Successful Business Writing: Five Critical Ingredients

BrochureI’ve said for years that, in successful business writing, content is the “king.” But every business information king must have a queen, and for business writing, both online and off, the “queen” is QUALITY. Never has it been more critical to take the time to create the high quality information that your visitors and potential customers are looking for. There are no shortcuts: quality content is the crucial ingredient for all effective business writing. To get the quality content that really moves your readers to the “call to action” you need them to take, keep these five key ingredients in mind:

It Must Be Easy To Read and Quick to Absorb
Remember that today, most people skim-read: print or online, people are looking for information fast. Business information readers usually subscribe to dozens of news websites and blogs and have LOTS to read… this makes it easy for them to quickly get bored and move onto the next article on their list – quality copy will keep them reading your material.

So what’s easiest to read? Short paragraphs, subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists. These simple steps make your information easier to read and understand, and it offers structure to help both you and your reader to follow the message right to the call to action.

It Must Be Informative
Just because certain “business writing gurus” claim success by putting out tons of poorly written materials, don’t lose sight of quality writing for your company – either writing you do, or writing you hire out. Readers and search engines are looking past keyword stuffing and spun content. What business readers, and today – search engines, really want is information that answers their questions clearly, informatively, and in an entertaining way.

It Must Be the Right Length
This is a never ending debate: short copy or long copy. The truth is that every article, web page, blog post, or presentation is different. Walk in the shoes of the person looking for the information YOU have: can you give them what they need in just one hundred words? If you can, then that is long enough! Usually you’ll find, however, you’ll need more than that. As long as you keep your article, brochure, web page, blog post, or presentation focused on one single topic without wandering off into different ideas, you will most likely keep your reader’s attention all the way to the end and following your, “call to action.”

It Must Be Natural
Writing that reads naturally while still incorporating a variety of keywords can be a real challenge – but it must be met! The easiest and best solution… don’t worry about it! When you answer questions that your keyword research has found people are actually asking, those keywords will flow naturally in your quality content. You may intentionally add a few extra keywords to catch to attract extra interest, but if your focus is to provide a quality answer to keyword searches with quality content, you will succeed in holding your readers’ – and the search engines – attention all the way through.

It Must Be Current
Much of your content might be considered “evergreen” in that it will still be relevant years from now, so will rarely need updating once it is created and posted or printed. But business readers today, and search engines, are looking for fresh perspective. Take advantage of this fact by keeping up to date on what your readers want to know. You never know when the fresh insight YOU provide will be just what your prospective customer is looking for.

As I said up front: there are no shortcuts! High quality content is what your readers are looking for. So you won’t go wrong to, “take all the time it takes,” to write content that your reader will happily follow to your, “Call to Action.”


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