Business blog posts: 6 ways to make sure they kick ass

small__4513116123If you read a lot of business blog posts, do you eventually get utterly bored, suffering from word blindness? Do you begin to wonder where one business blog ends and the next one starts?

Do you ask yourself if the people who write these blog posts use a painting-by-numbers template to set out some vaguely useful information that culminates in the sales pitch as soon as respectably possible?

(For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here)

OK: let’s get this out of the way now.

Yes, this, here, is a business blog post. Yes, I want you to buy my books otherwise my accountant will be scurrying up my nose with complaints about turnover and all that sh*t.

But that’s where it stops. Why? Because I don’t want to bore myself writing boring business blog posts – never mind suggesting that you should – because they equal bored readers, bored customers, bored prospects, and a waste of everyone’s time.

What we all need, is blog posts that kick ass. Here are some of my ideas on how to make that happen.

6 tips to make sure your business blog posts kick ass

Don’t be patronizing. Some business bloggers think it’s clever to talk (well, write) down to their readers in a sarcastic way, perhaps hoping to intimidate them and make them feel inferior so they respect the blogger more. This may work with a few readers who have major self-confidence issues, but p*sses off the remainder. Write as you would to a customer whom you respect.

Find something extra to lift your blog post away from the rat race. Don’t be afraid to take the lid off your business and share some really gritty stuff; this is what will make your blog post catch people’s attention. By all means share the basics but introduce some of your own personal quirks and observations to make your post unique. Don’t just aspire: inspire!

Don’t be afraid to use humor. People often compliment me on the humor I weave through my business blog posts because people learn more, absorb more, when they’re enjoying the experience. However you need to use humor as a condiment, rather than a thick, heavy sauce … don’t let it get in the way of your main message.

Use correct English (or whichever language you use) but don’t be hampered by convention. Mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax make you look amateurish and uneducated in a business context. But don’t cling on to old fashioned traditions in written work; keep up with modern trends and write as your audience speaks.

Ditch the jargon and corporate crap. Never, ever hide behind corporate-speak in a business blog post (or any other business communication, for that matter.) You and your colleagues might find it appropriate to use your business jargon amongst yourselves but it’s a BIG mistake to assume that even savvy business readers of your blog will, too. Ensure that what you write is intelligent, open-ended and lively – not wordy.

Keep it short and sweet. I know only too well how easy it is to get carried away with a subject that’s close to one’s heart. But your readers – and mine – have short attention spans and low boredom thresholds. Write what you want and then edit. Cut, cut, cut. E.G. … I have cut this article down from nearly 1,000 words to less than 700 … and you might well feel it could have been even shorter.

blogging,writing,blog writing,business,newsletter,HowToWriteBetter.net,How To Write Better,Suzan St MaurWhat have I missed here? Please share what YOU feel are the key points to writing business blog posts that awaken, inspire, and kick ass…!

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photo credit: Lord Jim via photopin cc

Comments

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  1. Great advice…and some business-y blogs are visually impossible to read and don’t actually tell you anything – which if you happen to read them make you realise those are 10-15 minutes of your life you won’t be getting back 😉

    • Absolutely, Sarupa – as I say in the article you get word-blindness after a while and all the business bullsh*t just merges into one sprawling mass. Such a waste of everyone’s time and the blogger’s money…

  2. Great article and so true. There are times when I wonder why it’s hard to write as you suggest. But there are times when I look back at an article I’ve just written and am ashamed. I guess for me that means ALWAYS re-read it a day or two later before publishing, specially when it’s on a technical subject that you know well.
    Thanks Suzan

    • That time-lapse test to see if you’re as keen on what you’ve written X amount of time after you write it is very valuable, Jon.

      I always share this with my DIY writer coaching clients … after you’ve finished writing something, leave it for a while and go do something else, even if it’s a trip to the water cooler or rest room!

      An interval, however short, during which you have thought of other things, will allow you to look at your writing from a relatively fresh viewpoint. Not only will that help you pick up any goofs, but also it will help you assess whether your topic, approach and detailed content are as much on target as you want them to be.

      Thanks for dropping by and come back again soon!

  3. It’s hard to think of new and fresh things to write about without blogs beginning to sound repetitive and boring. I used to force myself to post two blogs a week, regardless. Now I just blog when I have something I think is useful to say – sometimes this means going down to one blog a week, sometimes it might go up to three. Quality is definitely more important than quality.

    Some great tips there Suze, which I will definitely keep in the front of my mind when writing blogs in the future.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Jane, and I’m glad you found that helpful. I totally agree with you that quality triumphs over quantity every time. (Mind you I know your blog well and its quality is always stunning, so you don’t have anything to worry about!)

      You can tell when someone with a business blog has written something because they have to rather than they want to, can’t you? It’s either the 95th rehash of earlier material or, more recently, a few lines of introduction and then a selection of links to other people’s blogs and articles.

      Do these people honestly believe readers will click on those links, read the associated piece, and then return each time to the original blog post? I don’t think so, do you?

  4. The most valuable biz posts to me are the ones with specific recommendations and examples. I’m not so interested in theory and opinions . . . show me how something works in the real world and how to apply it.

    • I know what you mean, Mary. I’m guilty of expressing my opinion in some of my articles but at least I make it funny so people are entertained when reading it! But you’re right. So many articles and blogs you see are long-winded, boring expressions of people’s personal opinions and theories and in some ways I think to write like that is an insult to your reader. Readers just don’t have the time or inclination to wade through information that does nothing for them, and for a writer/blogger to expect them to put up with it is just pompous and rude, in my view. What do you think?

  5. Hi Suzan,

    Thanks for the great post. One thing we use at DigiWriteIt is personas. When we started off writing for our clients, we had no idea what voice to use, language, etc. (some clients are in B2B others in B2C) so it really helped when we built customer personas for each client. The personas are actually now part of our QA team :-). I’d encourage everyone who blogs for business to consider this, it will help them implement the great tips you’ve provided.

    Regards,

    Mike

    • I like that idea, Mike – thanks for sharing it. Funnily enough I use a similar technique in my blog content workshops, whereby we do “customer personality profiling” and take it to a much deeper level than most small businesses do ordinarily, so their blog topics become much more apposite than the two-dimensional stuff that’s common. I think we’re looking at a new and more relevant generation of business blogging now, partially thanks to Google stamping on a lot of the crap out there. Would you agree with that?

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