I was wondering what might happen if a blog or website had a set of help pages?
We expect help pages when using a software or web application. We see About pages and FAQ on blogs but how often do we see a set of “Help” pages on a business blog? Never?
Thoughts Driving This Idea
For all the hype around social networking applications and web 2.0, the social part of networking online only happens when two people connect in real time – during a synchronous conversation – happening at the same time. Examples of synchronous conversations include instant messages, in-person meetings, phone calls, and Skype calls.
Whereas, asynchronous communications do not happen at the same time. Examples include blog posts, commenting, voice mail, email, forum posts and comments.
In my opinion, no matter how many comments and social networking widgets we have on a business blog it is at best a lukewarm experience and asynchronous. It is only when a human reaches out to initiate a conversation with another human and they connect in real time is a real relationship formed – and an experience created.
Business Websites and Blogs Should Be More Welcoming
I think we still have a long, long way to go to make our blogs and websites a great, positive experience for our readers. One of the great shifts in business and marketing strategy is the increasing importance to add experiential ingredients to the customer experience.
Customers are quite observant, they notice when a business goes the extra mile, puts out a massive effort, or does something that just is considerate, visionary, and just makes sense. Which is what adding a set of help pages to our blogs will accomplish – impress the heck out of our prospects and customers.
So What Should Be On A Bloggers Help Page(s)?
We could invest in creating tutorials on the how, what, when, where, and why visitors should subscribe to my RSS feed. How to find the feed on a blog, explain what a feed reader is, and review different types of feed readers. Define my blogs comment and spam policy, how often I plan to post and the topics I cover.
I could even develop a tutorial about how to use the content and advice you find on my blog. Explain what types of people visit my blog and purchase my services/products. Another example, I could share information on how to get the most from my books and coaching services. How to get the most from the blog, how to reach me, and disclose my policy on customer satisfaction, returns, and refunds.
I wonder if this is a waste of time or an idea whose time has come, what do you think?
Greg is thinking about how adding help pages to The Remote Control CEO, Small Business Transitions, and help information about his business books might improve the experience for prospects and customers.