By George Barnes, Writer, asabell.
Your company has asked you to write a blog post. So where do you start? First of all: don’t panic! Second: read these tips from our copywriter, George.
An ode to the SME.
I’m always impressed when one of our client’s subject matter experts (SMEs) writes a blog for us to edit and post for them. It’s not easy. It takes time (which is usually scarce for busy SMEs), and writing something that will be published on the internet is far outside the comfort zone for many people.
Keeping that in mind, what’s even more impressive is how many of the SME-written blogs we get are downright good reads.
Separating the good from the great.
And that got me wondering: what separates a great SME blog from a good one?
It then occurred to me that answering that question would:
- Satisfy my curiosity (important, obviously).
- Help to create some solid advice for SMEs who’re planning to write a blog of their own (probably more important than point one, admittedly).
So I went back and had a look at a few of my favourite examples, and here’s what I discovered:
In the most engaging SME blogs, the writer is clearly passionate about their subject. And when someone writes about something they’re enthusiastic about, it’s infectious — no matter the subject. I’ve read blogs about network infrastructure that were page turners (or whatever the digital equivalent of a page turner is — a scroll-down-er?), and it was because the writers decided to discuss something they had a personal stake in.
They aren’t a sales pitch (but they can sell things).
Blogs are many things, but one thing they are not is a straight sales pitch. That’s what brochures, adverts, product pages and salespeople are for. Blogs are supposed to give potential customers something more. The best SME blogs don’t just list all the great benefits of a product — instead, they talk about something interesting. And here’s the thing: in talking about a fascinating area of the job, these blogs show thought leadership, which sells the company itself.
They have an angle.
As I’ve said, the best SME blogs aren’t simple sales pitches, they’re opinion pieces. And the really good opinion pieces are the ones that have an interesting angle. For example, one blog that sticks out for me used a simple, fun and relatable metaphor to explain a complex technology. The writer could’ve explained it in another, less imaginative way, and that would’ve been fine — but I probably wouldn’t remember it today.
They edit themselves.
What I mean by ‘editing themselves’, is that the really great SME blogs read as if the writer has thought about how they’re framing their thoughts. Many blogs I read are pretty much a stream of consciousness. That’s fine, and there’s usually a good story in there somewhere. But occasionally the writer has got so caught up in saying what they want to say, that they’ve forgotten how to make any sense. Of course not every SME has time to plan the structure of their blog, but a quick read of the first draft is an effective way to make sure the message is coming through, loud and clear.
That’s it. Well, that’s enough to get you started at least. It still takes willpower, research, time and gallons of coffee to write a blog. But follow in the footsteps of the writers I talked about above and you’ll be fine.
In fact, I look forward to reading your writing! So what are you waiting for? Even if your company hasn’t asked you to write a blog for them, why not bring up the idea? If they need persuading, we’ve got loads of articles explaining why a blog is important to your B2B marketing.