We know some pretty smart ladies. Every few months we invite one of them to share their expertise and take stage on the Betty blog.
Today we are excited to have Christine Parizo, Copywriter Extraordinaire. She is your go-to gal for copy editing, content marketing, and she makes a mean latte. Be sure to check out her website to see her writing in action.
The U In Business
As kids, we all had that that one teacher. He (or she) would ruthlessly attack our essays with a red pen. “This is not a word! This is incorrect grammar!” It would bleed all over our papers, and we would tuck them into the dark recesses of our backpacks, stifle our personality, and churn out the dry prose our teachers craved in our future essays.
But now, we’re adults. We own our own businesses. We’re already making our own rules. We’ve taken the time to develop our authentic voices in our brands, and we don’t relate to our customers and clients in dull tones and formal speeches. Neither should our blog posts – our behind-the-curtain peeks at what we do.
What Makes You Read Something?
Think about what you like to read: is it written in formal academia, or is it less formal and more conversational? Which writers, both in print and online, draw you in? I’m willing to bet it’s the ones that take a less formal tone. In blog posts, it means being willing to write how you talk, and maybe breaking a few grammar rules along the way.
Wait, What About That Red Ink?
Before Mrs. Cole, my stern seventh grade English teacher with the sentence diagramming, comes back to haunt me, let me just say that if you’re going to break grammar rules with colloquialisms (y’all comes to mind, but I also live in Texas now), make sure you have a good reason for it. That goes for pretty much any hard and fast grammar rule you’re going to break. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t use it in conversation with a customer, don’t use it in your blog.
So Let’s Talk…
That said, think about the conversations you do have with customers. Even though I talk to a lot of B2B technology companies, I’m working with marketing directors. I’ll be me, and my speech is not super-formal. (Think: highly caffeinated California girl. I’m very animated.) I’m conversational, so I try to do that in my blog posts. Granted, as a copywriter, I can’t take too many liberties with the English language. But I can pepper my posts with references to my interests, like running, coffee, or sushi.
…and Be More Human
The ultimate goal of a blog, even a business one, is to give your prospects and customers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. It’s a way to humanize what you do. When you sit down to write your blog posts, remember that – and write as if you’re having a conversation with the customer. As long as you are getting your point across and it’s easy to read, it doesn’t have to be perfect or look like one of those essays. (Admit it; those essays are why so many of us hate writing or think we’re bad at it. We’re not bad at it; it’s just that the joy of writing was sucked out of us, one red mark at a time.)
Make it readable. Make it enjoyable for both you and your reader. And the only way to do that is to have fun with it. Words are like Legos: you can build whatever you want with them. Use them to help build your brand and your business, and show off your sparkling personality.
Christine Parizo is the principal of Christine Parizo Communications and specializes in white papers, case studies, and feature articles for B2B technology companies. When she’s not eating her tech alphabet soup, she can be found running, heaving barbells over her head, chasing after miniature humans, or drinking copious amounts of coffee.