5 Tips for Better Business Writing

5 Tips for Better Business Writing

  Your business writing skills will help determine whether your audience sticks with you or not. Are people finding your content? Are people reading and buying? The quality of your content plays a big part in the success of your online marketing efforts. 5 Business Writing Tips That Will Improve Your Bottom Line Understand Your Audience – Are you aiming your blogs and content at your customer base, or professional colleagues? Or is it another audience? In most industries there is a knowledge gap between businesses and their customer base. If you are not writing at your customers’ level, you are likely losing readers (and dollars) in the process. What does this mean? Watch your $10 words. If your industry geek speak does not need to be used, don’t use it. If it needs to be used, define it. Your business writing is not the place to prove how smart you are. If readers don’t know what you’re talking about they will likely move on to the next search result. Solve Customer Problems – Your reader found you while searching for the solution to a problem. They see you as a potential solution, and it is up to you to live up to that. Show how your product or service benefits them. Show that you can reliably answer their questions, and are worthy of their trust. Are there frequent questions you receive in person? You can blog about those, and provide answers. Err on the side of giving information away. Your readers and customers will reward you for it. Be Kind to Your Readers – You’ll want to understand...
7 Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Your readers have questions about your industry – and learning how to avoid key content marketing mistakes can help you engage them. Your readers may be in various stages of the buying cycle, but they have one thing in common. They are looking for a trusted resource that can provide answers to their questions. That is where content marketing comes into play. It allows you to differentiate yourself from the pack, and compete with some businesses that have traditionally had a larger budget for customer acquisition. As you compete for eyeballs and attention online, you have to make sure you are doing everything within your power to appeal to your audience. Here are a few content marketing mistakes, and some actionable advice for how to avoid them. 7 Content Marketing Mistakes You failed to connect with your readers – Chances are your reader doesn’t know as much as you about your industry. It’s easy to start throwing around fancy acronyms and $10 words that may just pass right over their heads. In a best-case scenario they leave to look up the industry lingo that you’re failing to define. In a worse case scenario, they are on to the next search result. Either way, there’s a better than average chance they aren’t coming back. Here’s what you can do: If you don’t absolutely have to use the industry term, don’t. If you do need to use it for context, then define it. If it’s an acronym, spell the whole thing out the first time. Make sure that your readers know what you’re talking about. Don’t talk down to them, but...
A Few Questions to Improve Your Blog

A Few Questions to Improve Your Blog

You have to be in the right mindset to improve your blog. Real improvement requires looking at the big picture goals of your business and your blog, as well as zooming in on the detail work to be able to meet your goals. These questions can help you zero in on your blogging and content marketing strategy, and integrate your blog into your larger business goals. Answer These Questions to Improve Your Blog Can you identify your target audience? Who are your ideal readers and/or customers? What kind of topics are they going to be interested in? What type of posts are you going to write? Examples: Industry news, interviews, case studies, how-to’s, etc. (There should be a variety.) How many posts per week/month can you commit to writing? Can you come up with between 5-10 blog post ideas off the top of your head? Do you have a set writing time? Are you doing what you can to write to your audience’s needs and not your own? (Make sure your posts are providing value, and not self promotional!) Are you doing everything you can to promote your post? (Sharing on all social media channels, republishing on LinkedIn, Medium, promoting it in applicable groups, republishing your posts on appropriate sites?) Is your blog serving your larger marketing and business goals? Your blog is an important part of reaching a new audience online. It’s crucial for building your platform and engaging your readers in a meaningful way. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to provide value to readers, and make it easy on them to take action. Simply knowing the answers...
Why Writing a Blog Will Help You Sell More

Why Writing a Blog Will Help You Sell More

The way your customers seek out information is changing, and writing a blog can help keep you on their radar. It’s natural for a business to want to sell more, and it’s a natural reaction to want to get your product in front of people in the process. This entire process now needs to be done with your customers’ perspective in mind. They have choices and options, and they are not held captive by your marketing – so it needs to be enticing. No More Blogging Excuses  You’re busy, and running your business is time consuming. I get it, and you are not alone. You don’t need to be running around chasing marketing fads. Here’s the thing – this one is here to stay. People have access to more information than ever before. They want answers before committing to a purchase. A blog can help answer those questions. It establishes trust. It conveys you as a leading expert in your industry. When your potential customers have options, these factors put them at ease. They make readers feel comfortable, a necessary step before they’ll be convinced to buy from you. I won’t lie, writing a blog can be time consuming. It might require carving time out of your busy schedule, or starting an hour earlier, here and there. But similar to exercise, you’ll notice significant results over time, and discover new business where none previously existed. The Real Reason for Writing a Blog Yes, you become that trusted industry resource by blogging. That’s a significant benefit to your customers. But there’s real benefits to you, too. B2b marketers who blog...
How an Editorial Calendar Can Grow Your Blog and Your Business

How an Editorial Calendar Can Grow Your Blog and Your Business

An editorial calendar is a tool borrowed from the journalism world, to organize content published on a given day. As a business blogger, you need to routinely be generating ideas that will resonate with your audience. An editorial calendar will help keep those ideas straight, and keep them matched with the day they need to run. Maybe you are trying some guest blogging for other sites in addition to your own site. Or, maybe you are accepting guest posts on your own. An editorial calendar can help you keep that straight as well. A quick piece of advice… Consider the Time Element Think about the seasonality of your business. Do your sales go up and down by what month it is? For instance, a gym membership in January, or an electronics product around Christmas would both be hot commodities, with large, receptive audiences. Maybe your efforts are better laid out by what day of the week it is. A regular feature appearing on a certain day of the week can give your blog consistency. Each business is unique, but if there is a time element, you’ll want to take advantage. An editorial calendar can help you accomplish this, and gives you a visual idea on the type of blog posts you should be writing depending on the season, or day of the week. Even if there is little time element to your business, an editorial calendar can help you keep a wide array of ideas organized. Talk to Different Segments of Your Audience Do you have various segments of your audience that you wish to talk with? Maybe some of your...
The Importance of Benefits

The Importance of Benefits

“This is fun!!!” my 3-year-old, Jamie shouted, as he looked at me from the passenger seat of a go kart. I couldn’t have agreed with him more, as we swerved and sped our way around a tight track, with the wind blowing through our hair on a late summer weekend morning. Of course, the part of the story that I’m not leading with is how much trouble it was getting Jamie to leave the house. As any parent of a toddler knows, if you want to leave, they want to stay. If you want to stay, they want to leave. You’re also not dealing with someone who’s totally stable. Their behavior is capable of turning on a dime. How do you navigate these troublesome times? Some call it bribery. Some call it leading with the benefits. Maybe it’s a combination of both. “If you’re good, we can do the go karts,” I told him in the moments preceding our trip to the park. “We can go really fast and feel the wind blowing through our hair.” Eventually, he reluctantly agrees to leave the house. He looks at me, unsure he can trust the person who made him finish his green beans the night before. Then he climbs in his car seat, ready to go. That first sentence…”If you’re good…” There’s a note of bribery in there. That’s not the important part for marketers. The second sentence is all about stressing the benefits of the trip. Whether you are a parent or a marketer or both, the importance of benefits is that they sway the argument in your direction. The Importance...