Monday, December 14, 2009

What Makes a Blog Interesting?

The other day I saw a plumbing service truck decorated with garland wrapped around the antenna and a lighted Christmas wreath attached to the front of the grille. It flashed by in an instant and I wasn't able to snap a picture of it, but I thought it was a great idea to decorate a service truck for Christmas.

It would be distinctive. It would draw the eye. It would make people smile. Making people smile when they see your brand is always a good thing. Alas, there was no picture. So I searched online for an example.

What do you look for? A Christmas truck? A holiday truck? I started by looking for "jingle truck." Boy was I in for a surprise. Apparently "jingle truck" is the term used to describe the decorated trucks used by Afghanis. The jingle part comes from the chains attached to the bumpers. Of course, I didn't know this a few days ago. I just saw a lot of jingle truck pictures and click on the following one to learn more...

Copyright (c) 2007 John Severns
When I clicked the picture, I stumbled onto In the Shadow of the Mountain - One Year in Afghanistan, the blog of a Public Affairs Officer with the U.S. Air Force, serving in Afghanistan. The blog covers a full year in-country over 2007. The writer has good communications skills and likes photography. While every post isn't open to the public, most are. It's a well-told, first-hand account of service in Afghanistan, written for family and friends, but read by a wider audience.

I started reading it and was fascinated. I read post after post from my starting point. When I got to the end, I started at the beginning and read the posts I missed by starting in the middle.

Why was this blog so interesting? Part of it, of course, is that we're at war in Afghanistan and I really don't know a whole lot about the country.

There's more to it than that. The blog is interesting because it's authentic. A human wrote it, not a corporate or agency automaton. It's conversational. It tells a story. It informs. After reading the blog, I feel like I know Air Force Captain John Severns.

You can create a similar blog for your business. While you might think plumbing, air conditioning, electrical, pool service, pest control, carpet cleaning, etc. is uninteresting, I'll bet you can find lots of interesting experiences to write about. Start with some of the things your service people encounter on a day to day basis.

For example, the plumber pulls a really bad anode rod. He takes a picture of it next to a new one and explains the importance of the anode. The air conditioning technician pulls a really bad filter from a unit, takes a picture of it and explains about replacing filters. The electrician grabs lunch at a new restaurant, takes a picture, and offers a quick review (though it should be positive or omitted - you don't want enemies). A pool contractor drives by a group of protesters and snaps a shot, writing about what he saw. Service company employees encounter blog worthy items every day.

Speak with your human voice. Have a conversation with your customers. Spread the word. Tweet about your blogs. Post links on Facebook. Engage people. Build your business.

No comments:

Post a Comment