You may think you know the characteristics that successful business blogs have in common. Well, I think there are six qualities that are "must haves" for success. I call them the "Magic P's". See if you agree with our list of qualities below.
Passionate: Whether you write 3,000 word feature articles or a weekly 300 word business blog, the one trait your writing must exhibit in order to tantalize your readers is a passion for your topic. Passion makes your writing contagious; that is, readers will want to share your blog with friends. Passion makes the reader reconsider their own thoughts and conclusions about your topic; reconsider the value s/he places on your subject matter. Passion makes the reader care about what you are saying because you care about it. Passion makes the reader care about your business the way you care about your topic.
Pedagogic: I chose this descriptor because every business blog should teach the reader something. As business bloggers, we should strive to teach, educate, and train our customers about a facet of our common field of interest. If you do not teach readers something, or guide them toward something, then you will have missed an opportunity.
You want readers to come to your blog because they trust that you will give them useful information. You want them to come to your blog because you can take disorganized information and make it coherent for them. After reading your blog, they can understand what they did not understand before. Maybe they know how to do something that they did not know how to do before they read your blog. They can use the information you provide to their advantage in their own working world or for their own businesses.
Internet searchers are hungry for data, for analysis, for conclusions based on data. They want to see charts and graphs and how-to videos. Show them that they can trust you to give them good, solid information backed up by statistics. Show them that you are knowledgeable. Show them that you care about the same things that they care about.
If you do all these things, readers will not come just to your site for a visit. They will keep coming back and, when they come back, they will bring their friends with them.
Persistent: You've probably heard a lot about how you must stay consistent in your blogging. I prefer to think of the required quality as one of persistence. Yes, you should blog regularly; however, you also need to approach your business blog with a certain amount of persistence. You must persist in:
- meeting your audience where they live and willingly invite them to your site, not just once -- for as long as you are in business;
- caring about the topics that fill your audience's minds. Alternatively, raise their consciousness about things they had not thought of before they read your article;
- using inbound marketing tools and social media marketing. Be aware of the changing face of social media marketing and use those changes to your advantage;
- capturing contact information from your site's visitors;
- providing quality writing, sprinkling your bon mots with just a dash of charm and enough wit to make the blog memorable and quotable;
- visiting other blogs that expound on issues in your area of expertise. Comment on their ideas; begin a conversation. Make yourself and your ideas known to the wider community that surrounds you. You never know when or who will return the visit and bring friends with them.
Personality: Writers and editors talk about "finding your voice". Your blog is about a business but that doesn't mean it is without life. A blog should let your personality shine through. Whether you are funny, or no-nonsense, or wry, or professorial, your voice reflects your persona. Readers should come to feel that they "know" you. You want them to think of you as their friendly resource. If you do your job right, those readers who were once strangers will follow you year-in and year-out and become friends of your site. It's all part of the trust factor.
Perspective: Whatever topic you blog about, whatever niche you carve out for yourself, make sure that you bring your unique perspective to the stories. As the old saying goes, the "devil is in the details" which is certainly true of blogging. You want to shine a spotlight on the details of your story. Even when revisiting a headline story, you want to do it in a way that no one else has done. Give it your personal slant.
Provocative: The dictionary says that the word provocative means to excite or stimulate a reaction. When I talk about instigating a reaction, I mean your business blog should provoke thought. Try to capture a trend; synthesize disparate theories; raise new questions; answer old questions; become the go-to expert on something; debunk the common wisdom and latest theories. Invite reactions. You want to evoke comments to your viewpoints. You may want controversy. You want differing opinions to create "buzz" among your readers. Like any good after-dinner conversation among friends, where differing constructive viewpoints are welcome, you will know that you are doing your job if your words elicit lively discussion and an exchange of ideas.