Keep your business blog RELEVANT

Keep your business blog RELEVANT

Last week’s post focused on choosing or understanding the two main writing styles you can use for your blog. That post went into incorporating the personal into your business blog – this one will focus on what I like to call topical blogs that have more of a business feel and remain directly relevant to hot issues in the industry your business is in.

But first things first. In the last post I mentioned there’s a very fine line between adding a personal blog for business and sticking to something topical and I asked for some guesses on what style that particular post used. As far as I’m concerned that post was more topical than it was personal, and here’s why. I did write it in first person, providing a feel that’s engaging to readers, I didn’t actually use any personal examples relevant to my business.  I also used other examples of good, personal blogs.

What my post from last week didn’t have was any points that you could easily relate to me on – it was based on fact about my industry.  Even though it incorporated some opinion and personal experience, it wasn’t presented in a way that was about ME. If you want to see what I consider a personal post when I write, read yesterday’s post on my blog.

So, with that little introduction to topical blogs, here are some of the components that should appear:

  1. Use of factual information – think of what’s happening in your industry at the moment, or what your clients are most likely to be concerned about and present relevant facts. Whether you use statistics, tips in a “how to” format or a blurb with commentary from a recent press release; you’re on the right track with your topical blog.
  2. Consider the format – my post from last week was presented in paragraph format, but often for readers to quickly pick up information, it’s easier to read if you use bullet points or numbered steps where relevant.
  3. Avoid tying yourself to factual statements – when you’re providing a topical post as a reference or guide to readers, don’t introduce it with “I think XYZ”. You may agree, but no you don’t think if they’re universal facts and not your opinion. To be an authority in your industry, you don’t always have to be the one coming up with the innovative ideas; sometimes you can just be the one relaying them.

Keep in mind that a topical blog doesn’t need to be boring, incorporate a bit of the personal, but make the factual information the focal point.  There are some major benefits to using this style – the first is that your readers will know that you’re up to date on industry news and knowledgeable enough to share tips or indirectly address questions prospective clients may have. As a plastic surgeon’s office, you will know that a patient’s number one concern is typically risk factors, so outline the risks of those procedures so they know you’re open and honest, and will have a great understanding by the time they call you. The second relates directly to client recruitment. Keep in mind that someone considering plastic surgery is likely doing their research for a great cosmetic surgeon and in searching for their areas of concern, they will come across your site and you may have earned yourself a new client.

Find the blend of styles that works best for your blog. You don’t need to write exclusively topical or exclusively personal blogs, so pay attention to the stats and reader comments and see what they find more engaging. You may find it works best to do half and half each week, or to dominate with topical posts with a first-person style and throw in a more personal post once a month. There is no ideal formula, but with an understanding of both styles, you can find the combination that works for you!

Coming up next – picking specific blog topics to attract readers each time you sit down to put together a post, and the importance of blog scheduling.

Beth Graddon-Hodgson is a professional writer/blogger and the founder of WriteSourcing a professional blogging, writing and editing service.

  • Medical Assistant
    Posted at 14:11h, 14 April Reply

    First off, I love that image. Now that that’s out of the way, this information is really good for any informative website. Anything that makes it easier for the reader to scan and retain information is a plus. You become their source, so presenting with a solid idea rather than an opinion makes you and your information that much more credible.

  • Beth Graddon-Hodgson
    Posted at 21:26h, 14 April Reply

    Thanks for reading Medical Assistant! Absolutely, and statistics show that a large percentage of the population does use the internet predominantly as a source of information, so it’s important to get in on that potential traffic!

  • Andy @ FirstFound
    Posted at 05:05h, 15 April Reply

    I won’t lie, the cat reminds me of my mum’s, so I had to re-read the article because I’d spent a minute remembering the time he chased a mouse up a curtain. *ahem*

    Anyway, back to the actual piece.

    The bullet pointing issue is a tip that I’ve seen repeated dozens of times, but people still seem scared to do it. It’s as if they think just posting a quick-to-digest list is “cheap” because it’s not surrounded by paragraphs of not-always-relevant setup and comment.

