Sound Like a Dry Martini

The art of a good blog

August 19, 2022
Taylor Simpson8H0v2nitkmc Unsplash

As a rule, I do not enjoy reading blogs. Countless scientific studies have unanimously concluded that online reading results in inferior comprehension and minimal retention. In-depth on-screen reading is also uncomfortable on my eyes.

The typical blog is written, posted and curated by one person. It is the antithesis of the printed magazine article that passes from a writer to an editor to a proofreader and layout artist. The absence of multiple sets of eyes results in blog postings that are sloppier, more prone to errors and typos, with a propensity for rambling.

Lastly is the issue of credibility. Anyone can put up a blog, for free, with very little effort. That’s why the internet is filled with millions of blogs with billions of posts, the vast majority of which are filled with nonsense. Of course print can be used to spread nonsense as well, but it takes time, effort and money to do so. These factors tend to weed out the less credible information from print. Blogs have no such restraint.

One more thing: Johnson’s World readers know that I’m an unabashed cheerleader for print. If you have something important to tell me (and the rest of the world) put it in print. Yes, I have strong opinions, and as a printer myself, I put my money and my attention where my mouth is.

Darn you, Müller Martini. The Switzerland-based manufacturer of bookbinding equipment (among other related things) has a blog, and I read it.

Yes, I know I just told you I don’t like blogs, but Müller Martini lures me in with well-written headlines. Not clickbait headlines, just clear, concise headlines that let me know in a few short words that they have written about a topic of interest to me.

Links to Müller Martini’s blog postings come to me via email. Although I delete hundreds of emails unopened every day, I don’t mind receiving an unsolicited email if its message is truly of interest to me. Whether on my desktop or on my phone, I can read one sentence in the preview pane of my email client. That’s where a well-written headline comes in. Get my attention, and I might not delete you on the spot.

I also receive links to Müller Martini’s blog posts on social media. Industry leaders whom I respect highlight these posts on LinkedIn. If you’ve earned my trust I’ll check out your post even if the headline doesn’t grab me.

Their blog isn’t perfect. Sometimes the writing sounds a bit stiff. I’m guessing that’s because many of the posts were originally written in German, then translated. The writing can be a bit on the dry side. (Neither the Swiss nor the Germans are particularly famous for their sense of humor.) That’s ok with me. If you are writing about technical subjects all you need to do is make the content accurate and interesting.

What is the moral of our story? In Johnson’s World there is always a moral.

Content is king! No matter the medium, solid content will get the attention of your prospects. No amount of animation, keywords or pretty pictures can hold audience attention without good content.

Asked about his musical style, saxophonist Paul Desmond once mused, “I wanted to sound like a dry martini.” I’d say that Müller Martini has accomplished that. 

Now go forth and do likewise.