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Think back to the last time you attended a great public speaking event. What made it great? Often times you either learned something new, laughed till it hurt, or you were really inspired by the presentation.

Public Speakers have a tough job. They either give a  great presentation the audience welcomes and enjoys, or they are met with pin-drop silence. It’s an art and science that has hundreds of little techniques, but there is a common thread that runs through all great speeches that can be applied to writing great blog posts.

What do a great speech and a great post have in common? Purpose.

In public speaking there are 4 types of speeches: Informative, Persuasive, Entertaining, and Inspirational. Although a speech may have elements of each, most speeches fall in one of these categories. There is always a dominant purpose, or approach that the speaker uses to deliver value.

3 ways to deliver value to your readers

Blogging for blogging’s sake does not help your marketing efforts, it can make your content seem haphazard and unplanned. Instead focus on creating content that makes readers flock to your blog the same way they would flock to a presentation.

The cue small business owners and bloggers can take from public speaking is defining the primary purpose of your posts or content. Do you write to inform, entertain, or inspire?

Inform

“What will I learn from reading your post today?”
Informative blog posts teach readers something new. This does not necessarily mean your posts should just be “How To” guides. An informative post can include news that is relevant to your industry or the products you deliver, or even success strategies that users can benefit from. Thinking of your blog as either teaching readers something new, or expanding their knowledge base.

Marketing benefit: Readers learn something new from reading your content,  this will create loyalty and trust in your service or products.

Entertain

“What will I read that will lighten my day?”
Arguably every post should have some element of entertainment to it, but blogs that aim to entertain are focus more on brightening up a reader’s day by amusing them or even making them laugh out loud. Funny stories, anecdotes, or even pictures that brighten up your reader’s day help make your writing endearing.

Marketing Benefit: Think of Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” series, finding amusing or unconventional uses for your products is a great promotion tactic for your small business (remember blogging does not mean you can’t involve multimedia).

Inspire

“What can I read that will help me achieve my goals?”
This is helpful for businesses offering services such as personal life coaching, fashion retailers, cleaning services or marketing services. Inspirational posts can motivate readers by sharing powerful stories or giving fresh ideas that inspire action. Inspirational posts leave room for the reader to think about how to apply this wisdom or perspective in their lives.

Marketing benefit: You will inspire repeat visits, but also grow in your reader’s mind as a useful resource in the area.

Each of these approaches focus on the reader’s benefit and not on your product or company. A great speech delivers a benefit to the listener, just like a great post delivers a benefit to the reader.

Image credit Flickr-by TOM81115

This post is part of a series that will get published every Monday on Content Marketing or Blogging, follow me via Twitter or E-mail to receive your daily copy of helpful small business online marketing strategies.

Daisy Quaker is a freelance internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media strategy, content marketing, e-mail marketing and internet marketing strategy, find her on Twitter and Google+ and tell her what strategies work for your business.

This post is part of a series that will get published very Monday on Content Marketing or Blogging, follow me via Twitter or E-mail to receive your daily copy of helpful small business online marketing strategies.

Fresh Blogging Strategies for Business BlogsSo your business blog started off exciting but now you’re having trouble keeping it fresh? Or you’re pressed for time and the thought of staring at an empty page does not seem all that appealing? Perhaps you just want an easier way to keep your content fresh and regularly updated to increase readership.

These strategies will take 5 minutes to wade through and 10 minutes to carry out.

1. Narrow your blog content

It might be more enticing great to cover a wide range of topics, but narrowing what you are going to cover is actually liberating. The thought of writing about anything and everything can feel intimidating, knowing what range of topics you are going to specialize in, can help you brainstorm more topics to blog about.

2. Create a blog schedule

Plan ahead of time what topics you will write about on which posts or days. Posting everyday might be the ideal but not very realistic, and having sporadic content runs the threat of loosing some regular readers.
Having a schedule on specific days and topics you cover makes you more accountable. An even better idea is to come up with ideas for headlines, write them down and then figure out which days you will blog about them.

3. Throw in some multimedia

Switching between a written post and a video can help you get a break from writing every once in a while. This also changes the tempo of your blog, and can help you and your audience get a break from just reading your content.

I’d recommend keeping it 5-10 minutes long, with more emphasis on the 5 when you are starting out. Save your 20 minute posts for later when you have built a following.

4. Review news or articles that inspire you

Giving your readers a breakdown of industry news, or articles that inspire you can help take the pressure of having to create something new every time. Put together some news on your industry or business, that you read about over the course of the week, and tell your readers how it might affect them, or why it is relevant. Incorporating this into your schedule makes for easy writing and light reading.

5. Consider crafting an “Ask …” series

Advice columns are fun. Consider turning your FAQs into short blog posts. The appeal of advice columns is that readers are already seeking answers, and writing a response is a lot easier than coming up with topics that you hope will interest your readers.

6. Delegate or Outsource

Not enough time? Consider having a team member or savvy writer help you get the ball rolling on your business blog, contact me.

Image credit: Flickr-Selva

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