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Blog Note

Know the language – This is the price of admission. If you don’t have a solid handle on the language in which you’re blogging, then I’ve got some bad news for you. You’re probably never going to be a very good blogger. Could you find work as a singer if you were tone-deaf? No. That would be silly. So is trying to be a writer when you don’t know the language.

Write Great Titles – The greatest blog article ever written will remain largely unread and unrecognized if it’s sitting behind a bland title. Readers need to click through to read your article, and the urge to click through and read is created (or not created, as the case may be) by the title. A simple way to improve the quality of your titles is to ask yourself what would get you to click through and read your own article? For example, I wrote an article on my own site about the risks associated with only focusing on the design of a website and not prioritizing the content as well, which is a trap that many small business owners fall into. The obvious, bland, choice for a title would have been something like “Website Content Is Just As Important As Design”. But while it’s certainly true, it’s not very interesting. Instead I decided to call the article How To Waste A Boatload Of Money On Your Website. This is a far more compelling title that pretty much any small business owner would find irresistible.

Know your audience – Different audiences are interested in different things. What interests an analyst at a financial firm inNew York City will almost certainly be different than what interests a single mother inSeattle. An article on the health risks of a certain brand of baby formula would be different depending on your targeted readership. The single mother inSeattle is concerned about her baby. The analyst is looking for stock information. Thus, if your article focuses on the plummeting stock price of the company that makes the baby formula, the single mother probably won’t care, but the analyst might.

Define the pain – If you’re writing on pop culture or current events, then your main challenges are to have your facts straight and be entertaining and/or informative. If you blog for business purposes, however, you have an additional challenge: Getting your readers to shift their interest from your article to your business. There’s a saying in the world of sales that goes “No pain, no sale.” This holds true for business blog articles as well. If you can’t reach into your reader’s mind and connect with some sort of pain, then your article is just another ripple in an ocean of regurgitated information. For example, if your company sells backup software, the pain is not “You should back up your files.” That’s the solution. The pain is “That guy’s computer just crashed and he lost all his files and now he’s screwed.”

Be concise – You’re not be getting paid by the word (you might not getting paid at all, but that’s a topic for another article). Don’t take 100 words to say something you can say with 10 words. Today’s media consumer has a very short attention span. If you fall in love with your own prose, your readers will abandon you long before they get to the end of your article.

Be yourself – My writing style is straightforward and conversational with bits of humor and irreverence sprinkled over the top. It’s often not textbook-perfect from a grammar perspective, but for short, informative articles on topics that might otherwise make people fall asleep from boredom, it serves me (and my readers) well. My writing style is an extension of who I am. If you met me in person I think you’d find that a having a conversation with me feels very similar to reading one of my articles. If I tried to write in some other way, I would probably fail miserably. Let your personality come through in your writing and you will connect with your audience in a way that would be otherwise impossible.

 

About the author: Dan Vuksanovich is the Website Traffic Increaser Guy (http://websitetrafficincreaserguy.com/). He works exclusively with small businesses on getting more targeted web traffic and increasing conversion rates.