And here we are in the home stretch of The Art of Blogging series! For the past few posts, we’ve been discussing the importance of blogging, how to keep people coming back and how to make it effective. For the final post in this series, we’re going to focus on the final “E” of blogging: Engagement.
Engagement: So you’ve created your blog and you’re getting a few hits here and there. But why should people keep coming back?
The first rule of engagement is this: Be engaging! Seems pretty obvious, right? But still, there are people out there who just post articles, victories, news, etc. that has absolutely no interest to half of the general population.
If you read my bio on the site here, you’ll see that there was a time recently that I took a job with an Internet marketing company in San Diego. One of the groups they catered to mainly was lawyers. I remember talking about blogs with some of these lawyers, and they seemed to grasp the concept fairly well, but when I’d have my monthly calls with these lawyers, we’d go over their blog, and all that was up there, if anything, was recent legal decisions and law articles.
Now don’t get me wrong, those are important, too. They help with the reputation of these lawyers by showing how well they’ve done in the past and how well they know and understand the law.
My question is this: How am I supposed to relate to it? How am I supposed to comment on a legal decision that I only understand every third word of?
In any blog platform worth using, you can create different categories. If you’re going to have a category detailing legal decisions and articles, at the very least try to have another one explaining the significance of those articles for me to understand. Otherwise, you’re just throwing information at people, most of whom have no chance of understanding why they should care.
And, just like that, you waste valuable space.
Obviously, this is a very specific example to a very specific industry, but the concept applies across the board. Think about your industry. How much industry jargon can you use while writing an article that your consumer just won’t care about? I know I can talk about CMSes, SEO, SEM, SMM until the cows come home, but unless I’m talking to another marketing expert, no one’s going to have the first clue as to what I’m talking about, and they’re not going to engage in the blog itself.