Is Your Business Customer Focused or Operations Focused *

Is Your Business Customer Focused or Operations Focused *

Is Your Business, Customer or Operations Focused?

 

 

Give Your Customer’s a Great Experience

 

Do you understand what it takes for your company to give customers a great customer service experience?  It takes a lot of effort to create the business culture which can give the best customer experience possible

To give your customer’s a great user experience you have to selectively hire great employees, you have to properly train your employees, and then you have to deliver a great and memorable experience. 

 

Be Memorable, and be Remembered

 

You have to understand, your customers are comparing you to the best and worst customer experience’s that they have ever received.  Today your customers level of expectations is high, and this is a comparison which you can’t allow yourself to fail.

Many companies claim to give great customer service, but do they deliver what they promise?  Many times they don’t, and they have set themselves up to fail.  Their company culture is built with an operations mentality with rigid rules, policies and procedures that just don’t allow for flexibility.

Frequently companies inflexibility prevents them from being more than just average or satisfactory.  Lets examine a few of the differences between customer-focused companies versus operations-focused companies.

 

5 Steps to a Great Customer Experience

 

 

Build Your Culture on Leadership

 

It’s impossible to build a customer-focused company culture without leaders who set the vision and mission of the company, and then lead by example.  Setting the example you want followed is key to establishing the culture you desire.  Then it’s a matter of encouraging employees to embrace the culture and follow in your footsteps.

Leading an operations-focused company takes a different approach.  Again the leadership sets the vision and mission of the culture, but often the vision is coupled to an attitude which stresses following a rigid set of rules and procedures.

 often stresses that employees need to follow a “Do as I say, not as I do” approach.  This behavioral approach can be at odds with what they want to achieve, often leaving employees confused and less motivated.

 

People Must Always Come First

 

The customer-focused company knows the importance of putting people first, especially employees.  They encourage a culture of happy, engaged and fulfilled employees who deliver a better customer experience.  Customers recognize this, embrace it and continue to come back.  Customers can feel when a business values them, and knows when it doesn’t.  

An operations-focused companies culture is focused on developing rules and procedures.  Instead of placing people first, the focus and measure of success is always and only the bottom line.  While a strong bottom line is crucial to any company’s success, not focusing on the people misses the culture part of the equation.

 

Hire Employees to Fit Your Culture

 

A customer-focused company hires people who enhance and will embrace the company culture, this simply means that any employee’s hired must have the personality and values that align with the companies vision and mission.   Certain jobs may require skill, but skill alone should not get an applicant hired who does not possess the necessary people skills. 

An operations-focused company will hire for skill, filling a position with technical strengths.  The applicant’s personality may or may not fit with the corporate culture.

 

Train Your Employees for Success

 

A customer-focused company spends time and money training for soft skills such as relationship building and customer service. The company recognizes that it takes both, technical and soft skills, to break away from being average. 

The operations-focused company spends most of their training dollars and time on technical skills and product knowledge.

 

Empower Your Employees

 

A customer-focused company empowers employees to make decisions that are for the benefit of the customer.  The company establishes guidelines rather than rigid rules.  It’s an approach that allows employees to deal with each customer in an open and flexible manner. 

The companies guidelines allow employees to take independent actions as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral, won’t cost the company money, and won’t harm the company’s reputation.  The company focus is on serving the customers needs, and doing whatever it to takes to satisfy the customer. 

The operations-focused company requires a manager’s approval for anything that is outside of their policies or typical way of doing business.  Employees are unable to provide customer care if it does not fit the companies rigid set of rules and procedures.

 

What’s Your Customer Experience Choice?

 

 

How do You See Your Customer Service

 

Are you a customer-focused company that sees customer service as a philosophyto be embraced by every employee of the company, recognizing that there are both external and internal customers. 

Or, are you a operations-focused company that sees customer service as a department.

The differences are huge and are focused squarely on the type of business culture that you would choose to follow.

