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Business Blog Content Writing – a Different Kind of Advice

 

You won’t find this holiday travel advice anywhere else,” asserts Christopher Elliott in the Indianapolis Star.  You’ve heard it hundred times: book early, prepare for bad weather, on and on. Elliott’s on a different wave length with his advice on how to behave and how to book, and how to travel.

First, he says, “Be kind to others.” In this time of road rage and in-flight altercations, that’s not common, but you should try to be that way, Elliott advises. “Look before you book”, doing your due diligence on tickets and accommodations “Be careful out there…understand where you are going, the population, the manners, the dress.”  “Stay a little longer” and “Treat your stress before it ruins your trip” are two other pieces of unconventional advice.

Good advice, Mr. Elliott. The whole concept of offering advice that’s out of the ordinary – that’s great advice for business blog content writers, to be sure. And the way he offers advice in this article – I like that, too.  It’s advice readers can use, right now. More than that, the author’s explaining the reasons behind each piece of advice and backing up the information with statistics.

A few years ago, in a Harvard Business Review article on advice-giving, the authors made the point that “those who give advice effectively wield soft influence—they shape important decisions while empowering others to act.” But the advice-givers, they must be engaged listeners, learning from the problems that people bring them.

I’ve often mused that, out of all the possible advertising and marketing tactics a business or professional practice might use, blogging’s way ahead of the pack – because it attracts customers who want to be sold. In fact, it’s the close match between the type of advice the searcher wants and what you know about that accounts for your meeting them in the first place!

I remember business coach and author Jim Ackerman saying that “Any business owner needs to be able to start a sentence with “I am the only ___________ in ___________ who _________”.  One of the principles of blog writing that we teach at Say It For You is differentiating yourself.  Does this company or practice do things faster? Operate at a lower cost? Make fewer errors? Offer greater comfort? Provide a more engaging experience?.

What advice can business blog content writing offer that “you won’t find anywhere else”?

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Does Your Business Blog Offer Advice That Sticks?

 

blog advice that sticks

“Helping people do sensible things with their money is just as hard as getting people to do the right things for their health,” Moira Somers tells financial advisers in the Journal of Financial Planning. Financial planners’ advice, she believes, is too often unskillfully given. (As business blog content writers, I wondered, are we falling into that same trap?)

The field of adherence research, Somers points out, has led to a revamping of medical education. What would make it easier for patients to do the right thing? In financial planning, she adds, advisers “contribute mightily” to the problem of advice being ignored. Key advice-giving “sins” she names include:

  • using incomprehensible jargon
  • disregarding the emotional side of the client experience
  • acting as though the prospect lives in a social vacuum
  • failing to plan for “non-adherence”
  • dominating meetings by talking too much
  • take a judgment-laden stance towards clients

Valuable to-dos we promotional business writing professionals can glean from this article:

  1. Make all content as free of professional jargon and specialized lingo as possible.
  2. Aim for shorter “meetings” (break technical information into bite-sized pieces).
  3. Do not assume understanding of critical points. Offer anecdotes and focused testimonials to prospects can really “see” the advantages of what we offer.
  4. Make it clear that we have an understanding of our target readership’s needs.
  5. Project warmth, showing our “human side”.
  6. Use clear typeface, bullet points and bolding to draw attention to important points.
  7. Suggest questions readers can ask themselves while choosing among options.

    It matters where on the page we put our Calls to Action in each blog post. I often remind business bloggers to provide several options to readers, including “read more”, “take a survey”, “comment”, or “subscribe. On websites with no e-commerce options, of course, “Contact” is the ultimate reader “compliance” step

“Does your advice stick?“ Moira Somers asks financial planners. “Learn strategies for giving advice that clients will follow,” she concludes.

Does your business blog offer advice that sticks?

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