10 ways to avoid train wreck business blogging

You want to attract people to your blog.

You want to generate attention for your business.

But sometimes the most gripping content is the most repelling to potential customers.

Personal struggles, business difficulties, conflicts with competitors. All are riveting to read and you may think subjects like these are relevant to share, after all it is about you and your business.

Except that your business blog is not about you.

It’s about your readers.

It’s about helping them, inspiring them to share content or to tell people about your business or to even buy or hire you.

Train wreck posts don’t appeal to potential customers.

Yet you can still find businesses that publish blog posts about:

  • Stories of financial difficulties and instability and then offering business-growth coaching
  • Freelancers venting about difficult customers, one click away from their “hire me” page
  • Business owners going into details about personal life struggles

These posts will get you comments, usually supportive “go you!” comments.

They will get your content shared.

The attention can feel comforting.

These posts will not get you customers.

Customers will not see a phoenix about to rise from the ashes. Customers will not see an underdog that just needs a chance.

Customers will see a liability.

If you feel an overwhelming urge to update your audience on your troubles, serve them instead.

Give them something they really, really need.

Use your blog to showcase your expertise, to build trust and credibility, to give away free resources.

I’m not saying don’t share mistakes. Do. But provide a lesson that is also useful and doesn’t make you look incompetent.

So what to do when the train-wreck blog post impulse strikes?

Try one of these instead:

  1. Write a post answering a question prospects tend to ask you
  2. Create a quick free resource that helps customers make a hiring / buying decision
  3. Feature a case study or a reader’s story
  4. Create a glossary that explains any industry-specific jargon
  5. Put together a quick list of 10 tips that will help them with a specific problem
  6. Highlight some previous blog posts you think customers will find useful
  7. Go through any previous content marketing material and give it away to new readers
  8. Let your audience know about other great blogs or resources that can help them solve their problem
  9. Invite a relevant expert to do an interview that helps your readers
  10. Feature the last 2-3 of your business newsletter and encourage new subscribers to sign up

You have the right to vent, to feel frustrated, to pour your heart out absolutely.

Do it, it’s cathartic.

But share it with your diary, or your friends, or partner. Building a business is incredibly difficult and you deserve to look after yourself and find the support you need.

On your blog, your customers really need you to be there for them.

They have their own struggles, and not only that, YOU are the person to solve them.

Show them that you can solve them, help them, build them up, inspire them, give them whatever they need.

Attracting high quality customers will make you feel a lot better than repelling them with a written rant.

About Amy Harrison

I am a copywriter, content-trainer, speaker and filmmaker teaching businesses how to avoid drab business content and write copy customers love to read. You can also find me hanging out and sharing content over on Google+.


  1. Thanks for the feedback Amy, that’s incredibly helpful. I had (have) just the perfect person in mind for a case study but suspect that a reader’s story might be more appropriate.

    Thanks again!

  2. Hi Amy,

    I *love* these ideas, thank you!!

    Do you have any tips or ideas as to when you might use a case study as opposed to a reader’s story? Is one more suited to highlighting certain issues than the other?

    Best wishes,

    • harrisonamy says:

      Hey Jen!

      A case study is a good way to showcase how you have worked with a client or customer. You can highlight what you have done and what the results were.

      A reader’s story is similar, but more flexible. For example you could do something like a “hot seat” and have your readers submit a problem that you answer on the blog. Kind of in a “how you would work together” showcase, without you actually working with the reader.

      Or you could ask readers to submit stories about how your site, blog, newsletter, products had helped them and shine a light on their story. This also lets you highlight the positive influence your business has had on someone’s life.

      There’s no strict rules, but case studies and reader stories are great for illustrating how you work in a way in a compelling way.

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