Setting the Scene for Your Business Blog Post

“The world of your story is more than just its physical location,” cautions Jeff Gerke of Writer’s Digest.  The first chapter of a book needs to include details that establish in the mind of the reader what is “normal” in this story world. As a classic example of what he means, Gerke refers to the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark". All in the opening scenes, we learn that Indiana Jones is a man of action, that this is going to be an action-adventure story, that it takes place in 1936, that the action will be outdoors, and that there is going to be a comic tone to the tale.

Modern-day movie-goers have probably seen the trailers of a film long before they put themselves in seats at the theater.  For business blog content writers, it’s not quite that simple. Online readers haven’t read “reviews”, and the title of our blog post the first thing they see. Yet, Gerke’s emphasis on establishing the “normal” for your blog world is very relevant to blogging for business.

Nolan Wilson of offers tips for writing engaging blog post titles, including urging writers to “Deliver on your promise in the body of the post.”

Like the “world” of a novel or film, the “world” of a blog post involves a lot more than its location  (in this case its website). “Tone in writing refers to the writer's attitude toward the reader and the subject of the message. The overall tone of a written message affects the reader just as one's tone of voice affects the listener in everyday exchanges," the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab explains.” Tone is present in all communication activities. Ultimately, the tone of a message is a reflection of the writer and it does affect how the reader will perceive the message. "The business writer should strive for an overall tone that is confident, courteous, and sincere,” OWL continues, “and should be written at an appropriate level of difficulty"

In online content writing, the opening lines need to establish that readers have come to the right place to find the information they were seeking. Those opening lines establish the general “setting” for the specific focus of that day’s business blog post. Establishing the setting includes clarifying the “slant” of the post – will readers find “how to” information? A list of sources for products? Some cautions and “don’ts? General definitions and categories?

The world of your story is more than just its physical location on the website.  Establishing what’s “normal” early in each blog post will help your readers relate to the content and decide to take action!

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