You are not your audience

Collaboration – June 28, 2011

Greetings to all my fellow corporate bloggers! Today, I decided to share a little secret of mine, well, it’s not really a secret, and it’s not really mine, but considering how many times I see this rule broken, it might as well be.

A personal blog and a corporate blog are not the same thing. In a personal blog, you represent yourself, and you mostly express things that you feel like expressing. You can write about what you’re passionate about, you can write about what you’re skilled at, you can write about anything you want, in any style or voice that you choose.

A corporate blog, like this one, is a little bit different. It serves a greater purpose and it’s not ‘yours’ per se, it belongs to your company, it represents your company, it is the voice of your company.

A business has for a purpose to sell products and services; basically it exists to make money. Those sales are what allow the staff to get paid and the business to survive. So, it stands to reason that if you have a corporate blog, that tool should serve the exact same purpose, otherwise why have a corporate blog?

When you’re writing a post for work, always keep in mind your target clientele. Too often, I see blog posts written by experts for experts, but not for their clients. Let me give you an example:

Your business specializes in SEO for SMBs. You’re good. You’re top of the line, leader of the pack, big man on campus. You know the most intricate workings of every search engine algorithm that exists.

If you write about the latest changes in programming that you’ve discovered, you’ll get tons of other experts like yourself reading your blog, and while it’s good for the ego, it serves very little business purpose. If other SEO experts are reading your posts, you’ve completely missed the point. They are not the ones that need the services of your company. It’s those who don’t know about SEO, it’s the ones that understand very little about how it all works, it’s your clients you should be writing for, and not your peers.

Always ask yourself: Who is this blog post helping? Who will benefit from reading what I’ve written? The answer should almost always be: My Perfect Client. If it’s not, post it on your personal blog and write something else, because you always have to remember, in a corporate blog, your peers are not your target audience, your clients are.

My next post will address the misunderstood concept of Thought Leadership. Stay tuned!

Comments are welcome and appreciated! What do you think of this post?

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