There is a really good article on Inc.com.
The article, What a 9-Year Old Can Teach You About Selling, focuses on how salespeople can better sell to companies. The article highlights three common questions a 9-year old may ask their parent about their job. With the right answers, it is easy for the 9-year old to understand. The takeaway is that selling is really like speaking with someone that doesn’t fully understand what you do. So in order to effectively sell them on your company you need to make things easy to understand.
I feel there are some parallels between selling and blogging so I thought I would take inspiration from this article and write about what a 9-year old can teach you about blogging.
Keep The Message Simple
There is a lot of information available to people today. The folks that read blogs likely read many other blogs and it can be difficult to remember the details from every post. The article linked above makes a great point about sales calls; people don’t really remember much from sales calls. This is obviously frustrating for salespeople. They go through all the effort to make the perfect pitch and within a week or a day or even an hour the person on the other end of the line forgets everything they said. Some research shows that people might remember one thing.
The same thing occurs in blogging. People can read an entire post. They can be really interested in the post. They might even spend a good 15 minutes reading a couple thousand words, but within just a little bit of time they might only remember one key point from the article.
This is a key point in your company’s relationship with this person. If that memory is something important to the person you might get them to come back to the site. Maybe they even felt good enough about your company right after finishing the article that they subscribed to future content.
It’s difficult to control the one thing people remember about your post, but one way you can kind of give yourself some control is to have one main focus for each post. You can have a main focus and emphasize it in the title and with the largest heading on the page. Also speak to this point the most in the article.
You can have further sub-points in the article to support your idea, but don’t stray too far off track or you’ll risk losing the interest of the reader. And even worse, you’ll risk confusing them when they later try to remember the most important thing about the post.
A couple other tricks you can use in your posts to entice rememberence are humor or shock. It might seem juvenile, but people remember funny catchphrases or shocking statements.
Add More Details Later
So to take my own advice I’ll add two sub-points here, but won’t get too far off track.
Something that works well in blogging is the idea of a blogging series. Just as salespeople will work in more details as they form a relationship with a person, you can do the same with your readers. Entice them to subscribe by ending posts with cliffhangers. Get them enticed so they come back for more details later.
Focus on The Reader’s Needs
This is important. Salespeople can sometimes get caught up with mundane details about their company. For the most part, potential clients don’t really care about your company. They care about their own company. The same is true for blogging. People don’t care about what you have to say. They care about how what you say can help them.
There’s a difference.