The lionfish lesson: tips for writing a business blog post
It was just one of those moments where you stop, look…squint sideways at the computer and then shake your head.
At the moment, I’m researching cruises as a holiday option, and thanks to clever Google advertising (and more than likely creepy behaviour tracking algorithms), I’m now quite regularly shown blogs and content marketing from cruise lines.
I’m totally enjoying it.
Most business blogs have a little bit of personality, and are authentic and engaging – so I usually don’t mind browsing in the interests of ‘market research’.
However, yesterday I came across a cruise line business blog that completely stopped me in my tracks. While extolling the virtues of Fiji as a family-friendly destination among a list of Pacific Islands, the writers included a charming picture of a young child snorkelling…with a few friendly but highly venomous lion fish.
Now I’m not sure about you – but for me, the above immediately put me off this particular cruise company! Here’s why … and here’s how to avoid doing the same thing to readers of your own business blog:
"If your audience is young families looking to go on a cruise, spruiking snorkelling in waters with venomous fish is probably not a good advertising approach."
1. A tiny bit of research can save many a bad moment
Possibly the most valuable skill any aspiring business blogger can have is the ability to research thoroughly. It would have taken approximately 10 seconds of Googling to find out what a lion fish is (and why you shouldn’t be snorkelling with one!).
Cross-checking information is neither difficult nor time consuming, and can mean the difference between credibility and … none.
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2. Understand your audience.
If your audience is young families looking to go on a cruise, spruiking snorkelling in waters with venomous fish is probably not a good advertising approach.
As soloists, it’s likely that you understand your audience so I’m more than likely preaching to the choir here. However, if you can’t nail down exactly who you are targeting your business blag writing towards (down to how they like their coffee, if that’s relevant), you might miss the mark more often than you hit it.
3. Understand that simple mistakes impact your brand heavily.
You know what? Even though I highly doubt that this particular cruise line actually had anything to do with the authoring of this post, I’m probably never going to book a cruise with them now. It’s not because I’m afraid I’ll be exposed to lion fish…it’s because if there’s a lion fish accidentally in their blog, who’s to say there won’t be a stranger in my accidentally double-booked room or a stray hair in my food?
Poor attention to detail in one area reflects badly on the entire company, and the Internet has a way of remembering these things. You don’t want to end up as the next PR disaster to hit the headlines.
BONUS TIP: it’s always worth getting another set of eyes on your business blog posts before you press Publish. What you might miss in the flurry of writing, another person will pick up in two seconds.
Otherwise, you might find yourself being thrown to the lion(fish), and nobody wants that.
Have you had any memorable lion fish moments on your own business blog?