The Art of Blogging

I’ve spent quite a lot of time at the Edinburgh Festival this year, and in the absence of going to the gym, laughter has given my abs a good workout.  Jim Jeffries, Andrew Maxwell and Reginald D Hunter have all helped me with my fitness regime.  Whilst taking a break from all that exertion, a couple of synapses connected in the Electric Pen area of my brain, and it occurred to me that there are quite remarkable similarities between a marketing blog and The Edinburgh Fringe.

For those who don’t know, The Fringe runs alongside the Edinburgh Festival, and gives artists the opportunity to showcase their routines, in small-capacity venues around the city.  The artists give audiences a taster of what they can do, and often for no fee.  So, a comedian will perform a condensed version of their stand up routine, but they’ll hold back the very best bits for their main show, which you have to buy a ticket for.  Clever promotional marketing huh?

This is much the same way that blogging works.  A blog is a small virtual venue, where you stand upon your own niche stage and build an audience, by showcasing your knowledge and expertise.  Whilst you might not be looking for laughter there’s a lot you can glean from a great comedian.

  • A great comedian will deliver quality material, and plenty of punch lines
  • A great blog post will have quality content, and a punch line
  • A great comedian has a definitive style that audiences immediately recognise
  • A great blogger will develop a style that engages their audience
  • A great comedian is able to deal with hecklers, critics, and self-induced intoxication
  • A great blogger will welcome comments, although it’s advisable to leave the intoxication to the professionals

 

During the Edinburgh and Fringe Festival critics reviews are plastered over the posters of the acts, and word spreads of the good news, or in some cases not so good news.  That’s what happens in your blog; people comment and you respond and you have real discussions.  Imagine interacting with potential customers, hearing views of others in your industry, and generally creating a buzz about you and your business.

Business owners often make the mistake of thinking, “I need to blog” rather than, “I’ve got something interesting to share”.  Whilst blogging should certainly be part of your internet marketing strategy, don’t disregard the end-user.  When you blog effectively you achieve credibility within your area of expertise.  How much better is it to endear yourself to new customers, rather than cajole  them into doing business with you.

I need to be very clear on my next point, so I’m going to write it twice, and I want you to adopt it as your mantra.

Blatant sales or promotional pitches are not blogs

Blatant sales or promotional pitches are not blogs

Here are 8 tips to help you with the art of blogging:

  1. Take the pressure off, by writing several blogs ahead of scheduling
  2. If it doesn’t relate to your area of expertise, or your business, ask yourself why you’re posting it
  3. Figure out who your audience is, and consider what they want to read
  4. Include pictures, and even a video
  5. Post links to your blog on business forums – this forms part of your link-building strategy
  6. Remember to carry out your keyword research, so that you can pepper your blog post with them, but go easy on that pepper
  7. Monitor your blog with analytics tools, and either make your website a blog, or integrate your blog into your website
  8. Before you post your blog consider if you would hit the “Like” button on Facebook if you read it yourself

Remember, blogging is part of your internet marketing strategy, so it shouldn’t be a slap-dash affair, unless that’s the impression you want to give your prospective customers and peers.  If the thought of writing fills you with dread, hire a blog writer to help you.

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