it’s easy to find, has better parking, offers more facilities or products.
  • If you’ve taken on a new member of staff, your reader wants to know how that person impacts on them. Does that mean faster service, more in-house expertise in a particular area, a new service or something else?
  • If you’ve won an award – so what? What does that mean for your customer?  Maybe it’s a good reason to thank you customers and suppliers for their support.
  • If you’ve had a busy week what have the achievements been – for your customers.

My clients are often nervous of sharing their knowledge – because they’re worried that, if they tell people how to do something, they will do it themselves, instead of engaging the company’s services.  In reality that doesn’t usually happen – people do what they’re good at and what they enjoy.  If it’s not in their comfort zone they usually realise that they need help – and they already have evidence you know your stuff, so it’s a no-brainer who to pick!

Remember that a blog doesn’t have to be long – 30 words is enough if you can’t package your message in that (but that might be better as a social media post).  My advice is to aim for 300 words – it’s less than one page of A4 and will tick the SEO box if you have focused it on one of your key words or phrases.

Keep it conversational – and remember that people do want to be entertained while they’re gathering information.