As I was looking through the sessions offered at WordCamp this year, a session titled, “Sweet Content Hacks: A Practical Approach for Writing That Sizzles” by Greta K Perel, PhD caught my attention. I was hoping to get some inspirational writing tips for our Sales Services blog and perhaps some ideas on what to write about. I really like writing. The problem I struggle with is coming up with a topic I think my audience will be interested in.
In our session, Greta asks the questions, “How do we break through writer’s block?” and “How can we improve our writing that will engage an audience?”
When you write, have one purpose or one point you want to get across.
Keep in mind what you learned in school about sentence and paragraph structure but don’t be too formal. You should sound like a real person talking to real people. It’s ok to start a sentence with a preposition or use contractions. Because people have become lazy about reading and want to consume a lot of information at one time, it is best to use short paragraphs.
It is important, however, to use correct spelling. Some people are very distracted if they see a misspelled word. Correct capitalization is also important.
Engage your audience by providing a call to action. What do you want them to do as a result of reading your post?
Greta offers 3 office-ready writing tricks:
- AMI Headline Analyzer – Go to aminstitute.com to analyze your headlines. Headlines should have punch and should be concise. Numbers and controversy catch attention.
- Flesch-Kincaid Test – This tells you what level you are writing at. Writing needs to be at a 4th-6th grade level, not because readers are at that level but because they are too lazy to read beyond it. Technical or legal writing will be at a higher level.
- Computer Read-aloud – Listening to your writing in another voice helps you to catch things you wouldn’t catch when reading it in your head, such as typos and extra words like “that” and “so”. It helps to cut down on editing time. Listen while not doing anything else. Don’t read along while listening.
One final thought. You’re not writing to share your passion. You’re writing to solve your audience’s problem.
For more help from Greta Perel, PhD, visit mindfulcopywriter.com.
For some great ideas suitable for any business blog, see Sean Kosednar’s post, “Blog Post Ideas”.