 

Nine Ways I Avoid Blogger Burnout and Stay Inspired *

Nine Ways I Avoid Blogger Burnout and Stay Inspired *

What is Blogger Burnout?

 

I’m sure that most bloggers start off with a huge burst of energy and excitement.  I get a personal rush from putting my thoughts down and releasing them for the world to see.   For me blogging has come from learning so many new things since deciding to begin the Better Business Alliance.

 

Most bloggers launch their blogs with a huge burst of energy and excitement

The Better Business Alliance was born from seeing how small business is affected by the growth of the digital world that we live in.  There are unique gifts and challenges facing every small business owner today as a direct result of the new connected world that surrounds us.

The Better Business Alliance blog gives me a platform to share with others the new skills and information that I am learning every day.  My hope is that others can benefit from the content that I am sharing and learn from my experiences.

During the past year while writing my blog posts I have felt what I’m sure all bloggers feel.  I experienced my first bout of “blogger burnout” and understand how it can stop you in your tracks.

 

Although I have only been blogging for about a year, I have set my goals high.  In addition to my Better Business Alliance blog, I soon felt the need to blog about two other topics that interest me.  Accessibility and Sustainability are two topics that matter, and are important for all of our futures.

Because of my hectic blogging schedule I understand how difficult it can be to maintain focus and complete my posts on time.  So today I want to share nine ways that I use to stay fresh and inspired with my blogging.  Hopefully these will help you spot burnout coming, and head it off before it hits you with full force.

But before we get into them let’s look at some causes of blogger burnout.

 

Why Does Blogger Burnout Happen?

 

Blogger burnout can materialise in different forms and for different reasons.

  • You may think you have run out of topic ideas or said everything there is to say.
  • You may have become disillusioned with your topic, your niche, or blogging in general.
  • Despite working really hard on your blog, you may not think it’s paying off.
  • You may not be reaching the goals you set for yourself.
  • You may feel overworked and worn out.
  • Your blog may not focus on the reason you started it.
  • You may be overwhelmed by everything you need to do to keep your blog running.

 

Whatever the cause of your burnout, here are some practical things you can do to tackle it.

 

Make Your Goals and Expectations Realistic

 

You need to fit your blogging in around the rest of your life.  Unfortunately, some bloggers fail to take this into account.

You might believe that you must post every day or every week.  For many bloggers that’s just not feasible to do.  Once, twice, or three times a week would work for them and fit into their lives much better.

You have to understand that it’s okay to be flexible with your posting schedule.  If you don’t post as often one week, or even take a full week off, the world won’t end.

 

Know Your Limits and Don't Set Unrealistic Goals for Your Blogging

Be realistic with your expectations and your goals.

You may have dreamed of having millions of readers and making lots of money.  However I suspect you now know that achieving that kind of success with a blog can take years.  And you have to produce useful content the entire time.

 

Establish Your Own Blogging Groove

 

Personally I find blogging easiest when I have established a rhythm to my week.  That means having specific times when I brainstorm ideas, write my content, and edit my content.

 

I keep my blog publishing calendar in a word document, you don't have to be so formal

I keep my blogging calendar in a word document, but you don’t need to be that structured.  Do what works for you.  I usually write in the morning and being a night owl, I settle in and do my editing in the evening.

What schedule could you create for your blogging?  Decide what you need to do, and how it fits into your schedule.  You need to establish habits that work for you and try to get into your own blogging groove.

 

Identify Your Problem Areas

 

WIth blogger burnout, there’s often a particular area where you’re getting stuck.  It might be coming up with blog topics.  It might be sitting down and editing.  Sometimes that’s mine.  Or you might feel disillusioned about your blogging.

Comparing yourself to other bloggers you might become frustrated that your blog isn’t yet as successful as theirs’.  Maybe you just need a break from blogging, and need some time off to rest and recharge.

