1. BE AUTHENTIC- This has been popping up as a main priority for social media as well as traditional bloggers. So, what does it mean? Well, it means that if you are not naturally a witty word merchant- don’t pretend to be one. Use your own strengths instead: perhaps you are better suited to provide insights, or can postulate questions that get people thinking. You don’t have to copy your favorite blogger in order to be a good one yourself. Write about the topics YOU care about that will connect you with your readers. Alt Design Summit recently held a conference with much emphasis on authenticity, and posted this blog with some additional tips on how to do that: http://www.altitudesummit.com/blog/2012/11/6/keep-it-real-how-to-be-authentic-with-your-brand.html
  2. EMPHASIS ON THE READER– Once you have found your voice you can focus on your audience. What do your readers find engaging? What format seems to be the best for them- lots of pictures, white space, more content driven? Most of your readers are coming to read to feel uplifted, gain insight, or make a stronger connection with you (i.e. your business) so don’t get sidetracked with your own personal issues. Sure, it can appropriate to share a tidbit here or there about your family, job changes, etc; but don’t lose sight of your audience and what they want to hear about. 
  3. DON T FOCUS ON SELLING- I know, I know…you’re thinking “but this is another place where I can tell people how awesome my automated sarcasm detector is.” Yes, you’re right- this is another place where you could do that. But how often would people come back and read what is essentially the same posting over and over? Consumers are savvy now, they can do their own research and find out very quickly how your product performs. You are not selling them on that in your blog. You are branding- building up relationships with your consumers. You want them to read your blog frequently because you want them to think of you. So, whatever your field is- teach or share something about that field. Address the common problems or questions of your target audience. Any good sales person knows that success in sales has little to do with selling and everything to do with your ability to connect with your consumer. As bestselling author of  Spin Selling Neil Rackham points out:

People do not buy from salespeople because they understand their products but because they felt the salesperson understood their problems.

~Neil Rackham

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