How to write blog posts your readers will fall in love with

by Mack Collier

One of the biggest challenges bloggers face is figuring out what the hell to write about.  And for company bloggers, this problem is magnified because many want to blog about their company and products, which doesn’t appeal to many readers.

So what do you do?  How do you create and frame content that appeals to readers, that makes them actually LOVE reading your blog?  Here’s some ideas:

1 – Focus on the bigger idea behind your products.  What this means is instead of blogging directly about your products, create blog posts that focus on how your customers USE your products, and WHY they buy them.  By doing this, you can still promote your product, but you do so INdirectly, and in the context of another topic that has more relevance to your readers.

Here’s some product examples, and how you could frame your content to focus on the Bigger Idea:

Cameras – Blog about photography and how to take better pictures

Hotels – Blog about travel and the local attractions

Crafting/Decorating products – Blog about home decorating

Organic food – Blog about healthy living

Think about WHY someone would buy your product.  Are they trying to solve a problem?  Become better at something?  Factor in the core motivations for why people buy your products, and craft your content accordingly.  This is something that so many companies miss, because they want to directly promote their products.  The end result is the content isn’t as appealing or valuable to the reader.  By shifting the focus to the Bigger Idea, then the content is more appealing and valuable and you can STILL promote your product, but in the context of a larger and more relevant topic.

Now there are certain cases where it’s ok to be more product-centric in your blog writing.  For example, if you’re a B2B company that sells massive tools that sell for several hundred thousand dollars, then potential buyers would be interested in specific product features and content.  But in general, too much self-promotion turns off readers.

2 – Check your site stats.  Start with your search terms.  What phrases are people using to find your blog?  This tells you the type of content they are looking for!  If you see that many people are searching for the same terms and phrases, that tells you that people are interested in seeing content about these subjects.

Now also keep in mind that people that arrive at your blog via search results are probably NOT regular readers of your blog.  So don’t assume that your REGULAR readers are also interested in the same type of content.  But it’s often a good indicator.

For example, if you see that people are constantly arriving at your blog by searching for “How to start a Facebook page”, then that’s a hint that you should write a post about….wait for it….How to Start a Facebook Page.

Also, which days have the most traffic?  What time of day?  Try to schedule your posts to publish when traffic is at its highest.  A general rule of thumb is that the middle of the week, middle of the day is good.

3 – Pay attention to the posts your readers are paying attention to.  Track how many page views and comments your posts are getting.  Look at the ones that are the most popular.  Do you see that posts covering certain topics usually get more comments and views?  That’s a good hint that your readers want to read more about those topics. I did this last week in a post on pricing social media services.

4 – Respond to requests from readers for content and POINT OUT when you write a post based on reader feedback.  Occasionally, you may have a reader that comments that they really wish you would cover a particular topic on the blog.  If it makes sense to you, absolutely blog about that topic AND when you do, make sure you point out and acknowledge the reader that suggested the topic.  This is a GREAT way to create more compelling content for your blog, but it also shows your readers that you value and appreciate their opinions.  Which means they will be more likely to give you MORE suggestions for content, and if you continue to listen to them, that means you’ll be creating more valuable and relevant topics for them!

So those are some ideas for improving the quality of the content on your company blog.  In general, LISTEN to your readers, they will usually tell you what they are interested in, either directly on the blog, or you can check your stats and see which posts/topics they are paying attention to.

Pic via Flickr user Lel4nd

Alison Heath April 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Hi Mack! Thanks for stopping by my new blog. We definitely need to work on meeting for real. I rarely make it out of DC though so you’re going to have to get yourself onto the Online Marketing Summit’s upcoming tour or something!

By the way, I love your first point about focusing on the bigger idea behind your products. It’s something that a lot of businesses (and marketers) struggle with and it’s not unique to blogging–it crops up in website copy & PR and just about everywhere else too. The problem is that figuring out the story behind why people want your products takes work and thought and (possibly) the help of a clear-thinking guy like you.

Mack Collier April 7, 2010 at 11:08 am

Thank you Alison 😉 Yes the Bigger Idea is really important for blogging companies, but seems completely counter-intuitive. Then again, much of what works about social media seems counter-intuitive to many companies 😉

Laura April 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Great tips. I would add another–personality! So many blogs have great content, but are indistinguishable from others because they lack a strong voice. Don’t be afraid to be yourself–and even if you’re a corporation, you can develop a unique voice and personality that corresponds to your brand. It will help you stand out and make you more accessible to readers.

Mack Collier April 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Yes! Personality is an element that many company blogs lack. But as you said, showing your readers your personality helps them connect with you, which makes your efforts more effective. Another aspect of blogging that seems counterintuitive to companies, but it works 😉

allan isfan April 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Well done. Advice that is going to impact directly the posts I’m planning as I re-launch my blogs …. that’s a big deal for me so thank you!

I would add that it is crucial to track carefully who the audience is and what impact you are having on the audience that matters most to your business. That group may react differently and therefore just looking at the numbers, such as visits, number of comments and so on without looking at the “who” can be misleading.

Even something like sitemeter, which you are using on this blog, can be very useful. You can tell where people are coming from geographically and even what networks they are coming from. That can be handy if you’re trying to get the attention of major corporations.
.-= allan isfan´s last blog ..Featured_image_2 =-.

Robyn from Sam's Web Guide April 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Great article Mack!

I’m currently redesigning my company’s website to facilitate the integration of a blog. I’ve realized that blogs greatly complement the sites SERP rankings and also the company’s overall online image and authority.

Also, as I stated in a previous comment, readers enjoy blogs about experiences rather than just promotion and product information. This holds true for my personal blog which is just a month old. I received the most amount of comments for a post that shared my one month’s achievements and experiences blogging. Read the article here: The readers engaged and commented. I will be writing more of my posts with that in mind since I’m aiming for interaction.

Another great article Mack. Keep it up.
.-= Robyn from Sam’s Web Guide´s last blog ..Will Social Media Marketing Consistently Outperform Search Engine Optimization? =-.

Amrita January 17, 2014 at 12:39 am

Great informative blog, thank you. This is what every blogger should think about. If something provide me value, if something make me feel like coming again, definitely I’m visiting that site again.

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