My friend and fellow blogger Karl Ahlrichs, as usual, is offering excellent advice to employee benefits professionals, and, as usual, I’m finding that his advice works for blog content writers.
“People want the answer in a few, short, well-thought-out words, with a long answer to follow if requested.”
Karl complains that he’d sat in a workshop on voluntary benefits trends that went on for the first five minutes without speaking plain English. “We need to promulgate the histogens and project profitability based on actuarial calculation….yadda, yadda” sort of thing is what he heard.
I’ll tell you – after six years writing blogs and web page content for businesses and professional practitioners of every type, I’ve come to conclusions very similar to Karl’s. Simply put, our challenge as content writers lies in finding the sweet spot between the informative and the yadda yadda.
“We need to get good at the power of summary,” says Karl. He used to think the average adult attention span was three minutes, but then learned from a presentation coach that he had a mere six seconds to make his point with a modern business professional before they mental shut him off. “Yikes!” was Karl’s reaction, shortening the phone message he leaves for prospects to the following: “Hi, I can explain all of Obamacare in 30 seconds. Call me, and I’ll do it for you.”
Given that Karl was making an outgoing “cold call”, while our blog marketing draws inbound traffic based on an already existing interest in our topic, we Indianapolis content writers don’t need to keep our posts to 30 seconds’ worth of reading..
Still, let’s keep reality in mind: people want their answers in a few, short, well-thought-out paragraphs, with longer answers to follow if requested (that’s why we have CTA’s or Calls to Action as part of business blog writing).
Thanks, Karl! We promise not to promulgate the histogens in blogging for business!