My guest blogger today is Rhoda Israelov, a long time friend, Rhoda has done many things in her life, and many of them are connected to writing. Today, as a professional ghost blogger, she writes under many names. Today she is writing for Roundpeg as Rhoda Israelov of Say It For You
Whenever there’s an activity you’re doing again and again over time, it helps to change things up a bit. If you’re a blog writer like me, varying your approach goes a long way towards keeping the work interesting. On the reader end, variety certainly goes a long way in keeping blog visitors engaged. Sometimes I reflect on the fact that in business, we get so tied up in manufacturing a good marketable product, or in selling and delivering a great professional service, we forget how much help the right words can be. In fact, when it comes to web-based communications, words, along with images, are a business’ only tools.
I’ve developed an ear for what I call “word tidbits”. These are words with the “Wow!” factor that capture a whole complex of ideas in one little image. One New York Times radio news broadcast was talking about inflation in food prices, and announced that “Shoppers are going from meat to mustard.” In my blog that week, I explained that, as much as I enjoy mustard on my meat, the image those words produced of my needing to eat mustard in place of meat really drove home the message about food price inflation. Listen for word tidbits – or create your own – that help drive home the message you want to convey in that particular blog post.
Unusual comparisons can drive home a point you want to emphasize in your blog, but let you do that in a new way. To find these mini-metaphors, I’m constantly skimming magazines for interesting trivia. New Science, for example, said that Budweiser’s ad – claiming the key to a good lager is fast shipment from brewery to bottle to drinker – appeared to contradict Grolsch’s ad – which stressed the importance of a long conditioning period to add flavor to beer. The magazine’s conclusion – both claims are right. Lager must be matured slowly for a good flavor, but then get to the drinker fast as possible before it deteriorates. Using this material in my Say It For You blog post about blogging for business helped me drive home the role freshness (a.k.a. recency or new content) plays in blogs’ positioning to “win search”.
Quoting other people’s ideas (and, of course, properly giving credit to those people) in your blog posts enriches your content. When I heard professional speaker Jim Ackerman advise business owners to develop marketing mission statements beginning with “I am (or “My company is”) the only_______ in _________ who __________” to pinpoint that business’ unique value proposition, I quoted Ackerman in a blog post to illustrate blogging’s use of “pull marketing” to make your “only-ness” come across loud and clear in your blog posts.
My many years as a teacher taught me an important lesson – not every student learns in the same way. To be sure my students were all “getting the point”, I needed to employ a variety of teaching techniques. Blogs are perfect for “changing up” things to engage readers. That’s because blogs are shorter and easier to update than websites. In fact, while each of your blog posts has a predetermined topic (your business!), each is a wonderful blank slate – just waiting for you to add that day’s unique blend of spice and variety!