I’m searching online for information about something I need, and I’ve just clicked onto your business blog. You’ve got thirty seconds to convince me I’ve come to the right place…Use plain language, please. Ready, set, go!
Karen Zwick, president of 1st Class Solutions, says the principal goal of plain language is to meet the needs of a document’s reader, not those of the writer. Never was that statement truer than when it comes to business blogs. Three of Zwick’s plain-writing guidelines read like Page One of a "How To Blog for Business" manual:
Keep a single, specific purpose in mind. As I pointed out in Enuf Is Enuf In Blogs, blog audiences tend to be scanners, not readers. The blog needs to offer just enough information to entice searchers to visit your website to find out more.
A second blogging application for this single-purpose rule is this: Narrow down your target audience. Figure out what those people need and want that you have, or that you do. (You may do lots of other things that appeal to other groups of consumers. Set up a different blog for those, and a different "landing page" on your website for them.)
Use personal pronouns. Blogs are more casual and conversational than other marketing pieces. Your readers, as I explained in Don’t Tap Dance Around In Your Blog, want to "meet" the person behind the blog. Allow your passion to shine through, sending a clear message: "I and my team will be taking care of you!"
Bloggers, I say: "Above all, create no confusion!" When it comes to web-based communication, words, along with pictures, are a business’ only tools. As a professional ghost blogger, I work with words, turn phrases, and look for the "wow" factor. Above all, though, my job is to communicate, as plainly and directly as possible, how your business helps its clients and customers.
If business jargon is bad, it’s even worse in blogs. Searchers came to your blog to "find out" stuff, not to "ascertain", to get "help", not to "facilitate". You want them to "use", not "utilize" your services and products. You offer the "best", not the "optimum" of each. You help clients "plan", not "facilitate", and you do that "by", not "by means of" being great at what you do.
It’s important to add that…Not! (If it’s that important, just go ahead and add it!)
Please, get rid of gobbledygook in your blog!