Since we’re in the holiday season, a time for looking back and looking ahead, this week I’ve been looking back on the online content writing topics I had thought most important to bring to readers in those early years of my Say It For You blog.
After a year and a half of posting how-to-write-a-blog advice, in late December of 2009, I was ready to caution business owners, professional practitioners, and freelance blog content writers about three business blogging “Don’ts”.
Once again, I’d taken inspiration from OPW (other people’s writing), this time from Indianapolis Business Journal technology columnist Tim Alton, who was issuing cautions to users of Power Point in business presentations. (As a freelance blog writer, I’d learned that linking to outside sources is a good tactic for adding breadth and depth to my content. Linking to a news source or magazine article, I’d seen, had the effect of adding credibility to the ideas I express on behalf of Say It For You client companies.)
Alton had named three bad habits Power Point users seem to have:
Too much content: Slides work best if they’re used only to cue and remind, he pointed out. Business blog posts, I realized, are the same way, in that they are best kept brief, focused on just one new piece of information, one anecdote, or one how-to.
Too technical for the target audience: Alton suggested tailoring charts and graphs to the client’s own data, but steering the client to think about the information in new ways. One excellent use of SEO marketing blogs, I observed in that year-end blog post, is showcasing the business or practice by taking a new approach to familiar information.
Too “self-conscious” or sales-ey. Alton explained that most speeches can do without Power Point slides altogether, but that one of the purposes is to have take-home material for audience members, in which the “bullet points” points need to be brief and targeted to that specific audience. As a corporate blogging trainer, I offer similar cautions, reminding content writers to keep it about readers and their needs, and less about the business being ”marketed” through blogging.
Three holiday seasons later, I realize, avoiding those three content writing pitfalls still makes for good year-round advice!