 

Maybe you simply need a break from blogging, and need some time off to rest and recharge

I have experienced blogger’s block and feel that there are three places where you can get stuck:

  • coming up with your blog content ideas
  • writing your content
  • completing your content.

 

These are all different types of blogger’s block.  If you’re feeling burnt out with creating content, you might want to chat with someone about your feelings of burnout.

 

You Have to Take Care of Yourself

 

You have to stay healthy if you hope to sustain a healthy blog over the long term.

One of the biggest reasons bloggers burn out is they’re not in a healthy place.  It might be their physical health, their mental health, a lack of sleep, or something else affecting their performance.

After starting my blogging I soon realized that I wasn’t taking care of myself.  My lack of exercise took it’s toll on my body, my energy and my creativity.

 

Take a break, rest and sleep can help your blog. The better you rest, the better you BLOG

I quickly realized that I had to do something.  Here are a couple of quick tips.

  • Build exercise into your routine. It might be fitting a walk into your day, or simply getting up from your desk a couple of times a day.  I started hitting the gym three times a week.
  • Look at your diet.  Are there changes that you could make?  You might be thinking about eating more healthy, nutritious food and less junk.

 

Take Regular Breaks to Recharge

 

Taking a break, resting or sleeping might seem unproductive. But they can help your blog in so many ways. The better you rest, the better you work.

 

I work on my blog during the day, but I take a walk in the middle of the day to refresh and recharge

It can help you to think about getting rest and time away from your blog.

  • Daily:   I work on my blog during business hours, normally writing in the morning. and afternoon.  Three mornings a week, I hit the gym to help clear my mind.
  • Weekly:   Weekends are for unwinding and rejuvenating.  I may do a couple of really short bursts on a Saturday morning or a Sunday evening.  Having the time to relax really important.
  • Yearly:   I schedule time off during the year to spend with my family.  Usually a couple of week long breaks and a couple of long weekends.

 

It’s important to unplug regularly so you’re not constantly obsessing about your blog.  By focusing on leisure, your blogging will be better.  Other areas of your life will also benefit such as your friendships and your relationship with your family.

 

Build and Nurture Your Relationships

 

Taking breaks with family and friends is important for your relationships.  Working online a lot of our interactions tend to be virtual.

While your online relationships may be positive, it’s important for you to have grounded, real-life relationships as well.

 

Taking breaks with family and friends is good for your relationships

Working online can open you to some pretty vicious attacks from strangers.  While your online friends may help you through those times, it’s your real-life friends that will provide the real support needed.

Online relationships matter too, because your friends and family may not understand what you’re going through as a blogger.  One of the best ways to solidify online relationships is to attend blogging events whenever you can.  I’m a member of the local Bloggers Meetup group.  Having face to face meetings with other bloggers is a great way to strengthen your relationships with them.

 

Make Inspiration and Learning Part of Your Day

 

One of the most powerful things I do is schedule at least 5–10 minutes a day to watch or listen to something inspiring.  With the growth of technology, I now tend to listen to podcasts.

I try to include two types of podcasts.  Ones that inspire me, and ones that teach me something.  Both give you energy in different ways and are equally important.

What you listen to or watch doesn’t always need to be about blogging or your blog’s topic.  You get your inspiration from wildlife documentaries, and the beauty of the animal kingdom.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time for them.  Spending just ten minutes watching a video or listening to a podcast can help you feel inspired, and more knowledgeable.

 

Engage, Pivot, and Evolve

 

I am easily bored by the mundane.  When I’m bored I become more curious.  I prefer to explore and search for new ways to approach everyday problems.  Many would describe this as thinking outside the box.

Over the years I’ve learned that I need to look for new ways to do things.

One of the great things about blogging is it’s always changing.  There’s always something new to try, which can be distracting.  However I think it’s important to bring play and experimentation into what we do.

Another way to pivot and evolve is to add categories to your blog.  You could also try:

  • Running a new series of posts
  • Monetizing your blog, or launching a new product
  • Changing the design of your blog, whether it’s getting a new logo or changing the colours

 

As well as energizing you, these pivots and changes keep your blog engaging and fresh for your readers.

