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 before you do anything else.
An ode to the SME.
We’re always impressed when one of our clients’ 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. But what separates a great SME blog from a good one?
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. We’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 We’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 we probably wouldn’t remember it today.
They edit themselves.
What we 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 we 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.
If you’d like a hand with your SME blog posts, or would like to find out other ways we can produce expert content for you, just get in touch.