One of the many delights of my work as professional ghost blogger derives from the discovery of "word tidbits" in other people’s writing. A year ago, when I was just starting this "Say It For You" blog about blogging for business, I composed a blog post about a word tidbit I’d heard in a radio broadcast about rising food prices, remarking that shoppers were going "from meat to mustard". In four small words, that reporter had managed to condense the entire issue of food price inflation and produce a powerful image in listeners’ minds.
In the year since then, I’ve tried to make my blog a go-to source for the how-to’s of business blogging. To do that, I’ve been sharing technical advice, content ideas for blogs, tips on SEO and on how blogs coordinate with websites, and links to some blogging mavens’ books and informational websites.
Last week, as I was reading through my issue of the Indianapolis Business Journal (That’s where my financial planning advice columns appeared for almost twenty years, so I have special fondness for IBJ and for the people who make things happen on its pages.), I came across another of those wonderful word tidbits. A really good word tidbit hits you smack between the eyes; in just a couple of words, it conveys an entire situation. This one came from IBJ publisher Chris Katterjohn’s Commentary.
Katterjohn was talking about his hopes that Carol D’Amico, now senior advisor for education and work-force development in our state, will be able to improve Indiana’s productivity and "move the needle on the state’s education dashboard". "Make no mistake", concludes Katterjohn, "that needle needs to be moved". What a powerful word picture, I thought, referring to that needle-on-the-dashboard image – a state-wide economic and educational system challenge captured in six short words!
The point I’m trying to make is this: Sometimes we get too busy doing business. We get so tied up in manufacturing or distributing a good, marketable product, or providing a good, marketable service, we forget how much help the right words can be. That’s true not only for blogging, of course, but for all customer communication. The right words go a really long way towards getting people to get stuff done.
In fact, when it comes to web-based communication websites and blogs, words are a business owner’s only tools. My advice to bloggers, then, is this: Give your readers some real meat-and-potatoes information on your subject in every one of your blog posts, but, every once in a while, try to wow ’em with a special word tidbit!