business writing ideas from Word Constructions      

 

 

welcome to the Word Constructions business ideas newsletter

Hello {name}! Welcome to the July 2012 edition of business writing ideas from Word Constructions - and a new financial year!

Last Friday, I flew interstate to meet with clients. As always, flight attendants were at the  gate to check tickets and the door of the plane to help us find our way to our allocated seats. What was different to any other flight I've been on was having the staff using my name each and every time I showed my boarding pass. Such a simple thing to do, but it does make passengers feel welcome and important.

What little extras can you add to your customers' experiences to make them feel good about doing business with you? The reality is that people buy more than a product or service from us - they also want to feel good about themselves and their decision to use a particular business.

During June, I listened to a couple of webinars and read more business boosk than usual. I enjoy learning and it is nice to make time for that occasionally, rather than just working on projects.

One recent tip I heard was from a webinar about social media. 'Do something nice on social media for someone every day'. Simple to do but it can have a great impact for other people - and therefore potentially for you. I listed a few examples on Facebook, but would love to hear more ideas of nice things to do - what can you suggest?

Until next time, use your words wisely,

Tash                             Tash & Word Constructions on Twitter          Word Constructions on LinkedIn             Tash & Word Constructions on Facebook             Word Constructions eBooks

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The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions
~ Ellen Glasgow


business communications article by Tash Hughes

Monetizing your blog
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

There are people making a living from blogs and others make a good side income through blogging - and there are many others who blog without making a lot of money from their blog.

Or maybe they are making money through their blog, just not so directly.

You can monetise a blog through advertising, affiliate links and sale of goods - these direct methods are what many people think of as monetising a blog. But there are other ways that a blog can earn you money.

If you run a business, it is the indirect methods of monetising that you are most interested in. Namely, the blog can help make money via

  1. promoting your business and attracting traffic to your website - meaning you make more sales
  2. showcasing your expertise to build trust in clients - again can lead to more sales and also opportunities such as speaking engagements

Given how much time and effort goes into a good blog, there is a temptation to make it work harder at making money by adding some form of advertising. However, the potential income needs to be balanced against looking professional, distracting clients from buying from you, annoying or alienating readers, and the risk of promoting the wrong things (if you use an ad service, even your competitors could be advertised).

So what do you think of text or banner ads in a business blog? I've set up a two question survey to get your opinion...



A green web host is appealing but their great service and reliability keep my website with Digital Pacific


don't forget the basics of good writing and communications

Check the flow of logic
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

When writing about something you are involved in, it is easy to make assumptions and skip important steps in a process or argument. Even when you proof read it, you may not spot the gap because you know the full story and your mind fills in the gaps.

However, those gaps can be confusing for your readers and may come across as a loss of logic.

For example, when writing instructions on how to carry out a process within some software many people forget to explain how to access the specific area of the software. Compare that to being told to get into a car then put it into drive and press the accelerator - you won't drive very far if you don't also know to turn the key in the ignition.

As it is so easy to miss these gaps when you are the subject expert, you need to take additional care in proof reading. The following tips can help though:

  • leave at least a day between writing/editing the piece and proof reading it

  • get a non-expert to read your work - and if it is a set of instructions, get them to follow them

  • read it purely for information and flow - leave spelling and grammar checks for a separate reading so you can focus on the flow


 
Vista Print provides a range of printed materials at very low prices - I've had no problems with their quality and love their prices!


poor writing examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some real-life examples of writing that need a little help. It may just show you how easy it is to make mistakes, too.

Unfortunately, today's example is from a guest blog post (a good example of why good quality is important when you offer a guest post to another blogger) by someone calling herself an expert writer. She is giving advice on a profile for attracting future work, although I was confused whether she actually means an online profile or a resume. The paragraphing and bold font are how this was presented.

Example:

Knowing what to put exactly in your freelancer’s profile will separate you from the rest of the applicants. This will be your weapon to stir an employer’s full attention to take time and read your profile.

Creating an impressive profile for your freelance work is very crucial, since this is the first basis on how you will present yourself to your future employers, plus the fact that most of the time, they don’t actually see you physically. This is only the most concrete representation of your true self.

Issues with this example:

The mix of imagery is a bit harsh and distracting - weapon and stirring just don't sit together and stirring attention isn't how most of us think.

'Knowing what to put in your profile ...will...stir ... attention' is hinting at useful information but is not well written. The flaw in logic is that knowing something will not attract attention unless you actually use or show that knowledge. More importantly, having great stuff in your profile is not going to make someone read your profile- they have to read it to know there is great stuff in there! Having great headings, layout and introduction, on the other hand, can work to encourage someone to spend time on reading the entire profile.

I personally am uncomfortable with the idea of a weapon in attracting a potential employer (do we mean client?) - a good profile could be referred to as a tool, an advantage or a key, but weapon has inappropriate associations.

The second paragraph is full of grammatical issues. For example, the word crucial does not need any qualifying so 'very crucial' is unnecessary and wrong, and 'only the most concrete' is again repetitive as only and most both indicate exclusivity ('this is the most concrete' says enough).

A work profile (or resume) is little more than a list of my skills and experience - I like to think there is more to my true self than my work abilities. It is also meant to promote my abilities enough to reach the next step in a job process - the profile can't do everything without getting to  long so it is worth seeing it as an introduction.

Getting freelance projects often hinges on price and an understanding of the specific project; the profile gives enough background for a client to contact the freelancer.

An improved version would be: (with minimal adjustments of words and meaning)

The first step is getting an employer's attention so they will read your freelancer profile.

It is crucial to include the right information to separate yourself from other applicants. Your profile is your first representation to future employers; as a freelancer, this may be the most concrete presentation they will see as you often won't physically meet.


 

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© 2012, Tash Hughes