If you MUST write advertorial, at least do it well. Here’s how…

When you see a piece of advertorial in a newspaper or magazine, do you immediately retch and think, “BORING!!!?” I do. Why?

In my school and college vacations I would work in the editorial office of my Dad’s newspaper here in the UK. And the truly terrible advertorials that customers wanted us to run made my eyes water more ferociously than the Niagara River thunders over Horseshoe Falls.

Advertorial: how to make it work

No prizes for guessing why even today’s advertorial looks like “fake news…” read on, and get yours right

Fortunately my Dad didn’t like advertorials either and usually told customers to place a conventional ad and he would get one of the editorial staff (i.e. me, mainly) to do a “write up.” Although in so doing I wasn’t able to be truly honest about filthy, stinking fish and chip shops or awful pub food, at least the “write ups” were fairly lively and didn’t read like they had been written by the business’s accountant after a few liters of beer.

(The experience also taught me how to be very, very creative in the use of adjectives and adverbs that sounded nice but, er, weren’t. Story for another day…)

5 home truths about advertorials to help you write good ones that get read

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Why your website text is NOT about your business

No, it’s not a typo.

It’s not about you

You lose count, don’t you, of the number of websites you see that talk all about the company concerned, when it started, what it prides itself on, and all manner of other “we-wee” words.

how to write good business website text by Suzan St Maur on HTWB

It starts on the “home page” with a lot of information your customers don’t need yet, if at all.

Then you go to the “about us” page and there’s more information that’s not relevant to what your customers are looking for (do they really care where the founder went to college in the 1950s?). [Read more…]

Why you need to think first and write later – especially for business

“If you don’t know what you think, you can’t write it down,” said my longtime colleague and book co-author John Butman some years ago.

Yet how many of us take on a business writing exercise – email, blog post, even web page – without thoroughly thinking through the key issues needed to make that piece of writing work properly … before we write anything down?

Most of us fall victim to it. Even I do, and I’ve been a professional business writer since Madison Avenue was a dirt track with an Algonquian name.

Think before you write, especially for business

Think before you write. And think about the right things, so you write what works for your business.

It’s all part of our tendency not to engage brain before putting fingers into gear. Here is one classic symptom, with a suggestion on how to treat it… [Read more…]

Writing for business in the third-age: old? No, new.

People in the “third-age” who are running businesses are not old f*rts. In fact many of them are new entrepreneurs.

When I go home to Canada every summer I work a lot with my good friend and colleague Trudy Van Buskirk – a stalwart women-in-business coach and networker, founder of a number of online and offline business networking groups in Toronto. And just to make the challenge a bit more interesting she also a) is the wrong side of 60 and b) has disabilities.

Writing for business for third-age entrepreneurs on HTWB

Thanks to the internet it’s very easy for anyone of any age to keep bang up to date with their chosen business or industry.

What has struck me over the last few years of leading blogging and business writing workshops for Trudy and her clients are the high levels of energy, enthusiasm, business acumen, hunger for further learning and downright grit that all of these people pour into their businesses. [Read more…]

Writing day-to-day business emails: how to get better results

If you need to write emails for business, job, sport, hobby, charity, recreation etc. (and who doesn’t?) there are quite a few very simple yet effective tips to make yours get more engagement and results… the results you want, too.

Writing day-to-day emails top tips from HTWBThese tips are not the same as you would use for email marketing, necessarily, although there are some common denominators. However if you want help with how to write a stonking email advertising campaign, I recommend [Read more…]

Network marketers, IFAs etc – yes, you CAN blog if you want to

If you are a network marketer, franchise owner, IFA or other profession working with a brand that controls your marketing communications, you may be under the impression that you can’t use independent blogging as a means to promote yourself to potential customers.

blogging for IFAs and franchise owners on How to Write Better
Often when I’m out at face-to-face networking events I speak to IFAs (Independent Financial Advisors), distributors/consultants for brands like Utility Warehouse, Forever Living, Mary Kay, Stella & Dot, Arbonne and more, franchise owners of “umbrella” real estate and other similar businesses. Often they say that they aren’t able to blog because of restrictions on what they can and can’t say according to their respective brands’ guidelines. However …

Unless your business’s restrictions forbid all social media communications, there  ARE ways you can use blogging and social media to enlarge your “tribe” without breaking the rules.

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