It's so frustrating: You work hard running your business. You know your industry inside and out. You offer something that nobody else does. And you take precious time to write about it in your business blog. Yet... nobody is reading. Your social share buttons are untouched. And your comment sections are empty too.
And you're definitely not getting more phone calls or walk-in traffic to justify the time you've invested in writing a new post week after annoying week.
So, why isn't your blog getting the attention it deserves? You know people are looking for the expertise and answers you provide. What are you missing?
You're probably missing something all successful bloggers know how to do: write engaging content. Content so insightful and useful that readers become addicted. Hooked.
You, too, can write engaging content. You just need to make a few adjustments to your writing.
Use the following five methods to write a business blog that totally hooks your readers.
1. Write with all five senses
Include sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Being factual in a business blog is important, but you can present your information in an appealing way. Immerse your reader, make him smell something stinky or hear something that makes him flinch. We are sensory beings. We respond to and remember writing that makes us feel something.
Try this: Trying to gain traction as a blogger can feel like climbing a hill that gets steeper and longer with every step.
Instead of this: It is difficult to write a blog, and also to find readers.
We know what it feels like to climb a hill. It's exhausting. And that feeling immediately gives your reader a sense of the difficulty you're referring to.
2. Get to the point
Start your post with a strong lead. Your reader wants to know whether you understand her needs and will give her the solutions she's looking for. She won't stick around if you start with paragraphs of background information.
Get her hooked right away. She's coming to you for her hit, and she'll get it from someone else if you don't grab her attention.
Try this: Wearing sunscreen will prevent sunburns now and wrinkles in the future.
Instead of this: Sunscreen was first introduced in the 1920s and has undergone many different formulations in the past 95 years. Let's go through all of them.
When you show your reader that you understand her concerns right from the start, she'll want to keep reading.
3. Ignore your English teacher
Mrs. Kelly, my fourth grade English teacher, insisted on formal compositions that had little or no dialogue. That requirement shocked my nine-year-old self. Dialogue was what I most enjoyed.
Looking back now, I know that Mrs. Kelly was encouraging logical transitions and grammatically correct writing.
And those are important.
But they can also make for boring writing that doesn't create a relationship with your reader. You don't have to include dialogue, but you should write like you speak. That means you should vary sentence length, end a sentence with a preposition, or start a sentence with "and" or "but."
Mrs. Kelly would not approve.
Try this: We help you build your business with comprehensive and long-term advice from experienced team members. Our team members have skills. And they're specialized.
Instead of this: The accomplished accountants at Grey, Timeworn and Musty have had decades of experience providing information about reporting requirements, reorganizing tax structures and performing valuations that are achieved using financial and economic information that use quantifiable calculations and tools.
People want to do business with people, not with a company. And when you write like you speak, it sounds approachable, human, interesting.
4. Embarrass yourself
Don't be shy. Put yourself out there by revealing your mistakes. It's more human, and people will remember and identify with what you're saying.
Write like nobody's reading. (Sadly, for most of us, that won't be hard to imagine.)
People love to read something interesting and relatable: So tell me something that went horribly wrong or about a terrible mistake you made. It would be like an accident on the highway. People can't look away.
Try this: When I quit my job to start my business, I told my boss that I never wanted to work for anybody again. Especially a jerk like him.
Instead of this: I made a lot of mistakes when I first started out, but with hard work I am a success today.
When you tell a true story that reveals a weakness or misstep, it creates a connection with your reader. We can empathize because we all blunder at times.
5. Don't be a show-off
Your mom was right. About everything. But especially about nobody liking a show-off.
Show us that you know your stuff, but don't try to impress us with your big, meaningless words. Impress us by using language that is direct and simple.
When you show off with big words and jargon, you put a barrier between us. Or worse: You make us feel dumb. And will we come back to your blog only to feel dumb? Not likely.
Try this: Modern teachers know that students are excited to learn when they are engaged.
Instead of this: 21st-century pedagogy requires a paradigm shift to facilitate student inquiry.
Show us your expertise with clear and concise writing. We want to learn from you, but when you use unfamiliar jargon... you prevent us from learning.
Give your readers their fix
These tips are simple. Just five easy writing tweaks that can transform your posts from forgettable to can't-live-without.
Because you don't want to have just another business blog. You want to write the best business blog in your industry.
And you can do it.
You already have the business expertise and experience. And now you have some specific advice and examples to improve your writing—to make your posts addictive.
So give it a try. Hook your readers and satisfy their cravings. They won't be able to stop themselves from coming back for more.