Turning Annoyance Into Advantage in Business Blog Writing


Earlier this week, my Say It For You blog focused on how-not-to tips when it comes to annoying blog readers. While as Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman point out in National Geographic, few scientists have explained the mild anger we call annoyance, we content writers know annoyance is not the reaction we’re seeking from our readers.

That very annoyance, though, can be turned to our advantage in business blog content writing. One way to form a bond with customers is by commiserating about their daily pain, identifying something that customers hate, empathizing with readers’ unhappy plight, and then offering solutions.

To be sure, our content itself has the potential of rubbing readers the wrong way. People generally don’t like to have their assertions and assumptions challenged, even when they came to a website seeking information on a particular subject. That’s because part of us resents being told that something we’d taken for granted is in fact a lie. Empathizing with prospects’ annoyance without putting them “in the wrong” is the sweet spot for which writers need to aim.

Searchers on the web may be frustrated by poor results they’ve experienced in the past or by a series of searches which turned out to be non-productive for them. Still they may not be ready to make a commitment.  If, in your business blog, you can convey the idea that there are different levels of involvement possible, and that “ultimate decisions” need not be made the moment a potential client or customer “steps into” your website, visitors can overcome any initial annoyance.

For a salesperson, an objection from a prospect means there is enough interest to engage with you (and share their annoyance), says Steli Efti in blog.close.com, meanwhile giving you the opportunity to demonstrate that you understand their concerns.

Certainly, on the content creation end, we’re aiming for annoyance minimization. On the other hand, readers’ frustration, dissatisfaction, and annoyance is precisely what drives them to seek the very solutions our blogging clients stand ready to provide.

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