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Three Guiding Principles of Blog Writing

June 16th, 2017

So you’ve built a better mousetrap – now let’s blog about it.

In an age consumed with the Internet and social media, clients have latched on to the blog as an effective way to grab the attention of customers, prospects and journalists.

They read how key individuals from competitors and leading brands are influencing the market and they want to do the same.

Some brands are lucky enough to have experts within their own ranks who are adept at articulating clearly their experience and insight.

Not all clients however are fortunate enough to have someone on the inside that can express their in-depth knowledge in a clear and engaging writing style.

And even if they do, more often than not their day job keeps them so busy they simply don’t have the time.

Instead more and more clients are turning to freelancers and agencies to write their blogs for them.

Clients often come from a technical or engineering background. It’s a world that rightly holds scientific advances in terms of reliability, versatility and performance excellence in the highest esteem.

Invariably it is also a world of data and jargon that has little meaning for anyone that is not a technician themselves.

Once upon a time engineers and manufacturers ruled the world.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, a key driver for innovation was the firm belief that if you “build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door.”

This phrase was originally coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Prophetically, Emerson was not a manufacturer as you might imagine but a poet and essayist – in other words a writer – in the late nineteenth century.

Leap forward to the 21st century and it is no longer enough simply to build a better mousetrap but also to persuade the Internet at large of your, and by extension, your organization’s credentials. The expectation is that the enhanced reputation will have a positive influence on sales.

According to respected management consultancy McKinsey we are on the cusp of a golden age where “great storytelling and more scientific approaches come together in exciting ways.”

In fact they go so far as to say that story – along with four other “s” components of science, substance, simplicity and speed – will be a defining feature of organizational success in the years ahead.

Blogs are a key tool for telling that story.

Blogging is essentially the art of telling a persuasive, easy-to-discover story for Internet consumption in order to grow brand value.

There are many different approaches to blogging. The Internet is filled with posts on the subject each with their own tips and tricks. The best ones, however, tend to stick to a small number of guiding principles with respect to content, style and form:

  • Content – takes a fresh perspective or provides original insight that adds value to a topic or theme in the public eye. Link to related content from authoritative sources to add weight to the arguments expressed. Optimize content for search.
  • Style – remembers most readers are impatient and will skim-read your content. Text heavy pages with dense paragraphs are too much like hard work. Sentences are best kept short and conversational. If possible avoid jargon or, if jargon cannot be avoided, explain it clearly and concisely.
  • Form – makes a single point that is reinforced through a clear train of thought that runs from beginning to end. If there is more than a single point to make save it for another blog – always leave them wanting more.

In summary, if you’ve built a better mousetrap a blog is a great tool to create dialogue, develop rapport, earn trust, and enhance your credentials and reputation. Online or in-person, ultimately people buy from people, so building relationships is key.

Blogs are a window into the people behind the products. Blog content is therefore less about the mousetrap and more about enhancing the reputation of its management.