How To Make Your Blog More Interesting

Something a lot of writers are worried about is boring their readers. With a blog about your line of work, this is an especially big concern. While researching this week’s topic, I found a fabulous article on Entrepreneur titled21 Ways to Make Your Boring Trade Blog Interesting. Now, I’m not trying to say that blogs about your business are boring, but when you are writing a blog for your potential or current customers, you may get excited about things they don’t or post about things they just don’t understand. Since Neil Patel talks about B2B blogging in this Entrepreneur article, I’ve gathered his ten most relevant points to help you make your blog more interesting for your customers.

Don’t understand why you need a blog for your business? Read our blog post Why You Should Start a Business Blog.

1. Be informed.

At the risk of sounding generic, I’m going to say it:  You’ve got to know what’s going on in your industry. What’s more, you’ve got to actually have experience in the industry in order to write authoritatively.

B2B blog readers are familiar with jargon, buzzwords, and industry best practices. In order to deliver something of quality, you must possess industry knowledge.

Whether you’re blogging in-house or outsourcing a professional writer, B2B bloggers should know both the industry and the audienceHere are the five most important things to be informed about.

  • What your audience does on a day-to-day basis and how they do it. What tasks will they perform when they walk into the office each day? What kind of projects will they work on? How are their minds working?
  • The greatest needs of your audience. What does your audience want? More to the point, how can you give it to them? Can you help them solve their problems by delivering helpful content?
  • The biggest challenges in the industry. Are there current obstacles in the industry? Threats to success? Painful conundrums?
  • Largest players in the industry and what they’re up to.Who are the existing thought leaders, big businesses, or authoritative writers?
  • Latest trends in the industry. Are there current events that have an impact on the industry? Government regulations? Lawsuits? Algorithm updates?

2. Write from the first person.

Writing from the first person means that you use the words “I” and “me.”

It’s totally fine to do so. You’re not breaking any grammatical rules or unwritten codes of blogging. First-person content is interesting content.

I’ve observed two related mistakes in B2B blogs:

  • The first mistake is nosism — using the word “we” instead of “I.” It’s clumsy for a business to write a blog. Individuals do the writing, not a corporation. Refer to yourself as yourself, not as a corporate entity.
  • The second mistake is third-person detachment. This is when a B2B blog refers to their business in the third person. For example, “Leaders at Awesome Biz have decided to write a blog. Awesome Biz has been in the widget industry for 14 years. The goal of Awesome Biz has been to…” You see what’s going on there? Third-person writing gets old, not to mention boring.

Try this style of writing:

  • “I want to tell you about an experience I had this week.”
  • “My co-workers and I recently faced a challenge.”
  • “I’m going to do something a little different in this article.”
  • “It took me four hours to write this article, but I think it’s worth it.”

Those types of opening lines are much more interesting, more engaging, and ultimately, more successful.

3. Don’t be afraid of being personable, as long as you’re professional.

Part of the power of the first person voice is that it’s personal. You need to use your personality to communicate.

Often, people mistakenly believe that B2B is interaction between businesses. But the real interaction is between people within those businesses. When you write your B2B blog, you’re writing for an audience of other people, not businesses.

Yes, you can be professional, but don’t be stiff, formal, or rigid. Be a person. Your best communication moments will come as you drop awkward formality and express yourself as a person.

4. Don’t always promote your stuff.

Another turnoff is the promotion blog. A blog is not an open channel to coerce people to buy your stuff. You can try that, but no one is going to really read and engage with it.

When you are constantly pushing your products, new versions, updates, improvements, the awesomeness of a cool new feature, or five reasons to get the platinum plan, you are boring.

It’s important to realize that the very presence of an interesting blog is a form of promotion — a much more appealing one. Sure, incorporate a call to action in each post, but don’t be shoving your products constantly before your audience.

5. Tell a story.

Storytelling is not just for kids or summer evening campfires. Storytelling is a tool that can make your blog move from boring to brilliant.

The “once upon a time” opener probably isn’t necessary. Little stories — a failed product launch, a midnight system reboot, a two-year slump — can be fascinating.

