This guest post is by Jennifer Brown Banks of Penandprosper.
A recent Google search in preparation for this piece revealed over 40 million entries for the term “business blog.“ That makes for a whole lot of niche competition. A compelling reason to seek strategies to stand out to stay in the game. Or as I like to put it, to break from the blahs!
Contrary to popular opinion, your business blog doesn’t have to be bland to be taken seriously.
It can be “professional” and still be entertaining, informative and engaging. In fact, this is one example of when you should “mix business with pleasure”. Because ideally you want readers to enjoy their experience when they visit, and to share your content via social media forums and link love. Regardless of your industry, tone, or target audience, injecting a little “personality” into the mix can make for great results and increased readership.
Here are four key reasons why:
- The more engaging your content, the longer readers are inclined to stay. The longer they stay, the lower your bounce rate, which enhances your Alexa ratings.
- The more engaged readers are when they visit your site, the greater the likelihood they’ll return.
- Repeat visitors often become loyal customers. Loyal customers often refer others.
- It’s a savvy way to be remembered and to distinguish yourself from the vast competition.
Now that you have the 4-1-1 on why, here’s how!
In addition to quality articles, consider placing polls, surveys, and study findings relative to your products or services. Some companies I’ve done business with even “entertain” customers with trivia questions or posts related to national observance days or “awareness themes. For example, “Women’s History Month” or “Poetry Month,” or even Mothers’ Day.
One site that epitomizes variety in terms of content, presentation, and approach is One Woman Marketing. Here you’ll discover video posts, pod casts, lively commentary, and provocative titles to boot! For certain, you’ll never leave bored.
Speak in a conversational tone
Talk “to” readers, not “at” them. Also, if you use acronyms, abbreviations, or tech terms, have a glossary for those who may not be in-the-know.
There’s no better example of this than Tia, over at Bizchickblogs.com Her style of expression, her distinct voice, and her warmth resonates with each post. When you read her words, it kinda feels as if she’s sitting in your living room having a one-on-one. She knows her stuff without being stuffy.
Don’t hide from humor
As long as it’s applicable and in good taste, it’s almost always acceptable. Humorous anecdotes can be a great technique to draw audiences in, illustrate a point, and hold them captive. A good example of this blogging technique would be Naomi at Ittybiz.com. She’s fabulously funny and fiercely popular for being herself. Heck, even popular pastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen starts every sermon with a joke.
Along the same lines as Naomi, when it comes to having a knack for humor and “working a (virtual) crowd”, is innovative blogger, Princess Jones, of Diaryofamadfreelancer.com She reigns supreme in this area! No matter what topic she tackles, she’ll tickle your funny bone and help you to see the lighter side of the freelancing life. Here’s a recent quote: “So what’s my point? Once again, I don’t have one. But this is my blog and the rule says I don’t have to have a point every time I sit down to write.”
Don’t neglect visual appeal
Sure, “content is king” in the blogging world, but looks are important as well. I like to compare it to a stimulating meal. If it’s not presented well in terms of colors, textures, and arrangement, it loses its “flavor.”
Aesthetics are important. Choose hues, fonts and graphics accordingly. This attention to detail is what makes the site Workawesome.com so awesome! Not only is the content engaging and well-written, every post is accentuated with just the right image to reinforce the message. Always clever and creative. They’ve actually won awards for their graphic design as well.
Provide case studies
Show how your company helped to solve a problem or save the day for a client in need. Testimonials speak volumes as well. In promoting her financial services and professional speaking business, expert Kembala Evans, allows the testimonials of former clients do the talking. Visit her site, and it’s clear that talk is not cheap when it comes to the recommendations of satisfied customers!
Toot your own horn
Have you achieved an important milestone? Won an industry award? Been recognized in the local paper? Share. Everybody loves a hero. Check out Jobacle.com, and on your visit you’ll likely see various awards and commendations from places where the site has been featured, linked to, or talked about. And the host’s periodic appearances at U.S. News and World Report and other prominent places.
Remember the K.I.S.S. principle
Know that, sometimes, less is more. Overkill can be the kiss of death. This philosophy is one that’s well observed at Vistaprint. Known by many entrepreneurs for its stationery and marketing products, it also has a blog that features useful tips and tools for maintaining a successful business. It’s brief, but substantive.
Follow these seven tips to enhance your business image, your following, and your bottom line. You’ll have more sizzle fo’ shizzle!
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, relationship columnist, entrepreneur and pro blogger. Her work has appeared at Daily Blog Tips, Technorati, Search Engine Journal, Workawesome, and Being Single Magazine.