Take a Blog-Writing Tip from 10 Notable Deaths

Elizabeth TaylorThe obituary section of the news is not a place freelance blog content writers would normally go for ideas. Still, there’s something worth noting in articles such as “10 Notable Deaths” by Associated Press – the reporters manage to drill down to the essence of each person’s accomplishments.

As a ghost blogger in Indianapolis, when I offer business blogging assistance, I often refer to blogs as the sound bites of the Internet. In short segments, business owners convey to readers the essence of their accomplishments.  Corporate blog writing means telling readers about the essence of your special knowledge, insights, and beliefs, as well as about the products or services you offer.

In using “10 Notable Deaths” as a model of condensed writing for business, I’d point out that the AP reporter used only 16 words to describe Andy Rooney, 26 for Betty Ford, and 19 for Jack Kevorkian. Still, I found, the obits were hardly impersonal or dispassionate; each managed to evoke a larger portrait, with a taste of the “style” of each notable person.

Elizabeth Taylor is described as “the violet-eyed American film goddess whose sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame and glamour made her one of the last of the classic movie starts and a template for modern celebrity.”

Kim Jong IL’s obit lists him as “North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic leader, whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions dominated world security fears for more than a decade.”

In corporate blogging training sessions I explain that it’s not enough in business blog writing to offer information about the subject.  The information needs to be put into a framework, into context, so that readers can see why it’s relevant to them and to the subject.

Elizabeth Taylor “became a template or model of film celebrity. Jong IL’s nuclear efforts “dominated world fears”. Kevorkian was the “defiant proponent of doctor-assisted suicide”.

Indianapolis bloggers, take a tip from the 10 Notable Deaths.  Online searchers know what they need, but they lack expertise in your industry.  They need your help drilling down to the essence of what you know, what you do, and how you can be of benefit to them.

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