 

 

Make Your Blogging Matter

 

This is probably the most important thing you can do to avoid or get through burnout.  You need to select blog topics that matter.  Both to you and to others.

If your blogging is about something that you have a genuine interest in and believe in, you’ll find it to be much easier to keep your momentum. Of course, it will still get tough sometimes.

However, the fact you’re making other people’s lives better can give you the energy and inspiration to get through it.  Emails and comments from readers have a tangible and positive impact on maintaining your focus.

If you’re experiencing blogger burnout, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break.  Don’t be afraid to give yourself some time off.  Be sure you start blogging again when you return.

You might consider bringing in guest posters to cover the time you’re way.  Or you might just tell your readers that you’re taking a bit of time off.  They’re usually understanding about the need for rest and recovery.

While you’re on your break, you might want to think about implementing at least one or two of the points we’ve covered:

  1. Make your expectations and goals realistic
  2. Establish your own blogging grove
  3. Identify your problem areas
  4. You have to take care of yourself
  5. Take regular breaks to recharge
  6. Build and nurture your relationships
  7. Make inspiration and learning part of your day
  8. Engage, pivot, and evolve
  9. Make your blogging matter

 

If you’re going through a tough time, please take care of yourself.  Feel free to reach out for help and support in the comments.

 

Create Stories That Engage People and Move Them to Act *

Create Stories That Engage People and Move Them to Act *

Create Stories That Engage and Educate

 

Do you use stories to engage and educate your audience?  Would you like to see how powerful stories can be?

This article should help you discover how to create stories for your business that move people to act.  One of the people I admire, Park Howell, is a brand story strategist who helps businesses grow through the power of their stories.

Park explores and unravels the mystery behind the mechanics of storytelling, a skill that every marketer should master.  You’ll also discover why this is important to social marketers.  Park shares what marketers need to know about storytelling for their business, and how to create stories that engage their audience.

 

Let’s Examine the Story for Business

 

Park, an advertising and marketing executive, shares that it always frustrated him that it was difficult to understand why a TV spot or radio commercial was going to work.  His interest in stories began while working in advertising.

Story for Business began about the same time Park’s middle son, Parker, went to Chapman University film school.  He read Parker’s textbooks because he wanted to understand what his son was learning to prepare him for working in Hollywood, the most competitive storytelling place in the world.

One of the screenwriting books was Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder.  Blake, who was the king of family-oriented screenplays in the 1980s than anybody else, had a prescription for the 15 beats to a story.

Blake felt that a screenplay needs to be the same number of pages as the weight of a jockey (110).  Blake could tell you on each page what needed to happen.  Though it sounds formulaic, it actually worked very well for Blake and many other writers, and the approach fascinated him.

 

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

When Park was introduced to the writing of Joseph Campbell, America’s foremost mythologist, he noted how Blake had adapted Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, or what Joseph called the monomyth, a 17-step process for story structure.

Reading The Hero’s Journey, Park realized that he was looking at a brand strategy plan.  Park understood that he was already following this story structure with his plan.  He wondered what would happen if he intentionally did this and adopted it as his outline for writing stories.

 

Reducing the steps of the Hero’s Journey to 10 steps for business

Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth is a 17-step process for story structure.

Park reduced the steps of the Hero’s Journey to 10 steps for business, and adapted it to guide the creation of content to tell a story that would make a difference.  Park was amazed how well it worked so he fine-tuned it into what he calls the Story Cycle, a process that can be used for everything from brand strategy to creating a 30-second TV commercial.

 

Park Howell created the Story Cycle, which was based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

In the social media world, you have mere seconds to communicate your story.  To get your story across you need to follow the three fundamental principles of the three-act play: start with a setup, introduce conflict, and resolve the conflict.

