(Ping! Zine Issue 31) – The internet has always had a unique, often times strange, language of its own. For example, those unfamiliar with 133t speak would have absolutely no idea what “n00b” means, just as those who don’t know a foreign language would be confused if it was spoken in front of them. While internet language might be hard to break into for many, writing for the internet isn’t nearly as difficult. Though there is a contextual difference, writing for the blogosphere doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you follow a few simple rules.
1. Keep it Conversational
Unlike writing the About Us page on your business website, writing for your blog should remain lighthearted, conversational, and relatable. Use language that anyone, from a 6-year-old to a 60-year-old, could understand.
For example, if you’re writing about manufacturing, don’t use technical phrases that only a seasoned professional could comprehend. Relate to them, as they are your readership! Remember, in blogging you can use colloquial phrases, mention television commercials, and slather on the slang. 😉
2. Make it Interesting
Again, writing for the blogosphere is different than writing for your business website. When you’re writing that About Us page, you can puff your company up with tons of facts, information, and statistics. But when you’re writing in a blog, your audience isn’t going to want statistics unless it directly affects their lives as well.
So if you sold 60% more hubcaps this year than last, tell a funny story about how you started the business, an event where something memorable happened, or even an anecdote about how hubcaps are like hotdogs. Your readers will appreciate the interesting stories that make your business what it is.
3. Show, Don’t Tell
Blogging is 80% about telling stories and relating to a readership, but there’s 20% left unaccounted for. This is where pictures, music, and links come into play. This is one of the big differences between article-writing for content and blogging to reach an audience – when you write articles or informational website content, you are just telling the facts. But when you blog, you are sharing with your audience, so use the internet’s many tools to help you along the way.
One of the most successful forms of blogging for companies, in my opinion, is sharing company party photos, staff introductions, or side project sneak peeks. So if you hold an office Holiday party or company picnic, take video and photos and post them on your blog. Your customers will love getting to know your organization by seeing you interact with your staff.
Also, just remember that blogging is about attention spans, so putting photos in a blog will definitely help those who, like me, are visual readers. 😉
4. Don’t Advertise
I know it’s hard, but this is another main difference between writing for the blogosphere and writing for articles – in articles, you can blatantly advertise your services, whereas in blogs, your audience will not be interested if they think you’re out for self-promotion. Blogging started out as internet diaries, so the more of that aspect you can bring into your language the better!
5. Offer Advice
Even if customers can’t use your services right away, they will appreciate alternative advice about products and services they can use in the meantime. This doesn’t mean you should send them to competitors, but for example if you’re in the web hosting business, you might offer your customers a URL to WordPress, the free blogging service. If they enjoy that service, they may come to use yours when they are ready in the future.
These are simple writing tips, so keep them in mind as you start your own business blog, and remember to update as frequently as you are able with helpful, relative, friendly content that your future and current customers will look forward to reading.
Article written by Tiara Rea (Ping! Zine Magazine Issue 31)