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Spotlight on Service: Blogging

Spotlight on Service: Blogging

I’ve met some great new people networking.  As we talk (or they talk about themselves and their business), I assess what they say.  Inevitably they talk about what it is they want to do to take their business to the next level or just reach a new audience.  One of those things is “I’d like to start a blog, but…I don’t know where to start.”  Then comes “What is it you do?” And I fire back with: “I’m a writer and specialize in digital content.”  Momentarily stunned, they then ask “do you do blogs?”  To which I respond: “of course.”  Then comes the business card exchange and the eventual meeting that will cover what exactly the person is looking to accomplish.  This is almost always “I want to expand with social media, but I just don’t know how.”

This is where I come in.  I ask things like how you want to reach your clients: Facebook?  Twitter?  A blog?  Don’t get me wrong, blogging is not the be all, end all to your social media presence, and shouldn’t be.  But it’s probably your best bet to reach the most people.  Some keys to a good blog:

–          Social or conversational language.  Your blog is NOT an advertising space and shouldn’t be treated as such.  You can add a link to an offer or product, but don’t and I mean DO NOT post anything that looks like it came straight off a page in the latest edition of your favorite industry magazine.  It’s a place to talk to your customers on their level without a bunch of technical and business talk.

–          Length.  I’ve written posts under 300 words and posts nearly 700 words.  It really depends on the topic of the post, but if you think you’re going on and on about the same thing, it’s too long.  I’ve backspaced and rewritten sections of this post several times, tightening things up so I’m not repeating myself.  On the other hand, a lengthy post may be called for.  I can evaluate what exactly you want to say and help tighten it up or elaborate when you’re just lost for words.

–          Knowing what to talk about.  Let’s say you’re a real estate agent who knows a certain part of town particularly well.  You’re the go-to guy or girl when it comes to the neighborhood in question.  What should your blog be about?  Real estate, sure, but not everything related to real estate.  You’ll want to concentrate your content around the changes and issues in that neighborhood – like if prices are skyrocketing or dropping or if there are any special events or happenings there.  Maybe the neighbors get together once every three or four months for a block party.  Anything prospective buyers would want to know before investing several thousand dollars in a home in a neighborhood they find out after a few months that it’s not really a great fit for them.

–          Closing out.  Sometimes your thoughts just end.  But when you have a captive audience, that’s just anticlimactic.  You leave the reader saying “that’s it?” and possibly losing that reader forever.  On the other hand, you don’t sign off as you do with a letter, or the last paragraph of a history report.  Coming up with that gripping yet absolute last line is another thing I do.  It could be as simple as moving a sentence from one spot to another or just taking a while to figure out how you want to wrap up.

Like now, my thoughts have just kind of, well, ended.  See?  I go through it too, and I’m here to go through it for you, so you don’t have to and can focus on what it is you do.

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