The Blogging Mistake You Didn’t Even Know You Were Making/ June 30, 2014
When I first began learning about sales and marketing, my appetite for those self-help sales technique books was voracious. There was so much knowledge out there, and if I could just absorb all of it, I knew I was going to rocket towards success!
But there was a problem.
Sales and marketing books really do contain great advice. Reading positive, helpful books is still an important part of my daily routine.
The thing is, the best of those books are written by experienced and already successful marketers.
So What’s The Problem With Expert Advice?
Of course it’s smart to take advice from experienced marketers who know what they’re talking about – we certainly don’t want to take advice from people who haven’t succeeded in what they’re teaching – but there’s a drawback that most people never consider, just as I didn’t in my early entrepreneurship days.
Here’s the thing:
Great marketers always write with their readers in mind.
You’re the reader.
That means that the authors of those books and programs are talking to YOU, not to your potential clients and customers. By consuming that training, you’re just learning the techniques and principles you’ll need for success…
You’re Learning a Language
Marketers, bloggers, and self-help gurus all have vocabularies unique to their specialties.
While there’s nothing wrong with knowing and understanding the common lingo, there is a problem when you use that language with your readership…you know, those people who read your blog and probably don’t have a bookshelf full of entrepreneur-focused volumes.
Think of it this way:
Have you ever had a friend take a sales job?
One of the reasons that sales has such a bleak reputation is this:
New salespeople with low confidence and little skill have a tendency to start by learning a basic technique. It’s painfully obvious to everyone they talk to that they’re basically reciting from a script.
Nobody likes it when someone tries to talk them into something (don’t you avoid making eye contact with people at mall kiosks?) and they like it even less when you robotically repeat something from a training brochure.
Sometimes, on our own blogs, we do the same thing.
Maybe it’s not always a sales pitch, but it’s still common to find industry-specific language in posts meant for readers who aren’t industry insiders.
Treat Your Readers Like People
Here’s what I mean:
Don’t call your readers your “readership.”
That’s a word for us, as bloggers and marketers, to use when talking about our demographics – if you say it to your actual readers, it conveys the message that they’re part of a nameless, faceless mass.
Well, that’s not a good way to build relationships. (Likewise, don’t ever use the word “demographic” on your blog unless you talk to marketers.)
Similarly, unless you write for insiders, don’t reference SEO, skyscraper technique, copywriting phrases or terms, coding languages, or anything else that the average person wouldn’t care about.
Avoid marketing lingo and talk like a human. It will help you connect with your audience in a very real way, instead of just being another website that talks AT people, and gets mediocre results at best.
Oh, and one last thing:
In most cases, your blog isn’t about YOU – it’s about your readers, so make sure you’re actually writing for them.
If you’ve got phrases like “welcome to my blog” and “my readers think…” then you’re not focused on them; you’re focused on what they can do for you. Change your attitude, change your perspective, and you’ll see major changes in your results.