In this post, you are going to learn a comprehensive list of business writing tips to take your organization to the next level in 2019.
Let us be clear; these are not lame ‘business writing tips for 2019’.
Instead, the article is going to show you examples, tested strategies that have been working in the past and will work even better come 2019.
So, if your focus is to boost your business writing game in 2019, you will love the tips. But, since we cannot cover all the tips in one post, the post will divided into parts.
1. Brevity (less is better)
“Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.” -Cicero
Good business writing can break or make your organizations. Experts believe that brevity is a unique virtue in writing especially for business emails and speeches. Business people are busy, and they do not like wasting time.
Brevity ensures that your audience reads the most important information before losing interest. A survey done by Buffer noted that “55% of your audience read your content for 15 seconds or less.”
2. Avoid Jargon
Avoid using jargon or foreign language if it does not help to deliver the message. Better yet, avoid tired business words altogether. Phrases like, ‘keep one’s eye on the ball’ may sound sophisticated, but your content will be clearer if you use plain language.
“Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be said can be said clearly.”- Ludwig Wittgenstein
Clarity in writing is the quality of being clear and easy to understand. Exceptional business writers follow the concept of newspapers in writing. If possible, spread out your paragraphs to avoid complexity.
Business people have the behavior of using $ 10 dollar words to feel smarter. But, if you can say 5 words in 2 words, do that. Create value in your business content through clarity.
One thing we always do in academic and business writing is planning. Why do we do this? Whether you are writing a technical business report or simple recommendation letters, planning makes your writing extensive.
In fact, you should spend more time planning than writing or drafting. Here at Viselance, we encourage our readers and writers to spend 40% of their time planning, 20% researching and the remaining time writing and revising. In fact, planning helps you to remember everything when writing and it makes it easier for you to correct errors.
5. Don’t tell the audience, show them
Want your organization to stand out through content? Take them on an adventure. Unique business writers understand that writing is a journey. For this reason, before even writing the introduction, they have the end in mind, and you should embrace that too. How do you achieve that?
Be honest about your journey and encourage the audience to engage through your content. Speech writing is one of the unique ways you can call your audience to adventure. Think of your business content as a story. In this case, just like good stories, good business writing leaves the audience satisfied with the feeling that they received something valuable.
6. Proofread thrice
Perfection is important in business writing. The quality of your content speaks much about your organization. Do not put poorly written content out there because it may ruin your brand. Proofreading is not the same as editing and you should
7. Generate a good headline
Ever wondered why certain content dominates while other ‘more important’ go unnoticed? In fact, many popular media such as print publication or TV shows reflect and provide their audience with the headlines that matter to them most. This has been true for the last ten years, and it is true today.
When writing print ads, the headlines are the single most important elements. It is important for you to spend 80% of your energy and resource on creating headlines. It is recommended that you write a couple of headlines and choose a few.
8. Use titles and gender wisely
Titles and genders are extremely important to business people. For this reason, you should think about it well. Gender is a complicated thing.
When using gender such as ‘male or female’ and titles such as ‘Mr and Mrs’ be sure to remember that people are sensitive to them. If you do not understand how gender works, use gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they.’
It is important for you to understand that using gender-neutral pronouns does not prevent you from communicating your message.
9. Know your audience
Ever wondered why reporters do such a perfect job in reaching audiences of all types? Because they follow the 5W’s and H in their technique.
When writing important content like newspaper articles or digital ad copy, you should brainstorm by asking who, what, when, where, why and how.
The questions should not only help in creating a lead paragraph, but they should also help in writing the outline. When you are done with your writing, ask yourself the same questions again. If you have answers to all the six questions, then you have achieved your intended goal.
10. Have a clear call to action
When writing business emails, you need to make your intentions clear. A clear call to action not only increases engagement, but it also eliminates confusion.
A call to action acts like a signpost in your webpage or email, and they help the users know what to do next. Without a clear call to action, you might not achieve your business objective. If you are looking to increase sales through your content, you can’t ignore the call to action.
11. Solve problems
Good business writing solves problems for the audience instead of promoting products or services. When the audience sees that you are focused on solving their pain points, they are more likely to trust your brand and buy from you.
Besides, writing problem-solving business content add value to the reader’s life even if they will not buy from you. Here at Viselance, our business writers focus their content on solving the reader’s problem by first understanding the audience and their pain points.