6. Be extremely clear.

If you are skilled at being clear, you are automatically interesting. I’m not talking about the kind of clarity required when you’re writing an operational guide or technical manual. I’m talking about the ability to make a clear and unmissable point.
Take the point above — No. 10 — as an example. It’s three words, but the point is obvious. Then, in just a few sentences below, I’m driving it home. Clarity is taking a point, communicating that point, and making it incredibly apparent what you’re trying to say.

When it comes to jargon, every industry has its acronyms, terms, and insider expressions. You can use them in your writing, just be sure to explain yourself if there’s a risk that your readers might not understand an acronym.

7. Share real-life examples.

In a point above, I suggested that you tell stories. An entire blog post can be a great story opportunity.

But every blog post can have real-life examples within it. These are mini stories. Already in this post, I’ve shared a few examples with you to prove my point.

Hopefully, these illustrations have made this article more interesting. When you write “let me illustrate this,” or “here’s an example,” you’re creating points of interest that your readers will love.

 

8. Journey into forbidden waters.

Want to be really, really interesting? Even viral? Talk about the stuff that no one else will talk about.

There are few things more magnetic than a controversy. Most public fights have spectators. Most public arguments have listeners. Most controversial blogs have readers and commenters.

If you want to be interesting, open the worm cans and discuss the uncomfortable topic. Tasteful restraint is always recommended, but you can still broach the subject.

9. Show emotion.

You are free to express any level of emotion in your blog. Remember that bit about humans interacting with humans that I mentioned?

When you say “It was hilarious” or “that was a frustrating experience,” you are

10. Show empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to someone else’s experiences or feelings. Empathy sounds a bit soft or emotional, and surely not part of a B2B blog, right?

Wrong. Empathy is an important ingredient of any successful blog. If you truly want to connect with your audience on a level of interest and engagement, you must be able to relate to them.

For example, you can sprinkle an empathetic line or two just about anywhere:

  • “I know what it’s like to stare at spreadsheets for eight hours on end.”
  • “Like almost everyone else in the industry, we had a devastating third quarter.”
  • “Remember when ABC Corp. unleashed that new product? I was amazed, and I think everyone else was, too.”

Statements like that — expressions of empathy — will really improve your relatability and amp up your interest level.

These ten tips will definitely help you attract and keep an audience of your customers and potential customers. Here are all 21 of Entrepreneur’s 21 Ways to Make You Boring Trade Blog Interesting, if you’re interested in all of Neil Patel’s tips. Good luck blogging!

Should Your Business Have a Blog?

Starting a blog for your business can be beneficial. It can drive traffic to your company’s website, create free PR for your business, and improve search engine optimization (SEO). But you can also reap many personal benefits from starting a blog.

Here are 5 reasons why a blog is beneficial to both you and your business:

Blogging Improves Writing Skills & Marketing Focus

Starting a blog means regularly creating quality content centered around aspects of your business. Writing a blog every week will not force you to become a better writer, rather, you will become a better writer with every post.Developing blog content polishes your basic skills while helping you practice getting and keeping the attention of an audience. You learn what engages readers, what bores them, how to create catchy titles, and how to pull people in with your content. Improving your writing skills not only benefits the blog, being a skilled writer can benefit you every day whether it be for advertising, published materials, or just personal writing. Blogging also compels you to focus on your content marketing strategy since you must create and stick to it continuously to deliver purposeful content.

Not quite sure what content marketing is? Check out this blog post about content development & marketing.

To deliver this kind of content, you must delve deeper into your area of expertise or business. Blogging about your business requires you to immerse yourself further into subjects you already know much about. Continuously creating relevant content for your blog will sharpen your business focus as you define who you are blogging for and why. When you begin blogging, you will have to stay current with news, trends, and your competitors and this constant research will keep you ahead of the curve.

Blogging Helps You Build Your Online Brand

Being up-to-date and regularly delivering high quality content on your blog will establish you as an expert in the minds of your customers, as well as actually making you more of an expert in your field. Blogging works as a method for attracting an audience because it provides something of value to potential customers before asking them for anything in return. A blog gives you a way to create your company’s voice and a wide sphere of influence to get your company’s message out there. A blog is a place to let your brand’s personality shine and show people what you’re all about.

