When I go to a networking event and somebody hears that I’m a blogger, I’m sometimes inundated with questions: “What IS a blog? How does it work? What do you talk about? How can it help my business? How do people find your blog?”
Now that I’ve written almost 300 personal and business blog posts, I’m better able to answer those questions. I tell people that a personal blog is about two things: passion and community. We personal bloggers pick the subjects that we’re most passionate about — books, the trials and joys of parenthood, movies, sports, religion, photography, art, history, culture, to name a few. Along the way, we interact with our blog followers who leave comments and experience the fun of creating an international blog “family”. We stake out our individual territories in the blogosphere, express our innermost selves through words, photos and videos, and invite others to visit. Along the way, we become richer in knowledge and life experience.
In my case, my blog is about books, writers, writing and social media commentary, with side dishes of humor and education. It’s a chatty style of writing.
Business blogging is the same and yet different. Business blogging, when done properly, is equally about attracting attention and building community but with the ultimate goal of converting readers into active customers and advocates. Topics are carefully chosen to demonstrate the expertise and experience of that business and how, by using that company’s products or services, one’s own business or life undergoes improvement. Business bloggers often use current events as inspiration for blog posts, adding their own view of a situation and describing how a newsworthy event affects their industry.
The writing for business blogs is much more formal and must include search engine optimization so that readers find the business blog with search engines. (It’s not a bad idea to know SEO for your personal blogging, too.) Business blogs also have strong visual content — infographics, pictures and videos — to help reinforce the story they’re telling.
I’ve noticed that some of the business blogs that I visit don’t seem to have many comments, and I’ve often wondered why. Some readers don’t want to sign up for comments because they don’t want to give away their e-mail addresses, be considered sales prospects and have the company sell to them with frequent “BUY NOW!” emails. (Speaking for the other side: I know, I know. I get it. But c’mon, people, we’re marketers. It’s what we do.)
Is it because the company buries the blog in their website and it’s hard to find? Does the business not cross-promote the blog in other sites such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook? Does the blog’s owner just pick topics that most readers don’t find particularly motivating to discuss?
Or is it the platform? Plenty of businesses host their blogs on WordPress sites, for example. Some get interaction, others don’t. The ones that do get interaction take the time to talk with their commenters, who are frequently peer-level professionals or people seeking to enter that field.
Blog readers: Got any other thoughts on why some business blogs don’t get more comments?