14 MORE blog improvement ideas!

January 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Posted in social media | 8 Comments
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Pic by ME! 🙂

By Jove, I just did another blog analysis! (Earlier analysis here.)

Once again, many of my ideas were client specific (and of course confidential).

The rest are yours.

  1. ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in the banner is harder to read than Title Case and looks like ‘SHOUTING’ to some readers.
  2. The pic of the tree is pretty, but it doesn’t suggest a benefit for clients or a link to you. How about a pic of your products in action, in situ?
  3. The headers for the articles have varying capitalisation (Title Case and Sentence case). While this is a minor point, highly educated clients may find it distracting.
  4. Australians may prefer a Day/Month/Year format to the current American one.
  5. ‘Comment’ is simpler and shorter than ‘Add Your Comments Here’. The fewer words we use, the more info we impart.
  6. A relevant image at the top of each article would showcase your gear and make the blog much more interesting to readers.
  7. I had trouble understanding your company’s structure due to the varying names. It’d be good to have one long version and one short version and to use them consistently. Failing that, spell out what’s what at the start, so readers like me don’t feel stupid or waste time trying to figure it out instead of reading your content.
  8. Body copy capitalisation is also highly irregular. Unless corrected, this will erode your brand in the minds of some readers.
  9. Clichés kill interest faster than a road train wipes wabbits. Therefore, use your ‘natural voice’ to replace phrases like ‘110% effort’, ‘our dynamic team’ and ‘all this and much much more’. Doing so will make you appear human (and therefore, by implication, reasonable and trustworthy). And if your competitors don’t follow suit, you’ll open up an important point of difference in a homogenous market.
  10. I can’t see any tags, categories or keywords. You said your main site SEO gives you Google Page 1. What about this blog?
  11. A Bolded Subtitle doesn’t need a colon too.
  12. ‘Single quotes’ do the same thing (in less space) as “double quotes”.
  13. The wind energy article is great. This is another point-of-difference opportunity. Especially these days.
  14. YouTube is now massive. Some embedded videos of your products in action would be great. Especially for Gen Y and younger audience members.

Hope you dig. Let me know! 🙂

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

Business Blogs

Talk the walk

January 5, 2010 at 11:14 am | Posted in social media | 4 Comments
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Walk and chew blog at the same time! Photo by James Cridland.

Does your whizz-bang new mobile (cell) phone have a built-in or downloadable dictaphone?

If it does, you may be able to blog without blogging.

Simply dictate short posts when you’re doing anything that may interest your staff, clients, suppliers or other ‘watchers’.

Then, get a keen youngster to transcribe them verbatim for a few coppers.

You can then whack these blog posts into shape yourself, or send them to me for optimisation.

Dictating on the run means you don’t have to find time to sit down and write from scratch.

It also adds an immediacy to content that readers find attractive and refreshing.

Imagine you run a foundry. One day, your metallurgist reports that a batch of casts is failing quality checks.

You hurry into the hot, dusty space, cursing into your dictaphone. Within minutes, your expert eye tells you the resin isn’t binding the sand cores as it should.

You press ‘record’ and rattle off your diagnosis and plan of action.

Then you email the sound file to your scribe.

Before day’s end, you have a blog post that:

  1. Alerts management and staff across your organisation so they can swing into action.
  2. Makes your resin supplier leap out of their skin to rectify the problem in record time.
  3. Explains to customers that a batch may be delayed (because you refuse to send imperfect products). 
  4. Enthralls and educates students (i.e. future staff) and other parties interested in the cut and thrust of your products, processes and industry.

That’s what I call multi-tasking.

If your phone can’t do this, you may wish to invest in a dictaphone.

Let us know how you get on!

Business Blogs

Your emails are blog posts!

January 4, 2010 at 9:28 am | Posted in social media | 6 Comments
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A trove of blog posts may already be yours!

Many of my clients understand that they need to blog. Yet they’re thwarted by two mind blocks:

  1. What will I write about?
  2. How will I find the time?

What they don’t realise is that their blog posts may already be written – in their emails!

Let’s say you make uber-hi-tech vacuum cleaners.

One day, a frantic customer asks how to extract a hamster from the hypohepozappofilter without damaging either.

As a caring, conscientious manufacturer, you (or your tech person) take the time to write and send clear instructions to resolve this problem.

Six months later, you’re about to clean out your email Sent Folder.

DON’T TOUCH THAT FILE!

Your hamster extraction email needs only a brief ‘top and tail’ edit to become a blog post.

And while this problem may not be common, anyone who does suffer it in future will be mighty grateful the answer is already online.

They can search your blog and fix their issue, without the hassle and embarrassment of contacting you.

And you don’t have to waste time considering the situation and writing the solution all over again.

If you don’t keep an email Sent Folder, start today.

If you do, cast your eye over it.

I’ll bet London to a brick you and your staff have written heaps of content that’s begging to be posted on your blog.

I’m not fond of the word ‘leverage’.

But when it means wringing the last atom of utility from a piece of work you’ve already done by reusing it in elegant new ways, I’m a fan!

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by Meanest Indian.

Turn forums into temples

December 29, 2009 at 11:13 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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Photo by David Paul Ohmer

When searching online for the names of your organisation, products or services, keep a sharp eye out for forums. 

This is where people gather to praise, study, discuss or revile what you do. 

Often, you’ll see requests for help or information which the forum’s current participants can’t fulfil. 

According to Groundswell, if you provide a forum with free tips on how to solve outstanding problems with your goods, users will worship your brand and spread the word. 

You can do this task yourself, or delegate it to a product-savvy eager beaver in your organisation as a special assignment. 

The results may pleasantly surprise you.

Business Blogs


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