A Business Blog Drives Business to You

To distinct yourself as an expert in your field and delivering content of value to your readers will put you at the forefront of their minds. Then, when they are in need of the type of products or services you offer, they will instantly think of you. According to a HubSpot Survey, 90% of companies that blogged daily, acquired a customer from their blog. Beyond establishing you and your company in potential customers’ minds, a blog also gives you a place to talk about new products or services you’re offering, comment on timely news topics or market trends, and share company initiatives beyond your website.

A Blog Helps You Create a Network & Build Rapport with Your Audience

What differentiates a blog from a website is a blog can be interactive. Choosing to allow your audience to join into your discussion creates conversation between you and not only your customers, but your prospects and industry peers. Blogging can help you build a network of people interested in what you have to offer that can also offer you insight into your business or field. By engaging in a two-way conversation with your audience, you can interact directly with potential customers, create new and different business opportunities, and engage in discussions with your peers. Also, reader’s comments, suggestions, and even complaints can open your eyes to a different way of thinking and give you a fresh look at different aspects of your business.

A Blog is a Cost Effective Marketing Investment

Every blog post you publish is a long-term asset that helps build brand awareness and promote your expertise, products, and services. Each blog post also optimizes your website in search engines for the topic you choose to write about. Further, since business bloggers are often interviewed by journalists as industry experts, blogging also opens up the possibility for free PR. This can also increase brand awareness and assist you in building and furthering your career.

Blogging opens up many positive opportunities, not only for your business, but also for you as a business owner. Although blogging may not be for everyone, if you are willing to put the time and effort into creating and maintaining a blog, you and your business definitely have a lot to gain.

If you are still questioning whether or not to start a blog, read 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Blog.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Start a Blog

Are you thinking of starting a blog but not sure where to begin? These five questions will help you to contemplate the content of your future blog and to decide whether blogging is right for you.

1. Why are you starting a blog?

This seems to be the simplest question to ask, but it’s essential. Are you starting a blog to share your opinions? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Are you embarking on a new journey and want to document the experience? Want to reach your customers on a more personal level? The reason surrounding why you’re starting your blog will also come to shape the content, look, and feel of your blog. It’s important you know exactly why you want to start, so you can move forward in a direction that will lead you to your ultimate goal.

2. What’s your blog’s purpose?

Is it informative or meant for entertainment? Will you be blogging about a certain topic or a myriad of them? Determining your blog’s purpose will help you create relevant content and attract an audience. Which leads me to #3…

3. Who is your audience and what do they want to know?

What kind of traffic do you want to drive to your website? It is important to research who the audience is for the topic that you are writing about. How old are they? Where are they from? What do they enjoy? What do they want to know? If you are trying to connect with your customers, think of questions you are asked frequently. What would your fans or clients search for on Google? Knowing specifics about the audience you’d like to attract and the types of information they are looking for will help you cater your content toward them and help you grow your following.

4. What makes you so special?

What value can you add to your blog to entice people to visit again and again? How will you differentiate your blog from blogs of similar content (aka your competition)? Do some research on the competition. If there are already many popular blogs writing about the same thing, you may have a hard time growing your audience. If you want readers of these similar blogs to consider reading yours, you have to offer them something the competition does not. And you have to keep them coming back for more.

5. How much time can you put into your blog?

Are you prepared for the time commitment a blog requires? Remember, consistency is key. According to TrafficGenerationCafe, once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic increases up to 30%. If you want regular readers, you have to post in a regular frequency with a consistently high level of quality. What’s your ideal posting frequency? Normally, a personal blog, blogs for SEO, and company blogs require only weekly or biweekly posts, but entertainment or news blogs require daily updates to keep up with the competition. You will have to balance content creation and blog promotion. In terms of content creation, quality always reigns over quantity. Be honest with yourself, do you have the time to create quality content on a regular basis and promote your blog? Are you willing the make the time? If you’re blogging for SEO purposes, would you be better to served to outsource your blog?

By answering these questions, you should have a comprehensive overview of what your blog can become. If you’re still nervous about blogging, check out this article of 45 Reasons to Blog. Good luck!