If you can do that in a 6-second video, you will have connected with the deep reaches of your audience’s minds.

 

Why Marketers Should Care About Stories

 

Park believes that stories are people’s superpowers, and believes that the human brain is hardwired to constantly search for them.  Humans can go weeks without eating and days without drinking, but only roughly 35 seconds without their brains scanning their environment to create meaning out of what they see.

Park explains how while his son Parker was studying film and Park was studying what Hollywood knows about story structure, his youngest son was suffering from encephalitis and brain surgery.

During that time, Park was reading everything he could about how the brain functions.  That’s when, what Hollywood knows about story structure intersected with the neuroscience of how the brain takes in, absorbs, and processes a story.

 

Understanding the connection between the structure of a story and how the brain absorbs and processes it is at the core of the Business of Story

Understanding the connection between the structure of a story and how the brain absorbs and processes it is at the core of the Business of Story.  If you use your story respectfully, you can have tremendous impact where you live, where you teach, and when you sell.  It’s imperative that you use your story for good, not evil, because you can move people in any direction you choose with the right story.

When you hear a story, you automatically filter it through your experience as your brain’s hippocampus searches your memories.  While the brain recalls your story, it runs non-stop scenarios to determine the best response, and then acts upon that scenario.  And it does that in milliseconds.

Nature gave people stories to draw their rapt attention.  There’s a book called Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher, and story is the theme throughout the book.  Nature wants people to stay alive and procreate.  Running stories in real time and in dreams helps people understand what they need to do next.

 

How You Build Your Story

 

Park came up with his story structure by studying really smart people and connecting the dots.  One of those people is Randy Olson.  Randy gave up tenure at a University, went to film school, made some documentaries, and published several books.

Randy’s mission in life, is to help the scientific world understand how to do a better job of talking in narrative form versus throwing out a bunch of stats and facts that don’t connect with people.

 

Park explains how he discovered a construct called, “And, But, and Therefore,” which he got from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  When they find a script falling flat, they do the Rule of Replacement.  They take out the “ands” and replace them with “buts” and “therefores.” Park gives an example of what happens when you incorporate And, But, and Therefore into a story.

  • Act 1, the setup is, “I got up to walk the dog and we ran out into the street and headed down to grab a cup off coffee.”
  • Act 2 is, “But a car came careening around the corner and was heading directly for my poor pooch.”
  • Act 3 is, “Therefore, I did the only thing I could do.  I reached down, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, jumped out of the way just in time for the driver to get off of his text and wheel his car back into the center of the road and off he went.”

When you tell a story, you allow listeners to live vicariously though you, and they will learn a lesson from it. In this case the lesson is, “Next time I walk my dog, I’m going to pay more attention, especially to people who may be texting behind the wheel.”  Listeners then think about what the best way to get out of that situation would be if they find themselves in it.

Place Your Customer in the Center of Your Story

 

If you’re trying to write a campaign and it’s not coming together, start with an And, But, and Therefore, placing your customer at the center of the story.  For example, Park says, “Sally would love to have longer, lusher hair.  She has tried all of the regular products.  But doesn’t like the harsh chemicals and how they irritate her scalp.  Because of that, our all-organic soy-based shampoo is the answer for Sally.”

It’s the most basic construct that will work for everything from a presentation to a proposal, from an ad to a tweet.  Simply ask yourself what you are trying to say, then “Use And, But, and Therefore” to build the foundation for your story.  Once that is done, you can fill your story out with elaborate nuances.

Park also goes deeper into story structure, and shares some historic comparisons.  Aristotle would say you have a beginning, middle, and end.  The philosopher, Hegel would say you have the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, which is the basic structure of argument.  Mozart wrote sonatas and invented the sonata-allegro form, which has exposition, development, resolution.  It doesn’t matter what you call them. they’re all the same thing; a three-act play.

Park further discusses the structure of story.

You start with the setup or backstory in Act 1.  This is where you give context to your story.  You describe who is in the story, what is happening in the story, and where is it happening?

