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Improving your blog posts

Your blog could be unreadable. That’s because people writing your blog aren’t writers, they’re engineers, executives or marketing specialists.  They may be just trying to get something written, without thinking much about whether it’s readable or not.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  You can improve the quality of your blog posts without taking a bunch of writing lessons.  A few small changes can start to improve your posts and get people to read them.

Tip #1:  Get to the point quickly.  You don’t need a preamble paragraph that sets the stage and eases people into the topic.  Just put it out there.  For instance, instead of a hard hitting first paragraph, I could have eased you into what I wanted to talk about, like this:

It’s important for businesses to have a blog, as it’s one more way to connect with customers and prospects, and get your brand message out there.  It allows you to create a conversation with customers, informing them, establishing an opinion, or even asking for their feedback.

It’s a luxury for most companies to have all blog posts written or edited by professional writers.  That means that the quality of the blog can be compromised, because the people doing the writing are engineers, marketing specialists, or even executives.  They might not be that happy about writing, and may struggle with how to create a compelling post. And it’s likely that they don’t have a lot of time, so are just putting down whatever they can. That can compromise the quality of the blog post, and make it difficult to read.

Which version would have caught your attention more quickly?  This approach included a paragraph telling you what you already knew, plus a paragraph that went on a bit, and even had some repetition in it.  It was written quickly without much thought.

According to Copywriting legend Joseph Sugarman, “The purpose of the first sentence is to get you to read the second sentence. “  And the purpose of the second sentence is to get you to read the next sentence, and so on.

One of the techniques you can use to do this is to start with short sentences, and make them to-the-point plus intriguing.  I suspect my statement “Your blog could be unreadable” caught your attention.  And then “It doesn’t have to be this way” convinced you to continue reading.

Tip #2:  Short statements and headings allow for skimming.

Skimming is a great technique to get a reader to at least follow your post to its conclusion, where you hopefully have a call to action.  While you likely need some content to support your key points, if you use short statements and headings, he can skim to see whether the article is of interest.

Most business professionals do have it in them to write in this manner.

That’s especially true if you create slide presentations.  Think of the bullets you’d put on a slide – then what you’d say about each bullet.

The slide heading is the heading of your post, or a subsection in your post.  Slide bullets become short statements or subheadings headings followed by one or two sentences supporting the statement. And some bullets stay as bullets in your post.  Here are some slides to demonstrate that point – it’s a useful way to approach writing a document.

Slide #4 Slide #3 Slide #2 Slide #1

Want to improve your blog posts?

I’d be delighted to help you — either by writing your blog posts or editing them.  Feel free to give me a call at 905-439-9340 or writer@articulate-resources.ca if you’d like to discuss your needs.

And why not sign up for email notification for my blog updates (“follow” button lower right-hand corner of the screen).  I’ve got lots more tips to share in the coming weeks.  And please sign up for my newsletter, a monthly compendium of news, ideas and tips for technology marketing communications.

Let me know what you think.

This blog is me giving you something of value.  So tell me what interests you – from writing topics to marketing topics.  I’m a crack researcher.

Sources:

Sugarman, Joseph (2009-05-18). The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters (Kindle Locations 949-950). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Bilcq, Ron and Moretto, Lisa. Get to the Point!  Writing Effective Email, Letters, Reports and Proposals, Prentice Hall Allyn and Bacon Canada.

Wilbers, Stephen, Keys to Great Writing, Writer’s Digest Books.

 



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