Many of us enjoy the free WiFi offered at today’s Coffee Shops…but Coffee Shops are not popular because of WiFi. In some ways, they are not even popular because of coffee. After all, you can get a Cup of Joe at 7-11, Dunkin Donuts, a local Deli, or any number of other locations. The defining draw of the Coffee Shop is the environment it offers – an escape from the real world, the secluding corner to read a newspaper, or the “private” area to talk with friends.
Coffee Shops are very much a place for discussion. Just visit a Starbucks or a Panera Bread. It’s humming with caffeine and conversation. While some business execs do visit these joints and hold an afternoon meeting to get a kick-start, most people visit them for friendly chats. They are there to do something they enjoy – like read a book or to perhaps meet someone for the first time.
Visiting a Coffee Shop is a low pressure outing…it’s a way to get know someone better and have meaningful conversation. And that’s exactly what your blog should be. Your blog is (or should be) a Coffee Shop. It should be a low pressure way for someone to get to know you, your interests, or passions better. It’s not your Office. Other parts of your site or perhaps a different site all together should be considered the place where people can learn more about your business.
If you are using your blog for business purposes, I’d encourage you to begin to think about it in these terms. Utilize your blog to allow potential customers to get to know more about your company and its business. Allow your blog to be a Coffee Shop, a place where potential customers are dialoguing with you. If they like what they hear, they can swing by the Office (i.e., your website). But don’t try to pitch them over a Caramel Macchiato…that’s just bad manners.