So, the latest MA homework is to flag up three blogs that I think tick the enterprise box. I lost myself in content for a good while during this task, but here’s my chosen trio…
Well, I didn’t have to think too hard about the first one, or even do any research, although I did lose myself in her blog posts for a good hour while refreshing my memory about Sally Whittle’s story.
Her blog started as a way to capture a single parenting journey and has become a no-holds-barred account of bringing up a child while making a living while juggling everything else life throws at you.
I love it because it’s real. It’s gritty, honest and Sally shares some very personal things with her readers. She lets you into her life, she has a friendly tone, like she trusts you, and it makes you feel privileged to be able to read her story; people can identify with her.
There’s also an aspirational element to Sally’s blog, she’s a successful blogger and makes a living from it, having founded several blogging communities that unite bloggers in a subject of interest while fostering an ethos of support. She does good work. People want to achieve similar success.
I’d also say she’s a bit intimidating. She really knows her shit (sorry for swearing but I’m plenty old enough to swear and I couldn’t think of a better word) and pulls no punches when she’s affronted by the ill-informed. She’s not snotty or snidey or snooty, she’s authoritative. She knows what she’s talking about and people respect that.
When I visit Sally’s blog I get plenty out of it, I can empathise with her as a parent, I respect her as a journalist and blogger (informative). I value what she says and I also learn things; Sally shares her knowledge in posts to help others achieve what she has (instructional). Above all else, Sally is funny and people like to laugh (interesting).
I had no idea of the concept of being thrifty when I first stumbled upon A Thrify Mrs at a conference some years back. Or even that people made a living blogging about it. As a guest speaker, her personality hooked me and there I was following a blog about how to cut corners and save money.
I like her blog because it’s real, she’s talking to people like me with her informal and witty tone and her site looks nice, it’s branded in a feminine and classy way which is a nice contrast against the subject of (what is essentially) being cheap. She uses pictures in a clever way, making less look like more with a classy backdrop and angle, and her how-to videos show she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty.
Her back story is nice too, someone with a love for charity shop hauls, a battle with debt (we’ve all been there) and an enhanced skill for saving money without having to be miserable. Again, there’s that element of wanting to help people and she is the face of her brand so her personality is important.
My third blog is a bit of a curveball… and therefore probably won’t count. If you can call Instagram microblogging then kernow_shots is doing a great job of a) selling his photography skills and b) highlighting Cornwall as a destination. He (Lee) liked one of my Cornwall shots from a holiday last year and I checked him out, or rather his photography. Wow. His images are so good they almost don’t look real and if you don’t want to go to Cornwall after you’ve seen them then there’s something wrong with you.
He uses the power of imagery to communicate with his audience, supported by short descriptions of what he’s posted and using hashtags for wider reach. Sometimes he posts longer descriptions about why he’s visited a certain spot, or some of the history etc, showcasing his local knowledge and passion for the place he calls home. And he gets a lot of likes and comments (he has close to 20,000 followers!) which gives his images even more authority. He’s conversational and replies to comments, a great way to promote his work. So simple but really memorable.
I like the idea that if your product is design-led, using a platform like Instagram and letting the images do the talking is a great way to promote what you do. And there’s no link to a website on his profile, just an email address.
In summary, the blogs that appeal to me, as a user, on the whole are both informative and entertaining and if they’re instructional too then I’ll probably take notice. I like an informal, accessible tone, non-corporate, and a layout that’s easy for me to scan. And plenty of personality to boot.