In Act 2, or the middle, you introduce conflict, which comes with the “but.”  Remember, without conflict, there is no story.

Your story ends in Act 3 with the resolution.  How is your story resolved?  What do you learn from this experience?  What is the truth?  That’s why every story has to have a moral that’s either explicit or implicit within the story.

Begin with the end in mind, what you’re trying to share in the story will shape what goes into the beginning.  You need to figure out who your audience is and what wisdom you’re trying to impart to them.

That tells you to what kind of story you’re creating, where your story takes place, and how you are going to tell your story to emotionally connect with your audience.

 

When we examine how the TV show Seinfeld has stories within stories, it’s easy to see that it’s complicated.  You can successfully include multiple stories on stage or within a lengthy PowerPoint presentation.

To effectively weave in a couple of subplots or substories, simply go back to And, But, and Therefore for every one of them.  You need to establish the foundation, build upon it, and don’t stray from it.

It’s important to use your story to help you share information with your audience.  When you lead with data in a story, you set yourself up as an expert, and that’s a trigger for your sudience.  People fold their arms and they want you to prove it.

 

Use Your Story to Connect with Your Audience

 

Your data does one of three things.  Data either reports an event that has happened, monitors an event that is currently happening, or attempts to predict an event in the future.  A weatherman can report nice weather yesterday, rain today, and a cold snap expected for tomorrow.

Do you care about the data or do you care about the event?  You care about the event, because that dictates what you wear, how you’re going to travel, and what you have to look out for.  Data can’t destroy us, but events can.   Lead with the event and back your hypothesis of how the event plays out with the data.  You’ll prove your point and make your message more interesting.

 

Use Social Media to Tell Your Story

 

Invite your audience to participate in your story by using visuals and you’ll get much more engagement on social media.  Begin with a visual that tells your story that you’ll play off of in your headline.  Whether it’s a post or a tweet, be sure to bring it full circle with a call to action.

Have fun creating visuals.  Look for the oddest scenes to photograph and share.  While traveling,Park was watching his son try to catch a bird by putting a French fry in a trap made of a box, a stick, and string.  To trick the birds, his son pretended to look away from the trap.

Park took a picture of this scene with his iPhone.  Posting it he added the headline, “How effective is your content marketing?” and put the Business of Story logo on it.  The visual was a complete story that engaged the viewer.

 

You need to create a visual story with a headline and branding for your business.  Zach King’s Vine videos, are great examples of short, complete, visual stories.  You don’t have to overthink short videos.  You have two seconds to set it up, two seconds for conflict, and then two seconds to have fun with the payoff.  It’s a mini-feature documentary that is six seconds long.

 

Make Your Blog Posts More Engaging and Conversational *

Make Your Blog Posts More Engaging and Conversational *

To Be Effective Your Blog Posts Must Be Engaging

 

I’m sure that you’ve already heard that your blog posts need to be written in a style that is  “conversational”.  You may not understand why it is important to do this.  Your posts are telling your story and creating a connection with your audience.  To keep your audience engaged, your blog needs to come across like a discussion.  You don’t want your blog to come across like your blog is a lecture.

 

Your posts are telling your story and creating a connection with your audience

That’s all true.  But writing in a conversational style goes against the normal rules for business writing.  However, If your blog posts sound dry and stilted your audience will become bored and click away.  To prevent that I’m going to discuss three simple things you can do to improve your writing style.

 

You Need to Talk Directly to Your Audience

 

You should write your post as if you’re talking to a specific reader.  I find that picturing an actual person helps me, it can be someone you know or just an imaginary profile that you are targeting.  If it helps you can even imagine you’re emailing them or writing them a Facebook post or comment.

It’s important to use words like “I” and “you”, even though you were probably taught not to at school.  When you’re blogging it’s preferable for you to write from your personal experience and to invite the reader to step into your post.

