When I began writing blog posts for business websites, I struggled to find the right tone and format for the audience. Some of my first freelance writing assignments had been for personal finance websites. I was confident writing for people struggling to reduce debt, build savings, and understand how mortgages work. Writing for businesses seemed, well, awkward.
You know what I finally realized? Though I thought I was writing for businesses, I wasn’t really. Because businesses don’t read my words, people do. Whether writing for a retail business owner worried about accepting credit card payments, or a SaaS entrepreneur wondering how to maximize a social media strategy, these five hacks helped me write better blog posts.
Write for your customer
Picture your customer. Notice I didn’t say your target audience. To really write an effective business blog post, you need to write with one person in mind. Do you have multiple customer profiles? Pick one. Picture her clearly.
You should know her demographic information, how she spends her day, and the top challenges she faces regarding her business. Give her a name, and write your post with her in mind. When you sit down at the keyboard, write for her specifically.
Answer a question
Once you have a clear picture of your reader, consider the question or problem that will lead her to your post. How does she articulate this question? What phrases and terminology does she use?
Writing your post to answer her question helps to communicate your ideas in language she is familiar with.This will make her feel like you understand her and have something in common with her. Pay special attention to the language of your post if your industry uses a lot of obscure acronyms. I’m not saying don’t use them, but explain each one in your reader’s language the first time you include it.
Tip: Use your reader’s question as the title of your blog post.
Be simple and precise
Business people are busy people. When they arrive at your business blog, they want a solution to a problem and they want to find it, understand it, and start it as quickly and easily as possible.
Get to the point quickly. In your introduction, tell your reader what you are going to tell them. Break up the body of your post into steps or tips, and use bullet points or numbers within a step or tip if needed. Create short and easy-to-remember subheadings. Be precise about each action your reader should take.
Write like a person not a business
One of the best ways to connect with your reader is to write like an individual who experienced the same problem they are facing. Share your story as an example of how the tips you listed helped to answer the question when you struggled with it. Alternatively, describe how you solved a problem for a client by applying the steps you just outlined in your post.
Include a short list of resources
If a reader arrives at your business blog via a search engine they want very specific information. Your post turned up as a potential answer to their burning question. Give them the best answer as simply and clearly as you can.
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Make it an easy decision for your reader to return to your post repeatedly by including a short list of valuable links. While I often include links within the text of business posts, I have found I get more repeat traffic to posts with a separate resource section.
Be direct. Tell your reader to bookmark your post and come back often. Like this.
Resources on Writing Better Business Blog Posts
Bookmark and return often!
So there you have it, the blogging hacks that improved traffic and engagement on my business posts. Provide practical, actionable advice in an easy-to-read format. Use language your business customer relates to. Show how your solutions work with a real-world example. And share links to more information that will save your reader time or money with a short resource section.
What did I miss? Share your best business blogging hacks in the comments section below.