It’s an age old question when it comes to blogging – or doing any writing at for your business – how do you keep readers interested and engaged?
First of all, STOP BEING SO BORING!
There’s so much content out there, Google results by the thousands… don’t rely on the same old topics in the same old format as everyone else. Sure, experts say 500-700 word blog posts are great for SEO. So? Go radical and write 3,000 words. Or 5.
Dare to embrace your own path.
Does this mean that you have to be a shock jock or Snarky Sally to sell? Not necessarily. A year ago I found a fascinating discussion on LinkedIn where the author asked if being snarky would bring her more attention and, ultimately, sales. Referencing a popular blog post of Penelope Trunk, the author pointed out that Penelope’s hatred of Tim Ferriss was legendary and wondered if that edginess was attractive.
I remember the original post in reference and Penelope’s indictment of Tim but most of all this scenario amused me. Before this blog post came out in 2009, I was working with an online website owned and managed by Barnes & Noble writing an advice column called “Snark Bites.”
It was a light-hearted column often dealing with serious questions but the snarkiness was well suited for the audience and topics. In this case, snark worked because it was natural and not put on. The underlying principle for you is the same: don’t change the way you act simply to make sales. It’ll be out of character and possibly integrity to pretend you’re something that you’re not, and often that takes much more energy than just being truthful.
The real question was not about snarkiness but “should I be more controversial?” I believe it’s always good to take a stand for what you believe in and show that with passion. Taking a stand just to get attention is counter productive and may just bring you more negative attention in the long run.
It always comes back to understanding who you serve, who you are and how those intersect.
Consider that Penelope is a business woman who sells advertising, articles and the audacity of her unique life. That doesn’t mean you need to do the same!
If you’re thinking about blog content or copy for your website, then the easiest way to start is to be yourself instead of emulating someone else’s behavior.
What if I’m boring?
There are certainly boring people out there. However, I believe that most of them are driving to an office job they hate, watching TV they tolerate, and are generally stuck in the same rut they have been for years, maybe decades.
You, you are not boring, my friend. You’re paving a new path for reasons you may not have shared with the world. You’re envisioning a future that’s unique, supporting clients who have their own path, and the story of your journey has not been simple. You have methods that no one else uses, ideas and visions and even systems that are yours and yours alone.
Tell those stories, share those insights and visions and dreams. But most of all, stop trying to fit in with everyone else online.