Lunch with friends – is there a better pick-me-up for a Wednesday? The dragon rolls and rangoons shared with people who know how to make you laugh, appreciate your trials, share your triumphs, teach you a little something, and all-around “get” you – well, that’s just about as good as Hump Day gets. Sitting in a restaurant waiting for my friend Lynn today, I’m thinking about how much I’m looking forward to hearing what she’s been up to. I imagine she feels the same way, given how she’s had to shoehorn our meeting into her packed day.
That “shoehorning” got me thinking. The demands on our time require everyone to allocate the precious few hours we’re given to the people and things that reward us the most. It’s simple economics: options / available time = prioritized choices. When managing or writing for a company blog, you may be reluctant to think about the reality of choice your prospective readers have. But take a step back and think about the blog in terms of lunch with friends. Answering the question “Is this blog lunch-worthy?” may just be the question you need to ask in order to make the blog more successful.
Time is finite, a gift that readers may give your blog if they’re fulfilled by the relationship. Are your readers educated, informed, and entertained by the content you produce? Which begs the question: Would you want to have lunch with your blog? Does your blog produce the kind of content that makes others want to sit down and visit for awhile?
Do your posts tell them something they didn’t already know? Whether an insightful fact or a useful tactical method, you can earn lunch invitations by being consistently useful in ways that don’t overtly promote your own products or services. Are your posts easy to read, using language and a style that’s easy to digest? Are they free of jargon, infused with humor, and demonstrate a deep understanding of the needs of the target consumer?
If you had to think about these questions for a second, then your blog may be dining at the lunch counter solo. There may be no one around to mention the catsup that’s on the corner of your mouth.
3 Tips For Getting Your Blog Ready For Lunch
- Read everything you can produced by others in your industry. Think beyond your immediate competitors to also include suppliers, distributors, vendors, ancillary consultants and contractors. Analyze several weeks or months worth of their content in the form of blog posts, featured articles, press releases, and other material. Make notes about each, whether they present unique points of view, whether they’re reader-friendly, offer value to the reader, reflect the brand image, and so on. Use these notes to identify gaps in your own blog.
- Do your posts encourage conversation? Much like a self-absorbed lunch partner, if your content doesn’t encourage additional perspectives, dive into the pros and cons of alternative solutions, or document firm assertions with support facts, you may just be the boor no one wants to share their time with.
- Recognize readers and commenters for the good company they are. Reader feedback, whether directly made through blog comments or indirectly shared via Twitter or Facebook, are signs people want to be involved with you. Indications that they’re connecting with your thoughts on some level. Be sure to reward their time and attention with words of recognition, praise where warranted, and sincere thanks.
Think about the blogs you’d be willing to spend some of your lunch time reading. Pinpoint why they’d earn the gift of your time. Then figure out if there are any of those elements missing from your own company blog.
Before you know it, you’ll be at a table for 10.
Image courtesy Alkula on Flickr