Are you an accountant, lawyer, doctor, or other professional who is starting a blog?
My highest educated professional clients are the hardest to get set up successfully with a blog.
Probably because they know how to write proper English sentences and paragraphs. Their high school English teacher’s admonitions never leave their consciousness, and every sentence has to be a perfectly-crafted, grammatically correct masterpiece. They’re great traditional writers!
The result of their Herculean labor generally is a block of gray-looking text which no self-respecting Internet surfer is going to read. The written insights may be both brilliant and helpful, but the pearls of wisdom just aren’t going to be read. The author hasn’t caught on to the unwritten rules of blogging.
Here’s what I tell my clients to do:
- Approach blogging like you were writing a magazine ad not like you were writing an essay.
- Go for short, visually easy to absorb bits of information.
- Limit your post to <400 words or so.
Shorter is okay. Longer is a waste of your time, because Internet visitors have no attention span. Your 2000-word blog post that reveals the cure for cancer starting at word 650 is not going to earn you the Nobel Prize. No one will have read that far.
- Use bullets.
- Use graphics.
- Use white space.
The blogosphere is an electronic elevator you get into and have to convince your fellow passengers to hire you in the time it takes for you to reach the ground floor. Your posts need to be pithy, catchy elevator speeches. If you have long and intricate how-to instructions, link to them from your blog so the folks really interested can get the details while the average surface-surfing blog reader will remain impressed with how intelligent and witty you sound.
It’s okay to think of your Internet readers as selfish beautiful people at a cocktail party. They’ll talk with you as long as you’re helping them and being quick about it. Even if you have a fantastic story.