The six thinking hats; why you need these when writing your blogs
'Six thinking hats’ was written by Edward de Bono who was famously known for his work on lateral thinking, providing a way for people to be more focused, creative, and effective in the workplace.
And where better to apply these six thinking hats than to the world of content creation and blog writing?
Blogs are a great way to engage with your audience, give them a quick, interesting read, and encourage them to find out more. In order to write a blog, you (or your marketing freelancer or agency) need to go through many processes and stages. You need the idea, the facts, the benefits, and your own views. You need to engage your reader, give them something to think about or question, make them feel a certain way, and maybe even give them a conclusion that will encourage them to connect with you. A blog must follow a process, just as the creation of that blog requires many hats.
Businesses often make the mistake of cramming too much information into their blogs or making them too technical. Others see the blog as a way of direct selling which will not only put the reader off but will change the writing style or tone of voice. No one wants to feel they are, being ‘sold to’. A blog should entice your reader to return to your website, to read more about your business, or to follow you on social media.
Seth Godin in ‘This is Marketing’ writes “When the offering you bring matches the story we tell ourselves, the way we tell it and the pace we’re used to, it’s an easy choice to add you to the mix.”
Getting the story or messaging right, appealing to your audience, using the right tone of voice and style, and building a relationship with them over time with consistency, will increase engagement and potential business. You just have to be prepared to wear all six hats to produce that all-important, interesting blog!
THE WHITE HAT – FACTS
Use some facts in your blog. Maybe quote a statistic or link to an article. How often do you scroll through an article or blog picking out a few salient points or tips? Everyone likes a fact or two! Your blog is more likely to be read if it contains facts as well as your opinions. There is also the added advantage that hyperlinks to other sites, articles or research will be good for SEO.
THE GREEN HAT – CREATIVITY
This is about ideas. We all love to read about ideas. These transport us into a different realm and encourage us to think about things in different ways. Introduce a new idea or concept, or a different way of thinking about something. Give the reader something to ponder on. You never know, they may love one of your ideas and want to buy your product or service because of this.
THE YELLOW HAT – OPTIMISM
Focus on the positives and the benefits in your blog. This will create an opportunity for a better connection with your audience. If the reader leaves with a positive thought or action, they are more likely to share it with others and re-connect with you or your product again.
THE RED HAT – EMOTION
Red hat thinking brings in emotions, feelings, and instincts. You have given the facts, discussed your ideas, and are now able to say how you feel about these. This part of your blog will also encourage the reader to think about their ideas and maybe even engage with you on this. You want the reader to agree and to ‘feel’ a certain way. We all love to experience positive feelings. How often have you experienced a warm, fuzzy sensation when reading a travel blog describing warm golden sands, crystal clear waters, and the sun on your skin? It’s not the sand, sun, and sea that has drawn you in but the feelings evoked from being transported into that environment.
THE BLACK HAT – NEGATIVES
Make sure you discuss the challenges, the risks or the negatives on this topic. Show that you are thinking from both angles. The reality is that there will always be a negative spin. Are there downsides to an idea, concept, or topic you are discussing? How could things be improved? Showing the reader that you have considered things from every angle will give a much more balanced feel to your blog and will earn trust.
THE BLUE HAT – PROCESSES
With the blue hat on you need to reach conclusions and focus on the decision-making process. This is your time to show the reader that what you have to say is relevant and is worth considering. This will strengthen your brand and your reputation.
So now you know. Enjoy wearing all those hats to ensure that your blogs hit the spot!