Updated: Apr 20, 2019
Stilted and boring corporate speak on a company website is always an immediate turn-off. The lack of emotion brings a cold hard feel to business proceedings rather than the warm, empathetic embrace it should be.
Companies that insist on placing financial reports and chairman's annual statements on the front pages think more of pleasing investors and their self serving importance than they do of you, the lowly customer. Or at least that is how it seems.
So that you don't make the same mistake as them or try to be something you are not I've helped you out with my secret sauce guide to supercharge your writing and creating an outstanding blog.
1. Define Your Reader
Buyer personas are what marketing people create to help visualise the target audience for a product or service. If it sounds like a marketing step too far for you, then it needn't be, pick one of your best customers as the buyer persona and write for them. Write as if you are talking to them directly in your voice and keep them in mind whenever you write content for your website.
For whom am I writing? You! You are the person I have in mind when I am writing this blog post.
Male or female, a small business owner aged 45-55. Perhaps you started the business on the side, but now it's grown to a £100k – 500k business (or on its way) and now you are looking for ways to get more clients and present a more professional face to the world.
"A new website would be great, and that logo is a bit dated."
If I could start blogging and get over my fear of writing, then I'd have all the customers I could handle. How much is it going to cost? Can I do it without a massive cash investment? Can I get someone to write the blog? I'm not up with all this IT stuff, and I don't have much time, can I get someone to do it all for me?
Is That You? Of Course, It Is!
I'm not Mystic Meg though. To practise my magic I keep the vision of one of my best customers in my mind's eye and write as if I was speaking to directly to them. Because I understand the buyer persona, I know the pain points that need to be addressed, and hence I know what to write.
2. Use Consistent Layout
Using a consistent layout for your blog speaks subconsciously to your reader that you are organised and diligent in your work. When headings are different sizes, font styles are varied or mismatched, and text is poorly laid out it tells your reader that you don't care about your work or you're sloppy.
Fixing this is easy. Create a single article page and then apply all the elements to that page that you'll need in your writing like page headings, headings and paragraph styles. Use this page as a template for all your future writing.
3. Use Grammarly
I came across the Grammarly app several years ago now, and it is one of the best investments any aspiring writer can make. Not only does Grammarly correct simple spelling mistakes and grammatical errors but it also teaches you to compose sentences with better structure. After a few months of use, you'll notice that you present fewer errors at proof time. Grammarly is a writing assistant rather than a simple grammar checker.
I like to write my piece in one go with Grammarly turned off and then present it whole for correction when it is semi-complete rather than keep being interrupted with mistakes as I write, but you might like to offer up paragraphs at a time, to start. This way you can stay focused on your subject and maintain a better writing flow
4. I, We, You And Those Other People
You write blogs in first and second person. Using “I” makes a stronger personal connection with the reader and conveys more emotion. You can use “we” for company blogs.
“You” is the most important word you can use in your blog because it involves the reader in your writing.
Here are some examples:
It's me writing this blog. I'm the one thinking the thoughts, tapping the keys, writing the sentences and making the paragraphs. I like to write in silence, and I won't put my Spotify tunes back on until I've finished my work.
We produce websites. We build many websites. They are terrific websites, we are the best website design Telford agency there is!
Would you like to buy one of our pay monthly websites? They are custom made for you.
5. Familiarity Uses Contractions
Use contractions just like you would as if you were talking to someone in front of you:
I’m – I am
Can’t – cannot
We’ve – we have
She’ll – she will
He’s – he is
Won’t – will not
Weren’t – were not
Wasn’t – was not
Isn’t – is not
Using contractions is not a permanent rule, and sometimes I like to remove it for emphasis or to convey stronger action, particularly if I feel the reader is not paying attention. Yes that's you over there!
6. Do Not Forget The Imperatives!
Bring authority to your writing and write like you are the expert you want to be. If you don't do this, you'll sound like you barely know your subject.