Let’s be clear—I’m not saying that bloggers are bad writers. Content is still king and shows no sign of relinquishing the throne anytime soon, especially since Google has made it their personal mission to take badly-written websites out to the woodshed.
However, business blogging is a different animal than standard business writing, and those good habits you’ve picked up over the years might just prove a liability when it comes to providing content for your company blog.
Blog Articles Are Written Backwards
In traditional writing, it’s perfectly acceptable to tease with an introduction and build up to your point. However, blog readers typically have a lot of articles to choose from, and you have to let them know up-front whether or not yours is worth the time and effort. This means starting with your conclusion, and then working backwards to explain it.
Blog Articles Are Conversational
In a lot of ways, business writing is informed by old-school journalism. It’s dry, detached, and sticks to the facts. However, the most successful bloggers have shown us that it’s possible to let your personality shine through and still be professional. When you blog, write in your own voice and try to imagine that you’re talking to your readers, not lecturing at them.
A Title Can Make or Break a Blog Article
The titles of technical documents, sales reports, white papers, and other forms of business writing need to be descriptive and accurate. However, blog article titles also need to be short and catchy, and have to appeal to the search engines as well as your readers. Blog article titles aren’t easy, which is why a lot of pundits suggest spending as much time on your headline as you do on the article itself.
Blog Articles Work Best in Bite-Sized Chunks
Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, blog articles aren’t intended to be extensive or exhaustive. The idea is to get in, make your point, and get out in 350-700 words. Ideally, you can use subheadings, graphics, lists, and other elements to break your article up into even more manageable bits.
In Blog Writing, Conclusions Are Optional
Formal writing typically wraps up with a conclusion, where the author summarizes everything he or she has just said. But because blog articles are, by definition, brief and to-the-point, reiterating everything at the end just seems superfluous. So what’s the proper way to end a blog article? Some folks claim the best thing to do is to write until you’re done, and then stop. Others claim ending with a question is a great way to engage readers and start conversations.
What do you think?