Business Blogging from the Heart
Business blogging is an expression of yourself as well as your business. People visit your blog for information, but they go there to learn more about you as well. This is why the business blogs that come from the heart can be the most effective. They can express the imperfections and learning experiences that make you human and can help you appear more approachable to your customers.
A recent blog by Beth Comstock, the CMO of GE, is a great example of a business blog with a personal touch. It’s a LinkedIn blog called “Can You Hear Me?” The blog tells a story of Comstock’s bout with laryngitis. During that time, she discovered that losing her voice allowed her to listen more effectively. By listening more effectively, she was able to truly hear those around her and more mindfully answer their questions and communicate with them.
Comstock’s blog captivated me from beginning to end because it was a story. It was also a personal lesson, and a revealing story that left me knowing, liking, and trusting her more.
Since reading this blog, I’ve sought out other personally revealing blogs in the hopes that I could find other great examples, but they are not easy to find. Along the way, I found some less effective blogs that attempted the same personal engagement. These blogs were as instructive as Comstock’s, in the sense that they taught me what to avoid when writing from a more personal space.
Comstock’s blog was effective for a few reasons:
- It was short (beginning with five-word paragraph) and was composed of short paragraphs throughout. I did not spend hours reading her blog, and yet the effect lasted for days.
- She spends a few very short paragraphs setting up the story and makes her point in the following paragraph.
- She refers to an expert before long. This prevents her from waxing on too long about herself and brings the emotional lesson into the intellectual realm, adding another layer to the reader’s interest and understanding of the topic.
- She returns to the personal side, writing about the thoughts that tumbled out of the personal experience and combined with the intellectual lessons learned.
- She ends with a takeaway.
The less effective blogs that I found tended toward longer paragraphs and long set-ups with too much detail. The intellectual lessons that may have been drawn from the story were not clearly highlighted and were difficult to determine by the reader, muddying or completely obscuring the takeaway. In many cases, I wasn’t sure what the point of the blog was, other than to highlight a personal love for a family member or personal fears that may be experienced again because there was no clear lesson learned.
Here are some tips that will help you create a more effective blog with a personal theme:
- Know the lesson you want to convey before you sit down to write.
- Upon first writing, it’s fine to write it all out. But, when you’re done writing, edit out all of the unnecessary details.
- Make sure your blog is composed of short, concise paragraphs. No rambling!
- Bring in outside voices and opinions to add texture to your blog and depth to your experience.
- Leave the reader with a clear takeaway that is backed up by your blog content.
Writing about personal experience can be tricky, but you can get it right with practice (and careful editing).