Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Keys to Blogging Success: Keep it Real

As you probably have guessed by now, I love blogging. And, if I dare say, I'm pretty darn good at it. But not everyone is a great writer, or even enjoys writing. So, should they hire a ghostwriter to blog for them?

It depends. Some folks, like my fellow HOWie Jess Sand from Roughstock Studios, have had success blogging on behalf of clients. Others, like Walmart, have been found out, and thus ostracized from the community they so needed to tap into. The difference? Jess, and others like her, keep it real.

Among other various opinions that have been blogged about the subject, Joan D'Amico's recent post on the Walmart debacle speaks very eloquently about why the Walmart blog failed: a liberal dose of insanely obvious marketing messages.

Nobody wants to read marketing messages in a blog. Nobody. That's not the point of a blog. It's. Just. Not.

The problem with marketers trying to get their hands into the blog space is that they're marketers - this is what they know. They aren't comfortable with just talking about stuff that interests them - they have to turn it into something that will hopefully generate a sale. And this doesn't work with blogs.

Bloggers (and their readers) are looking for some honest, down-to-earth insight from the real people - got something you love to do? Blog about it. Have a rant about some political issue, celebrity mishap, or just want to share some stories from your life? Blog about it. That's what people want to read - real people, dealing with real stuff, and - perhaps - sharing some real life.

This is the new age of marketing - the age of dealing with people as people, and not as demographics, or points on a sales graph. Get used to it.

1 comment:

Jessie Jane said...

Hey Dani! I should probably clarify that the blogging I do for clients always runs with a byline, so there is that sense of accountability. I actually avoid ghostwriting, mostly because I like the idea of getting credit for my work!

Even my personal blogs (Small Failures and Bar Stories) have some sense of accountability on them, as I include links to my business website/bio on them.

That said, your point about sales pitching in blogs is spot on. Business blogs in particular must walk a fine line between pitching the reader and actually providing useful, meaningful content.

And because one of the most significant benefits of business blogs is to actually develop a deeper relationship with the reader, it's extra important that the reader knows who is really writing to them.