Looking for tips for business writers? Here’s one of the best you’ll ever find…
Don’t forget that your readers’ time is precious.
Your audience has other things to do than spend tons of energy getting to the meat of your business article or business book or business blog. There’s work to be done, kids to mind, housework to complete, pets to tend to, and maybe even a little bit of downtime to enjoy.
As much as readers might like you, they’re not taking you out on a date. So unless you’re a self-help type of blogger, they probably didn’t pick up or click on your written presentation to learn all about your quirky habits or just “listen” to the sound of your melodious writing voice.
They picked or clicked to get information about a particular topic for a particular reason. So get to the point. Stat.
Again, there are a ton of great tips for business writers out there. But they’re not going to mean much if you produce publications that don’t deliver as promised in relatively short order.
For example, a book titled How to Market Your Novel shouldn’t spend an entire two chapters detailing how to write a novel. While there may be some readers who want to jump the gun like that, the title blatantly states that it’s about marketing, not writing.
As such, authorial acknowledgement of the writing process can be summed up as succinctly as this:
So you have a properly polished book manuscript on your hands? Congratulations! (If you don’t, stop reading this now and go concentrate on getting that done. Or read this e-booklet and THEN go concentrate on getting it done.)
And… cut! That’s it. There’s no need to go further into it than that.
Or consider a business article about Facebook’s recent Nasdaq nosedive titled “Where Are Facebook Shares Going Now?” It’s perfectly fine – perhaps even downright catchy – to begin on a personal note. Maybe something along the lines of:
I’ve been following Facebook from the beginning of its publicly traded journey. While I didn’t invest in its IPO, I watched every step of its progress there, right down to its mess of a first day. And I’ve watched it ever since, noting success after success and scandal after scandal, all from the comforts of a non-investing perspective. That means my emotions aren’t in the equation when I tell you where it’s headed now.
That’s a pretty solid hook there: 74 words meant to capture readers’ interest and intrigue them enough to continue further into the piece. But part of the reason why it’s solid is because it’s only 74 words.
If this supposed Facebook expert tried to draw out that suspense much longer, it would begin to feel tired and trite. Because readers didn’t click on the article to hear all about the writer’s journey or even Facebook’s past.
They want to know where the stock, and presumably their investment money, is headed. Should they buy on the dip? Should they get out while they still can?
A solid markets-specific business writer will recognize that and keep any other details to a minimum. In fact, a solid any kind of writer will recognize that same principle and keep outside details to a minimum.
They do that because they respect how their readers’ time is precious, as is the point they're trying to make.
As tips for business writers go, you really can’t go wrong with this one.