How to Write about Business without Being Boring
Emails, messages, articles, blog posts — everything you write at work can say a lot about your business. Explicit writing makes readers want to come back for more. Conversely, complicated, and dumb writing makes them tuned out and switches them off.
A successful business owner has to understand his/her target audience. The same can be said about effective essay writing. It begins with knowing everything possible about your readers.
Effective writing is easily understandable. To make the content plain, use brief sentences, common vocabulary, and clear formatting. Make your resource easy to read, easy to comprehend, and easy to navigate. Here are some ways of making your business writing even more readable.
Talk like a human, not a business
When you write in the first person, the content feels personal and more inviting than the one written in the cool and aloof third person. Instead of using the corporation’s name, like “Alex & White is a company that suggests…” write something like, “We will give you…”
Do not hesitate to begin sentences with imperatives like “Buy,” “Join,” “Download.” Or conjunctions (like I just did). This way, you will make the writing plainer and more appealing. Moreover, it is how people speak in real life.
Check if your writing sounds like a corporate-speak by reading it aloud. If it sounds natural to you, it will likely sound the same to the reader.
Do not use too complex phrases. Remember that overblown language is embarrassing. It leaves your audience cold — and potentially confused. Prefer brief, more familiar words rather than long and difficult ones. And explain things in an easily understandable way.
Make your writing glanceable
Most of the writing is now read on a smartphone screen — through social media, messengers, or email. The readers are usually busy, distracted, and on-the-go. For this reason, it is vital to make the content glanceable — it will help grab and keep the attention of the reader.
By the way, only less than 20% of people read every word of the text. The majority will just skim the screen and pick out the keywords and sentences.
To help such readers understand your writing, use smart formatting — informative subheadings, bullet points, tables, and diagrams. Structure your text in short sentences and paragraphs.
Get to the point
Tell busy people what is the most important right away, and they will keep coming back. It is helpful to think like a journalist: what is the number one thing your audience has to know? Figure it out and say it first. Then just build out from there, keeping the key points up top.
List human benefits instead of product features
By peppering your text with product features, you will make your readers stay away, even if you add plenty of adjective-stuffing. The reason is that people have no time to unpack what features mean.
For example, a “luxurious cotton-merino blend fabric” may sound great, but what does it matter in a skirt? And what are the benefits for your reader? Conversely, by spelling out the benefits, you do the hard work for the reader: “Keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, due to its cotton-merino blend.”
When Apple launched its iPod in 2001, they ran with: “1,000 songs in your pocket.” And it was the best ad possible that also focused on human benefits, not on the device’s features.
Visualize your readers as you write for them
Before starting to write your text, think thoroughly about who you are writing for. Even if your task is to create a letter to 10,000 people, imagine that you are writing to just one person. You have to get a clear understanding of who are they and do they actually want from this letter. Your task is creating the text that is the perfect balance of accessible and informative.