How to Become a Better Business Writer (Even If You Hated High School English)

By Susan Guillory

Remember that subject in high school that you swore you’d never use in your life? For me, it was trigonometry. I’ve simply never found a moment as an adult when I needed to use it.

Hopefully you didn’t write off your high school English class as being useful for the rest of your life. While you may never read Shakespeare again, you will need to write, especially if you’re a small business owner. Slept through English class? Not to worry; I’ve got your Cliff Notes for being a better business writer here.

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You should be reading great business-related blog content to sharpen your brain anyway, but make sure and put on your writer hat while you do so. What stands out in the blog posts, books, and articles you read? What writing techniques attract you? Which turn you off?

You can even come up with blog topic ideas from what you read. I’m not talking about plagiarism (that will still get you an F in my book), but simply borrowing techniques. If you see a list of Top 100 Business Books to read, use it as inspiration for your own Top 100 list of something else.

Let it Simmer

If you’re writing blog content for your site, give yourself plenty of time for both the writing and editing process. I like to write a post, go do something else, then come back and read it with fresh eyes later. That way, I can spot errors or decide something’s unclear and make appropriate edits to improve my writing.

Block Off Writing Time

I know that multitasking is likely your default mode at times, but writing can’t be one of several things you’re doing at once, or it will suffer. Instead, block off a few hours on your calendar so you can focus solely on doing a good job at writing.

I write a ton of content, and I also like to sit down and write multiple posts at once. I’m already in the zone for a particular client or topic, so it’s easier to knock them out rather than writing them piecemeal. You can schedule them on your blog weeks in advance, so you’re never scrambling to write a post when you don’t feel like it.

Get Feedback

If you have employees, ask the one who was in AP English in high school to review your writing and give you honest feedback. If spelling or syntax aren’t your strong suit, hire a proofreader or editor to ensure that everything you publish is flawless. Remember: your errors reflect poorly on your brand, so make sure what you’re putting out there is professional and error-free.

Mix It Up

If you write two blog posts each week, and they’re always 500 words, 6 paragraphs long, try diversifying. Not only will it make you a better writer, but you’ll also attract more people to your blog if your content varies. Try list posts, product reviews, interviews, and Q&A posts.

If you’re willing to put the time in, you’ll see a great improvement in your writing in just a few weeks. Mrs. Mason, your English teacher, would be so proud!

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Susan Guillory
Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She's written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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