This week I’ve hosted the first Business Mum’s Blog Carnival. It’s been fantastic to make contact with so many enterprising mums and read their blogs. Along the way I’ve been asking myself “What makes a really good business blog post?” so that I can improve my own writing. Here’s what I’ve found:
It’s got to ‘add value’ in some way
It needs to be interesting, useful, funny, express an opinion or whatever. As long as your readers have a reason to come to your blog. It’s got to be for them and not all about you. It might not be possible to do this in every post, but if people have got a reason to go to your blog, you can tell them about your new product once they are there.
A blog that is just a sales pitch might keep the search engines happy with a stream of regular fresh content, but it won’t keep customers on your site or encourage them to come back.
It needs to have an objective
If you’ve got a personal blog, you can write about anything that takes your fancy. It doesn’t matter if your only reader is your mum!
When writing for a business blog, you’re writing with a purpose. Top of the list is to bring visitors to your blog, but what are your other objectives? Do you want to build a relationship with your customers? Demonstrate your expertise? Tell them about new products? Get them to join your mailing list?
It’s got to be easy to read
To quote Matthew Stibbe in ’30 Days To Better Business Writing’ (downloadable from badlanguage.net) “You have no right to your readers’ time. They are already as busy as you are”. Keep it simple, direct and relevant. Avoid grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.
Writing for the web is different from writing for print. People scan rather than read every word, so keep paragraphs and sentences short. Use subheadings and bullet points to break up large chunks of text.
It doesn’t have to be a long post
The post should only be as long as it needs to be to get your points across. We all have short attention spans when reading web pages, clicking off to the next page after just seconds. if you write a long post, what are the chances of readers actually reading right to the bottom anyway?
So there you go – all I need to do now is to follow my own advice! My challenge is keeping my sentences short. (I’ve been trying hard in this post, can you tell?) If you have any more tips, please do drop me a comment.