 

Blogging is telling your story and creating a connection with your audience

Here’s a great example from Jim Stewart’s post 9 Tips for Recovering Your Google Rankings After a Site Hack.  I’ve highlighted his use of “you” and “your” to help understand what I’m talking about.

“If your WordPress site has been hacked, fear not.  By following these tips you can fortify your site and kick wannabe hackers to the curb.

And provided you act quickly, your WordPress site’s SEO traffic—and even its reputation—can recover within 24 hours.”

In the sample, Jim is using a clear, direct writing style that speaks directly to his reader’s problem.  It’s also very easy to read, understand, and engage with.  it’s almost like having Jim on the phone, talking you through fixing your problem.

You may notice that as Jim does here, always try to use the singular “you” rather than the plural “you”.  I do hope that you have more than one reader.   However, each reader will experience your blog posts individually.  Avoid writing things like “some of you” unless you’re deliberately trying to create a sense of a group environment.

 

You Should Use an Informal Writing Style

 

Writing styles range from very formal to very informal.  I’ve included some examples to help you understand the differences:

Very formal:   Users are not allowed to duplicate, modify, distribute, reproduce or resell any of the included materials.

Formal:   To request a refund, complete our form, include your customer reference number.  Your refund guarantee period is for 30 calendar days from your purchase date.

Neutral:   You will get a confirmation mail after subscribing to our newsletter.  Click the link in the email to confirm your subscription.

Informal:   Hi Buddy, send the link to that thing we talked about.  Thanks!

Very informal:  C U 2morrow!!!

 

You Should Use an Informal Writing Style for Your Blog Posts

Your blogging should be an informal or at least a casual neutral writing style.  Write as if you were emailing a friend.  Doing this makes you seem warm and approachable. Typically, you’ll be using:

  • Contractions like “you’ll” for “you will”
  • Straightforward language such as “get” rather than “receive” or “obtain”
  • Chatty phrases like “you’ll be all set”
  • Possibly slang, if it fits with your personal style “thing”
  • Short sentences and paragraphs
  • Some “ungrammatical” features where appropriate, starting a sentence with “And”

 

This is a good place to take a closer look at some of the blogs you read yourself.  Check out how they create a sense of rapport through their language?  How would you rewrite part of their post to make it more or less formal?  What words or phrases would you change?

 

Give Your Reader Space to Respond

 

Conversations are two-way which means letting your readers have a say too.  If you’ve decided to close comments on your blog, you should open a different avenue for your readers to get involved.  You could use a Facebook page or group to engage your audience.

Remember, when you’re writing your post you don’t need to have the last word on everything.  You don’t have to tie up every loose end.  It’s fine to say you’re still thinking about a particular subject. Or that you’re still learning about it.  This gives your readers the opportunity to jump in and share their expertise or experiences.

 

You may want to consider opening up a different avenue for readers to get involved, such as a Facebook page or group.

You can simply ask readers to add to your post.  If you’ve written, “10 Great Ways to Have More Fun With Your Blogging”.  Ask your readers to share their own ideas in the comments.  Some people won’t comment unless you invite them to do so.  You could add a suggestion such as “What would you add to this list?” or “Have you tried any of these ideas?”)

 

Some of My Best Ideas Come From Comments

 

Some of my best blog post ideas have come from a reader’s suggestion or question in a comment.  Many other comments have gotten me to think more about a particular topic.

There’s no one “right” way to blog.  Some blogs will be more conversational than others.  If you’d like to make your own posts a bit more conversational, look for opportunities to:

  • Use “you” and “I”.  Talk directly to your reader.  Share from your own experiences where it is appropriate.
  • Make your language fairly informal.  Don’t worry about everything being “correct,” let your voice and style shine through.
  • Open the conversation, invite readers to comment.  Encourage them to check out your Facebook page or join your Facebook group.

 

Have you tried making your blog more conversational?  Or is it something you’re just getting started with?  Either way, leave a comment below to share your experiences and tips.