The ideas highlighted in this week’s Say It For You blog posts were sparked by Tony Rossiter’s Effective Business Writing in Easy Steps. “Whether you’re drafting a lengthy company report or sending a short email to colleagues, it’s vital to get it right,” cautions Rossiter, defining “right” as meaning clear and concise prose, in a style that’s acceptable to your readers.
Different layouts fulfill different purposes, Tony Rossiter explains, such as:
- Attracting attention
- Saving space
- Selling something
- Summarizing a topic
- Raising questions
Good, clear layout is essential, the author cautions. “Remember that every line on every page is the result of someone’s conscious layout decision.”
Layout applies to business blogs in different ways, with one of those being the Calls to Action.
- There should be more than one CTA, so as to appeal to different readers who might be at different. Stages in the sales cycle. Those ready to buy can do that right away. Those who need more information before making a decision can choose to pick up the phone. There should be something for those not quite ready for even a phone conversation – they might be guided to watch a video or read an article, for example.
- The CTAs themselves can be in different formats, with some in the text, some in separate “boxes”, and with different CTA’s linking to different landing pages or sign-up pages.
If the purpose of the blog post is to attract attention at first glance, you may wish to use special formatting:
- Put the opening sentence in bold or in italics
- Use the first sentence as the entire first paragraph
- Center the first sentence (rather than justifying it to the left with the rest of the text)
The content of the opening sentence, in addition to the formatting, can be designed to grab readers’ attention:
- Begin with the conclusion, using the remainder of the blog post to “prove” the validity of that bold assertion
- Raise a challenging question in the opening sentence, then use the post to propose an answer.
Every line on every page should in fact be the result of YOUR conscious content and layout decisions!