  • Zahnbleaching
    Posted at 07:47h, 15 April Reply

    I just started my blogging career and have to admit creating new great content all the time is not an easy thing to do. What I learned from my health/beauty blog is that people love bullet points and big headlines. The posts that I really prettied up that way get by far the longest viewing times.

    I generally write in the first person and talk to the reader directly. When I find out something new about my niche I always try to find the real source and give it credit. Seems fair to me.

    Thanks for the article your blog really helps me out 😉

  • Beth Graddon-Hodgson
    Posted at 12:47h, 15 April Reply

    Often when you’re writing on topics that are industry related, people like to be able to give it a quick scan, so you’re right – the bullets and headings tend to work wonders! It’s also very beneficial to link for credit; link sharing can really drive traffic and with blogging it can be an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” world.

  • Notime Video
    Posted at 15:45h, 16 April Reply

    Thank you for posting this great subject.

    I enjoy reading your subjects .

    Best of regards

  • Nick
    Posted at 21:44h, 17 April Reply

    It’s important to have a blog that is aligned with your business website and yet is still interesting – I think the Omniture blog/RSS does a good job of this. Nice cat pic btw.

  • Simon R
    Posted at 05:09h, 20 April Reply

    I’m fully with you that it’s all about finding the best balance for your blog, but….

    The “but” for me is that people can often only write in a fairly limited range of styles (VERY limited in my case!); I wonder if it’s perhaps not more useful for some people to think about topics they’re interested in and knowledgeable about which is suited to their style… rather than trying to force their style to the topic.

    Sure, in an ideal world, change style to to the topic, but not everyone can write as well as you can! 🙂


    • waxmarketing
      Posted at 05:40h, 20 April Reply

      Do you really think that the topic dictates the style?

  • tatil
    Posted at 05:55h, 20 April Reply

    perfect design thanks super site

    • bonnie
      Posted at 05:57h, 20 April Reply

      thanks for your kind words!!

  • Michael @ Falcon Appliances
    Posted at 16:38h, 20 April Reply

    I don’t have a personal blog. I have a blog for several online ventures which I use to convey relevant news on each sites respective topics.

    I do however believe in keeping a good balance of personal/topical posts within each business blog as having that personal touch to a website is important to me.

  • thousandoakswindowcleaning
    Posted at 15:23h, 20 April Reply

    I have made this mistake myself. Definitely keep your personal and business blogs seperated.

  • Enarcade
    Posted at 07:30h, 26 April Reply

    There are so many blogs these days, the niche industry is really saturated with hundreds of blogs. I still have been stumped on what to make my new blog on.

  • Auto Transport Guy
    Posted at 08:55h, 06 May Reply

    I admit, I had never thought about approaching my business blog like this. This is causing me to rethink my approach in my niche market of auto transport/shipping. There aren’t many blogs on this topic in the first place.

    • bonnie
      Posted at 09:37h, 06 May Reply

      Beth might have some thoughts on that too…I was surprised at how affordable a problogging service can be.

  • Victor
    Posted at 03:37h, 07 May Reply

    But there are people who write only for their interest and of course they should know their limitation on what kind of topic they creates. You have good ideas and so far it did help me generate some ideas as well. For now, I will try it first then I will go back here and share it here.

  • Beth Graddon-Hodgson
    Posted at 21:27h, 29 May Reply

    Victor – I don’t like to think that writing strictly for interest creates limitations. You’ve got research at your finger tips online that you can use to engage your audience and keep it relevant…it doesn’t all have to come straight out of personal experience!

    ATG – my apologies for not spotting your post until now. If you do want some help with the writing or direction, please do give me a shout! It’s always nice to be in an industry where you can get creative without competing directly with the content of others.

  • Respiratory Therapist
    Posted at 09:52h, 29 September Reply

    When I think about content for business blogs I like to take my personality out of the context of the content. I think of the content as local news for the business and try to find topics of industry interest, specific to the business I am writing about. This way the content has legs with both consumers competitors and employees.

    Thanks for the post and love that dang cute cat:)

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  • Auto Transport City
    Posted at 12:21h, 09 October Reply

    Nice suggestion on your blog. A relevant and up to date blog can really makes the difference.

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