Every day I get emails from all over the world of business owners and marketers asking me one simple question:
“Marcus, will you take a quick look at my blog?”
And to the best of my ability, I always try to take a look. Yes, I’m feeling the time crunch more and more, but I still find so much joy in having someone in Europe put enough trust in a “pool guy from Virginia” to give him or her blogging advice.
Doing It Right
I mention this because over the last 2 years I’ve looked at and analyzed hundreds of business blogs. Some companies were big. Others were small. Some had an army of content producers and curators. Others had an army of one. Some had an unlimited budget for blogging and social media while others couldn’t rub two nickels together. Some sold soap. Other sold jet engines.
Yep, by this point, I’ve seen some of the best, worst, and most diverse the blogosphere has to offer.
This being said, I’m always impressed with businesses doing it right. I love it when success is achieved and when folks are getting positive results through the incredible medium that is blogging.
But results don’t just come naturally. There are certain actions and qualities that one must take in order to rise above the chatter and receive the love from their readers, their industry, and the other master of all—Google.
So that’s what this post is about, 50 of the most essential qualities of some of the greatest business blogs in the world. Here goes…
50 Qualities of the Best Business Blogs in the World
1. They answer the basic consumer questions first and foremost.
2. They don’t suffer from the curse of knowledge.
3. They don’t try to impress readers because they know that happens naturally with great teaching.
4. They don’t brag about themselves, their company, and why they’re so awesome.
5. They are willing to have a conversation below the post (in the comments section) or behind the scenes via email.
6. They don’t waste words, and if they can state it shorter, they do.
7. The owner/CEO of the company is involved and also is a blog contributor.
8. They include at least one image on every post.
9. They make it readable by using short paragraphs, bullets, headers, etc.
10. They include video as much as possible.
12. If they see something wrong in their industry, they tactfully call-out the action, person, or company doing it.
13. They leverage as many employees as they can in the content curation process, and see every member of their staff as a “blog contributor.”
14. They don’t have a bunch of frivolous red tape, filters, and stupid management teams holding up every blog article that’s written.
15. They have thick skin and don’t back down as soon as someone doesn’t like what they have to say.
16. They are very consistent in their writing schedule, and most post at least twice per week.
17. They recognize the importance of great content combined with solid SEO, and don’t turn their back on either one of the two.
18. They don’t like to waste the time of their readers.
19. They never talk about their silly company picnic, employee retreat, etc.
20. They look to shine light on others “doing it right” in their industry.
21. They don’t try to make everyone happy.
22. In fact, they push customers out of the sales funnel as much as they push customers down the sales funnel, all for the pursuit of building the right tribe and creating the right clients.
23. They don’t care about their competitors stealing their “secret sauce” because, well, it’s likely not a secret anyway.
24. Their writing has personality, flair, and passion—the opposite of a college lecture hall.
25. They don’t give a rip about metrics that don’t mean a dang thing…like Klout.
26. They don’t bury their head in the sand when it comes to addressing issues (good, bad, and ugly) their readers are thinking about.
27. They are the best listeners in the world because they understand that listening to customers is all they really need to do in order to have unlimited ideas for blog content.
28. They are master storytellers.
29. They talk about their customers way more than they talk about themselves.
30. They write with passion and clarity.
31. They know their shtick.
32. They’re not afraid to make you laugh or make you cry.
33. They see themselves as “teachers” and “educators.” This is not just a blog thing, it’s a cultural shift within the company.
34. They quickly get rid of employees that don’t share this vision.
35. They see everything their business does, every service it renders, and ever product it carries, as a content opportunity.
36. They stay on the cutting-edge of their industry.
37. They run stories and articles when no one else will…because it’s the right thing to do and they’ve got guts.
38. They know by “giving it away” they will receive way more in the long run than their competitors who hoard information, thought, and industry best-practices.
39. They make the time to blog when there is none.
40. They understand the need for community, but also realize community is nothing unless their business doors are actually open and they’re turning a profit.
41. They invest money into their blogging platform so it doesn’t look cheap.
42. Even though their goal is to educate, they still understand the power of subtle selling, calls-to-action, etc.
43. They focus on numbers that matter the most—visits, leads, and conversions…and not on stats that don’t always equal profits—likes, tweets, shares, etc.
44. They are willing to be imperfect, make mistakes, and learn as they go.
45. They track their blog’s ROI (return on investment) and realize which articles are generating the most revenue and which ones are not.
46. They think wayyyy outside the box.
47. They show gratitude, support, and sincere appreciation to those readers, fans, and other companies that support them.
48. They don’t strive for “awards” or “best-of lists” or anything of that matter, understanding that such accolades will come naturally if they just do their part.
49. They understand complaining for the sake of complaining is a stupid business model and eventually, if done too much, will turn them into “the boy who cried wolf.”
50. They love what they do. They do it well. And they are relentless in their pursuit of excellence.
What’s funny about this list is that even though I’ve listed 50, there are many more I’ve not mentioned, which is why I’d love to know your thoughts. What qualities would you add to the list? Which ones do you disagree with? Which ones have you had the toughest time with?
As always, your thoughts matter my friends, so jump in everyone!
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