Blogs originated as Internet-based diaries, but they have quickly evolved into podiums for business advancement. In fact, some blogging evangelists say that every business must blog. While I disagree with this blanket assertion, I do believe that blogging is beneficial for the majority of businesses because it is a low-cost, accessible way to connect with current and potential clients.
But after setting up their new blogs, many businesses struggle to find their voices. Should they be casual? Serious? Funny? Sarcastic? A little bit of everything? The answer is—I don’t know. What I do know is that your blog should be an authentic dialog with your audience.
If your business is very reserved in everything from dress codes to email formatting, then your blog posts should reflect this sense of formality. However, formality doesn’t have to be boring. You can still present your topics creatively, but you’re probably not going to want to use slang, share bathroom humor, or veer dramatically off-topic to discuss personal issues.
Now, if your business has more of a jeans and t-shirt style, shoot for a looser conversation with your blog readers, although bathroom humor is probably still a no-go.
The trick is to strive for consistency between your real-life business identity, your website identity, and your blog identity. If one of these three is radically different from the other two, your customers or clients will pick up on this disparity and may begin to doubt the sincerity of all of your messaging.
Here are a few suggestions to promote consistency:
- Reread your old blog posts occasionally. Rereading older posts is a great way to maintain a uniform tone or identify ineffective writing that is straying from your goal.
- Ask yourself, “Would I talk about this topic with my client over coffee?” If the answer is “no,” then you obviously want to reevaluate the value of the post.
- Consider hiring a professional writer or editor to help you with your posts. Not only will this save you time, but a new set of eyes can identify areas of improvement and develop fresh ideas within the blog space that you have already created.
Most of all, authentic blogging should be (at least a little bit) fun—because you can’t fake fun!
Erin Wright is a freelance writer and editor in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in general business content, marketing, blogs, web copy, and instructional material.