What The Next Food Network Star can teach you about blogging.

Season 7 of the reality television series “The Next Food Network Star” contains a powerful lesson every business blogger needs to know in order to blog successfully for their business.

You’ve got to know who you are and why you want to connect with consumers before you can successfully build your brand.

Justin D is a competitor on the show and began the competition by positioning himself as a younger version of Food Network’s own Alton Brown. Alton’s flagship show “Good Eats” is very “nerd friendly” and focuses on the “why” behind food and food preparation. When Alton originally pitched the show to Food Network, he described it as “Monty Python meets Julia Child”. The show is funny – it’s informative – but most importantly it’s successful because Alton knows EXACTLY who he is and the AUDIENCE he wants to target.

If you just want a recipe for meatloaf – you don’t want to watch Good Eats.  If you want to know why you should never cook your Thanksgiving stuffing inside your turkey – or the role osmosis plays in cooking – then Good Eats is the show for you.

If you want your business blog to success – you too had better know exactly who you are and the audience you want to target.

Contestant Justin D began the competition struggling despite the fact that he has the brains – he has the cooking skills – he even has the quirky “look” needed to be a memorable television host.

Justin D got cut in episode five for one simple reason:

He didn’t know “who” he was and what audience he was targeting – as you can see in this video clip:

Throughout the competition – Justin kept “changing” who he was and what his show would be.

The final straw was when he put on a “hip hop artist” persona to entertain a crowd during a 4th of July cooking demonstration.  First he’ “Alton Jr.” – then he’s “Harry Potter Cooks” – then he’s Marky Mark.  The judges were left scratching their heads wondering exactly WHO this young man really was.

When Justin began the competition – he openly admitted that he didn’t know WHO he was.  He often said he was trying to “find” himself during the competition – which was not the time nor the place to do so. Since he couldn’t know WHO he was – he also didn’t know who his audience was either.

By the way – I find it very interesting that one of the stronger contestants this season is a seasoned “food blogger” – Mary Beth Albright.  The judges have commented more than once on how her experience blogging is a real asset in her quest to become The Next Food Network Star.

Unlike a reality television show – when you begin blogging for your business – you don’t HAVE to be “camera ready”.  You can’t expect to “hit the ground running” when you start blogging. Even if your first blog post is a masterpiece – even if you have already “found” your voice – if you’re like every other blogger on the internet – you’ll get better at blogging over time.

Chances are – if you haven’t started blogging yet then you really haven’t had an opportunity to “find” your voice.

Blogging is definitely a skill – one that requires practice to perfect.  You won’t master your golf swing in six weeks – you won’t master the piano in a few easy lessons – and you won’t master business blogging quickly or easily either.  However, with time, patience and perseverance – you will find your blogging voice and this is a VERY good thing.

See – your business blogging voice is really just a personalized version of your “marketing” voice.  If you’re struggling with what to write about in your business blog – I wouldn’t be surprised if your marketing message isn’t a little “murky” as well.

However, something “magical” happens after a few hundred posts.  There really is an almost magical metamorphosis that happens  when you blog for your business.

I recently had a client tell me that I “scare business owners off” with my talk about hundreds of blog posts… yet that comment was followed with “but you’re right… it does take TIME to master this whole business blogging thing.”

She shared that she enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to write about her core business message and that blogging for her business has helped her in more than just marketing her business.

Writing with your customers/clients/patients in mind can really help keep you focusing on what’s important – not only in your marketing but in your business operations as well.

Fortunately – business owner’s don’t have to be “camera ready” when they begin blogging.

Business blogging can be a way to not only “find ourselves” but also find our clear, unqiue and authentic marketing messages as well.