A Blog is Like a Fine Bottle of Wine

Like many writers, I have a strong love for the vino.  I’ve traveled the world in my day, and have sampled the local brew at every stop along the way.  Kumyz in Kyrgyzstan, sho-chu in Japan, Fenny in India, soju in South Korea, Sakkara in Egypt… and the list (somewhat embarrassingly) goes on.  But I figure if you’re going to travel, you might as well travel with your favorite libations in tow.

Wine, however, is perennial.  There are a wide variety of wine-producing countries in the world, from the traditional offerings from France, Spain, and Italy to the new-world productions from the United States and Australia.  Wine is also produced in the country of Georgia (actually, the Balkans lay claim to the oldest-known evidence of wine production), Uzbekistan, Morocco, and many, many more places.

I was sitting around with a glass of my favorite red and thinking about writing (which is what I’m normally doing) and figured, why not combine two of my favorite things?  Thus, this post on why a blog is like fine wine.  Yes, it is.  Trust me.

Get Intoxicated with the Power of Words

One of the great things about wine is that it’s not a particularly complicated drink, at the heart of things.  Now, I’m sure that some of the world’s most renown wine producers might disagree with me – but hear me out.  Wine is fermented grape juice, at the end of the day.

Wine is not a Long Island iced tea with many different ingredients.  It’s not a super-skim low-fat latte with vanilla shot that takes a half-hour to make at the coffee shop.  (The person who orders the aforementioned drink is always in front of me at the coffee shop when I’m trying to get a cup of plain black joe.  It’s practically cosmic law.)

In the same vein, blogs are simple creations.  There are a lot of whys and wherefores that come with writing a blog for business conversion, but this doesn’t mean you need to start up the espresso machine and create a blog so complicated it would make Starbucks blush.

Even Content Marketing Institute agrees with me: Anna Ritchie’s Ultimate Guide to Blogging points out why it’s more simple than you think.  You don’t have to get incredibly complex to have a fine blog – just as the ingredients in fine wine are anything but complex.  In fact, if you put too many additives in wine, it turns to vinegar.

Just like with wine, keep your blogging simple.  All blogs have easy base components; make building your blogs the same way a vineyard would produce fine wine: with a recipe. Try this one for inspiration:

Get started with your headline first.  Starting with the topic helps you narrow down the focus of the blog – for example, when you read the title of this blog, it’s likely that you were expecting me to talk about blogging and wine.  If I touched on neither one of those things, you’d feel a bit betrayed, wouldn’t you?  This is a great way to start off your blog strong and stay on track.  Read more at Copyblogger with the post Why You Should Always Write Your Headline First.

Start off your blog content with a bang. Hooking the reader in is essential.  Need to get started?  Check out this post at Copyblogger: 5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang.

Use keywords sparingly for flavor. Keyword use is essential in blogs, but you want to make sure not to overdo it, or it will overwhelm your writing.  If you need help getting started with the right keywords, check out Copyblogger’s Keyword Research for Web Writers and Content Producers.  It’s a long read, but a good one!

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to get your blog brewing!

But Where’s the Struggle?

But if writing blogs is simple, why do so many companies struggle?  Kuno Creative has a lengthy (but information-packed!) post about what happens when companies actually stop blogging: How Much Does it Cost a Company to Stop Blogging shows that a company that blogs for 12 months straight will make $60,000 in gross profit as compared to $32,500 for a company that blogs for 6 months and then stops.

While the ingredients for wine are simple, it’s true that not everybody who likes wine has a vineyard on their property.  (I definitely don’t – I think the neighbors in my condo might complain a bit.)  This is where working with a content writing service can come in handy.  Even if you’re completely capable of making your own wine or writing your own content, this doesn’t mean that your time couldn’t be used doing other things.

I’m reasonably sure that the vast majority of people reading this buy wine from the local store when they’ve got an urge for a tipple, rather than go out back and start pounding grapes.  Heading to the wine shop is just that much simpler.  Perhaps for your business, outsourcing your blogs would be the better choice for you.

No matter what you do, don’t let your blog go idle.  There’s nothing worse than an idle blog – think about what happens when you uncork a bottle of wine and let it sit on the table.  Again, you get vinegar.  If you have to choose between starting a blog and letting it drop versus not blogging at all, it’s better to go with no blog.  Virtually everybody in the business will tell you so – like Linda Dessau personally tells you in this YouTube video.

On the other side of the coin, everybody in the business will tell you that you should blog.  Like Susan Ward from About.com.  Like Doug Rice from 12 Most.  Like James DeBono.  And, finally, I also, unsurprisingly, recommend that you have a blog.  Blogs are a classic component of content strategy.  Just like wine is a classic component of a romantic dinner.  And, hey, the ultimate purpose of content marketing is to woo the customer, right?  Smoothing the way with a bottle of fine blog goes a long way.

Blogs are like wine: simple ingredients can come together to make incredible, intoxicating things. 

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Laura Hancock is a co-owner of ContentEqualsMoney.com. She has also been a long time writer for us. She writes with a passion for accuracy and flow. While her administrative duties have grown, she is a still a big piece of our content writing services team! Currently pursuing a certification in Technical Writing at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle. +Laura Hancock

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