In many ways, a well written blog article is like any other piece of writing. A topic, an introduction, some useful facts, and a conclusion.
There are, however, some key components to keep in mind when writing your article. Simplicity and readability are two factors that play a large role in getting your information across.
Studies have shown that the average attention span today is around eight seconds, approximately the same as a gold fish. With attention spans so short, if an article can’t be read quickly and easily, a reader is likely to get distracted and head elsewhere.
When writing an article for a business, the best ones are ones that simply offer information to the consumer.
The goal of your article is not necessarily to sell your product outright; rather, it is to simply engage the reader and begin the process of building trust.
Research shows that when consumers are able to verify information through other sources, they are far more likely to trust not only that content, but the company it comes from. This sounds like common sense, but it also means linking sources and sticking to facts, not salesmanship.
When you're writing a blog article, simplicity is key
A good blog article is concise and uses simple language, easily accessible to a wide audience.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, less than half of U.S. adults can read at an eighth-grade reading level.
With this in mind, keep the language of your article as simple as possible. Remember, there is no need to prove how intelligent you are by using every vocabulary word you’ve ever learned.
An article’s main purpose for a company is to reach as large an audience as possible. Keeping your article simple will ensure that you don’t alienate half your readers or potential customers.
You'll also need to offer some value
If you’ve been fortunate enough to get a reader onto your page, an article with worth is more likely to keep them reading than one full of fluff.
How many times have you clicked away from a page because it had nothing worth reading about?
If an article is interesting, entertaining, or informative, the reader is more likely to stay on your page and look for more.
Remember, your article is intended for your company’s target audience, not the company itself. The reader is there because they are searching for information, and by providing it, you begin to establish trust.
Odds are, somebody chose your article because they were already interested in what you offer. By building trust with the reader, you increase the likelihood they will look to your company in the future. With a little luck, this will transition to future sales.
If you are a business and you’re looking to attract customers, a blog article is not the time or format to give a sales pitch. Blog articles are about building trust among your clients, and offering useful information is the best option.
Oh, and make sure to avoid passive language and acronyms (if possible)
When writing an article for a company, commonly used words and phrases need weeded out.
A business’s blog article should avoid such first-person words as “I, we, our, us, etc.” These words put the author first and reader second. Meaningful, helpful content is the goal, not personal opinions.
The sentence, “The ball was being kicked by the girl”, is better phrased as, “The girl kicked the ball.” “The campers were attacked by a dozen rabid bears,” would read better as “A dozen rabid bears attacked the campers.”
Avoid using too many acronyms.
Although sometimes needed, readers quickly begin to tune out and pass over sentences, paragraphs, or even whole articles that are filled with them. It’s generally best to just type out the needed terms, especially if you’ll only be using it once or twice in the article.
If it’s a longer term you will be using frequently, be sure to properly introduce it properly. The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued new electricity guidelines, for instance.
Introducing the acronym properly allows those unfamiliar with the abbreviation to follow along.
Remember: An article is NOT a sales pitch
When writing for a business, often times the temptation to advertise within the article will creep in.
Resist this urge however, because this is neither the time nor place to be selling goods and services.
In a survey of 500 business executives by the Economist Group, over 70% stated the content most likely to turn them off felt too much like a sales pitch. Content marketing is about engaging and informing your potential customer, not beating them over the head with an advertisement.
The temptation to sneak in a plug for the company might creep in, but let the content and information speak for itself. If the reader is already reading your article, they don’t need an advertisement; they’re already looking for what your offer.
Keeping your articles easy to read and useful for consumers goes a long way towards building brand trust and, ultimately, making a sale.