There’s a fine art to writing for business. Finding the perfect mid-ground between a sales pitch and a conversation is much more difficult than it looks.
Thankfully, the Blogiverse is here to help you with copywriting. Since blogs became popular enough for your neighbor’s cat to have one, many people have discovered that writing for the web is a skill that can be easily developed with as little as an internet connection and some perseverance. Whilst it’s true that more bloggers have chosen to ignore their lack of skill and continue posting anyway, amongst the good ones are a number of blogs that have turned their attention to the tricks of the copywriting trade.
Copyblogger has some clever stuff on it. Go read the post ‘How to create better content: treat your customers like dogs’ and you’ll see what I mean. Luckily, it also avoids focussing too much on the opinions and lives of the authors, a common problem with blogs like this. Inevitably, there are ads. You should be able to pick your way around those.
The blog at Copywriting.com is excellent, too (with a URL like that, how could it not be?). The site tackles writing schedules, ways around unsightly grammar rules, and how to drive people through your site, amongst other useful stuff. Most posts refer specifically to business blogging, but the tips are useful for any kind of business writing online.
The Business Writing blog takes a broader approach. It touches on marketing copy occasionally, but includes tips on email formality, writing e-newsletters, and generally tightening the nuts and bolts of writing in a professional environment. In other words, it starts with the basics, which is helpful if you’re new to business writing.
Anthony Madigan’s Art of Business Writing may well be the most useful of the bunch. Sometimes copy bloggers use their posts as an outlet for the verbal diarrhea that isn’t allowed in their day job. Not so here. Madden gives clear, concise, readable bursts of information. There’s no advertising, and he manages to avoid any explicit self-promotion. This blog is a pleasure to read.
Invariably, these sites do have an ulterior motive: to convert readers into clients and make money for the authors. The way they do it is a useful tip in itself: try offering something valuable for free and watch your click-rate soar.