Posts

Turn questions into blog posts

Tired of writing explanations for an audience of one?

Your clients, prospects, or even folks doing Google searches, may contact you with questions. Depending on your relationship and availability, you may respond at some length. This takes time.

Your blog makes it possible for you to get more mileage out of these inquiries. If the question fits your blog’s theme and has reasonably broad appeal, consider turning it into a blog post. You can write it as a simple Q&A, as I did in “Reader question: How can communicators manage difficult portfolio managers?” or a plain blog post.

Should you mention that your new blog post originated in a question from a client, prospect, or reader? Yes, if you want to seem approachable and interested in your blog’s audience.

Another alternative: Add to FAQ

If the question isn’t right for your blog, it may still be worth sharing. Consider adding the question and answer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of your website.

Image courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blog post vs. white paper: How do you decide?

An Iranian watercolor struck me as a way to show the difference between a blog post topic and a white paper topic.

“A School Scene,” which you see in the photo above, is beautiful. But it has too much going on to be a blog post.

Blog posts should focus tightly on one topic. Like the painting section below, which shows three men sitting below a tree.

A white paper is the longest piece most advisors will write. Its length means it might be able to accommodate the entire painting.

Like a blog post, a white paper should focus on a single theme. However, it offers more opportunities for depth and diversions.

In a white paper, the painting section in the upper right-hand corner would dominate. You’d work in the other areas of the painting to the extent they support the dominant section’s theme. An area with a weak, yet useful connection might become a sidebar, isolated in a box so it wouldn’t disrupt the main argument’s flow.

Some of the decorative elements in this painting might be too much for a white paper. They might be appropriate for a scholarly article, fiction, or a full-length book.

If this analogy helped you, please comment

Sometimes pictures make it easier to understand concepts normally explained using words. Did these two pictures help you? Do you have an image that helps you write better? Please share.

If your firm needs help with writing or editing white papers, please contact me. To learn more about what makes for a great white paper, read “White paper marketing: Walk a fine line.”