However, we have noticed that many organizations do not concentrate on solving problems. Even worse, they do not understand their audiences’ problems. You can write exceptional content, but understand whether your content is useful to the audience is not easy.
12. Hire a writer if you are busy
Writing quality and reader-oriented content is not easy. If you are not an expert business writer, do not focus your energy on writing content that will affect your brand’s image. Hire trained or even talented writers.
You cannot do everything on your own, and sometimes you need help. Here at Viselance, we let the talented writer help you reach your audience through quality content so that you can focus on the core elements in your business.
13. Have a purpose
Does your business create content just for the sake of it? Perhaps you heard that the secret to reaching Google’s top page is to write 300-words blog regularly. Well, we are sorry to inform you that you are doing it the wrong way.
But do not worry, many business writers are guilty of the same vice. You web content or even white paper should be working to the wider goal of informing and converting leads to customers.
There are four reasons why businesses write content: i) To get links ii) to inform the audience iii) to drive engagement and lastly, iv) to rank on google. We recommend our writers to discuss with the customers and choose one or two purposes when writing their content.
14. Format properly
Formatting your business documents properly says a lot about your brand. In most cases, the Associated Press (AP) style is the go-to method for formatting business content.
If you do not understand AP style, you need to learn it. To learn about AP style, refer to the AP Stylebook but do not focus on memorizing it.
Ever wondered why motivational content is so powerful? Research shows that motivational content taps into our social psyches.
You can agree with us that motivation is something everyone needs whether they are successful or not.
16. Use drafts
Sometimes you may feel like the first draft is of little to no value in your writing. When writing, do not proofread yet. Drafts help you to put all your ideas on paper without forgetting. In fact, drafts are the starting points for any great writer.
Whether you are writing an e-book or whitepaper for your business, you need to understand the importance of drafts. The good thing about using drafts is that once you begin writing, ideas start flowing.
“Write drunk, edit sober” Ernest Hemingway.
Ernest Hemingway is arguably one of the most popular writers in history. He believed in editing the draft to simplicity.
17. Have a strategy
Writing resumes and curriculum vitae is not an easy task for many business leaders. More importantly, career seekers worry that they do not have enough skills to write good application letters.
Working with thousands of professional here at Viselance, we have learned that the main problem begins before the writing commences.
A business professional may deliver beautifully designed resumes or letter, but lack the skills to deliver content. To remain competitive in the business world, you need to have a strategy for every piece of writing you put out there.
“A good writing strategy is like a business strategy. It sets for you the guiding principles that will drive your creative and decision-making process.”-Viselance
18. Avoid the writer’s block
According to Wikipedia, the writer’s block is the condition of being unable to think of what to write when you need to write.
The biggest causes of the writer’s block are poor timing and perfection. Many business writers concentrate on perfection instead of the message. While perfection is not necessarily wrong, it may drag your creative process.
“Great writers are not perfectionists, great writer’s progress”- Viselance
Quit the urge to want perfect content. Improve your skills over time, and people will appreciate you for that.
Additionally, poor timing causes the writer ’s block. Avoid writing when you are bored, tired or sleepy.
We conducted a study from 50 of our best business writers, and we asked them what the best time to write was.
76% of the respondents stated that the best time to write is in the morning when the mind is fresh. If you have a sale letter that requires a lot of creative, better write it in the morning and edit it at night.
19. Hire a business writing trainer
Want to improve your business writing skills? Invest in yourself.
As you climb up your career ladder, it is important to ensure that your written communication is excellent. However, many business professionals still believe that the skills they learned in college are relevant.
The bad news is that this might be costing you millions, but the good news is that you can hire a business writing coach. A good coach will hold your hand step-by-step until you are comfortable in writing. Good training can make or break the success of your career or organization.
20. Use transition words
Like the millennial, business people get bored easily. As a professional, you do not want to write a business case or even a proposal that loses the reader.
Transition words act like bridges, and they help to connect your sentences and paragraphs. The words include, however, although, moreover among others. Use formal transition words in your business writing.
Great content can build lasting relationships for your existing and potential customers. Imagine how much impact good content can have on your prospects and leads.
Which among this tips do you think is the most important ?