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Our managing director and head of content, Ross Butler, gives his top tips for professionals who have something to say and want to share it.

Writing something original that reflects your expertise and knowledge is a great way to raise your own profile while promoting your company. 

But it’s not easy.

Most professionals use ghost-writers and that’s something we can help with.

But if you really want to have a stab at it yourself, here are my top tips for effective professional blogging.

1. Tell your story walking, pal

Don’t clear your throat, build a stage, or craft a beginning, middle and end. We’ve all got places to be, so just tell your story and tell it walking. Stay within the rhythm of everyday life; stay in the context of what you are doing right now. Think on your feet, speak on your feet, write on your feet. You’re an expert, so if you find that hard, you are trying too hard. People want raw, honest insight from someone who doesn’t stop to take a bow, but just keeps on moving. 

2. Let some light in

Corporate reports need to be polished and unimpeachable. It builds trust. But who would trust a person that appeared flawless? “There is a crack in everything” wrote Leonard Cohen. “That’s how the light gets in.” So put something of yourself in there. It’s hard to leave your mark without leaving a smudge too. Understand this, and you’ll have nothing left to fear.

3. Write like you speak. Speak like you talk.

When you talk, you don’t think of words and then say them. Your thoughts just come out as words. But when people write, the mechanics of it get in the way. Nobody actually wants to read a ‘thoughtful’ article and the worst kind of speech is word-perfect. Natural speech is not perfect, it’s intuitive. It’s a right hemispherical activity. So listen to yourself write, in the same way you listen to yourself talk. If it sounds like you, it probably is. 

4. “Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler”

The biggest mistake corporate blogs make is not jargon and obscurity but making things too basic. Einstein’s maxim above is the right way to treat complexity. If you are with me on that, this is really going to freak out your marketing people…

5. “Make it difficult”

T.S.Eliot took Ezra Pound’s advice to heart, and so should you. Don’t be deliberately unintelligible. But ours is a highly specialised society, and that’s why we need experts like you. If the reader can understand absolutely everything you’ve written because you left out the hard stuff, you leave nothing on the table for either of you. People want to be left wanting more. And you want to leave them feeling there is more.

6. Lighten the mood

No matter how serious your topic, find something amusing in it. It will be good for your soul, good for your reader and, in my experience, you can stumble upon deep truths when you look at familiar topics from a cheeky little angle.  

7. Now step aside

Congratulations, you’ve found your authentic voice. You’ve opened yourself up to opportunity. Now step away from the keyboard. Every decent writer relies heavily on a trusted editor. If you’ve done a good job, you’ve been subjective. A good content agency will re-introduce objectivity and clarity in just the right doses and bring it alive with graphical devices. Our editorial team includes sector-focused senior editors, ready to help you. 

Why not get in touch to see how we can work together. 

Photo by Gonzalo Facello