How Is Your Writing?

Guilty as charged!  Yes, those of us who make our living as business writers sometimes live in “another world” and write in a manner that is meaningful to the relatively few inhabitants of that world.  Our sophistication becomes synonymous with how many codes and industry jargon we can throw into the narrative.  The benefit for the intended reader (who, in the b2b marketplace, is usually the customer), is completely relegated to secondary consideration.

 The result is miscommunication, failure to communicate, missed opportunities, and wasted resources.

 If all of this sounds familiar, there’s help.

 I recommend this report (The Gobbledygook Manifesto) from David Meerman Scott.  It is intelligent and straight-to-the-point.  Among other things, he states this “golden” rule worth repeating:  “when you write, start with your buyers, not with your product” (page 7). It looks like a great mantra for writers everywhere, myself included.

 Do yourself a favor; click here and grab a copy of this report.

© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012



Adopting a Buyer-Focused Marketing Model

 It is no longer a secret that successful marketing needs content that serves the needs of a clear target  audience — content that is informative, timely, and sharply focused on the buyer’s agenda/journey.

There is a lot of information out there on how to develop and implement such a buyer-focused marketing strategy.  I recently attended a webinar given by Lauren Goldstein, the VP of Strategic Planning at Babcock & Jenkins, where she addressed some of the issues involved in creating/adopting a buyer-centric strategy.  I like the four steps she identified and thought I’d share them with you.

According to Lauren, a buyer-centric model prioritizes the buyer’s business challenges and the questions they need answered to make a purchase.  It is a move away from marketing strategies that focus on the seller’s priorities and sales pitch.  Specifically, she provides insights into these components:

 – Comprehending why audience insight is crucial

– Ensuring you know your buyer

– Gaining insight into key stages and content requirements of the buyer’s journey

– Planning a content strategy and roadmap

CLICK HERE for the video of the webinar.  It is 45 minutes long, but I’m sure you’d learn a thing or two to benefit  your content marketing efforts.

Build Your Sales Argument In a Simple, Straight Line


I enjoyed reading the following article by Nick Usborne, Author of Million-Dollar Secrets to Online Copywriting and How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites.  I thought you might draw some insights from it on how to improve the user-friendliness of your business website.

Once you have captured a reader’s attention with your headline, don’t assume that you will keep that attention after the first line, second line or third line.

Most readers won’t read your entire web page.  Most will bail well before the end.

How come?  Because something you write will make them feel that you are not taking them directly towards finding what they want.

Here are 3 ways to ensure that you keep moving forward in a straight line …

Follow these three guidelines and you will significantly increase the number of people who read all the copy on your page and, of course, you will increase the number of people who take action at the end of that page.

1.  Be clear about your page’s objective

Before you start writing, determine the objective of the page.  What is its purpose?

And if you’re thinking, “Well, there are a few things I want to achieve with this page”, be very careful.  Because by writing to a few different objectives, you are giving your readers a few different reasons to bail on you.

You’ll achieve far higher conversion rates by sticking to a single topic or message per page.

In fact, that’s why landing pages were invented.  Marketers understood that their general web pages were not converting very well.  So they started creating stand-alone pages, or landing pages, which were created with a single objective in mind.

The need for landing pages tells us we are not very good at creating and writing regular site pages that are focused on a single, clear objective.

2.  Let your readers see the final outcome, from the beginning

In other words, let your readers see where they are going.

For instance, if you want to sell me a vacation in Greenland, let me see the road ahead.

A typical way of doing this would be to write a headline that says something like, “5 reasons why Greenland has become the #1 travel destination for adventure lovers”.

When you write a headline like that, the reader knows where you’re taking them, and they know you are trying to sell them a vacation.  They even know there are exactly five steps between the beginning and end.

But if the headline were to say, “Greenland grabs hearts of outdoor adventurers,” then I don’t really know where you’re taking me.  Is this a general description of the country?  Is this about travel, or about conservation?  Are you trying to inform me?  Or sell a vacation package?

When you make the purpose and objective of the page clear from the beginning, the reader doesn’t have to be distracted by these questions.

3.  Write in a straight line, without detours.

When writing editorial there are some excellent reasons for taking the scenic route.

You can add character and depth to a story with a paragraph that begins with the words, “Which reminds me …” Or, “By the way …”

These scenic diversions make editorial content all the more interesting.

But when you are writing to sell, you would do better to take the direct route.

When people come to the web to make a purchase, they are task oriented, impatient and anxious to find what they want and get the task completed quickly.

This means readers want their sales information given to them straight.  No meandering.  No side trips.  Get to the meat of the message quickly, and tell them why your product and service will deliver exactly what they want and are looking for.


The reason behind the need to build your sales argument in a straight line can be found in that last section.

Compared to print or other offline media, users of the web are impatient and generally have a specific goal in mind before they even arrive at your page.  If they want to buy something, then they want to find what they want quickly.

No side shows.  No diversions.

Keep your sales pages direct, straight and uncomplicated.

End Note:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Wealthy Web Writer, a free newsletter for learning how to effectively write online copy and market products on the Web.  For a complimentary subscription, visit


© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

FACTS – The Enduring Marketing Tools

Buzzing BeesThe marketing scene is always coming up with buzzwords.  I picked up influencer the other day, and used it lavishly in an article to refer to an individual in a pivotal decision-making position.  It’s a buzzword; as is differentiator.

I thought I’d wear my contrarian hat and suggest we bring up an old stand-by:  FACT.  It doesn’t have buzz written all over it, but I think it should be a buzzword.

As a student of economics, I had to take mandatory courses in statistics.  Looking back, I can see it was a rational requirement.  Well, how else were students to learn the rare skill of arguing “on-the-one-hand” and “on-the-other-hand” for which economists are famous (or so they like to think).  Statistics, mixed with a healthy dose of persuasion is a powerful selling tool.

Unfortunately, there is rampant abuse of this tool in the media, particularly in the online marketing scene, today.  Perhaps, marketing gurus should take refresher courses in statistics.  Poorly designed surveys, shaky data and dubious analysis seem to be moving from the fringes right into mainstream online market research.  Findings that clearly confuse correlation with causation are being reported as conclusive trends.

It brings to mind admonitions described in many statistics text, including the classic by Darrell Huff.  Published in 1954, How to Lie with Statistics is chockfull of entertaining, albeit dated, examples of how to spot data manipulation.  Because it looks (with fancy graphs) and sounds (including right buzzwords) statistical, does not make it good and accurate information.  Fabricated trends will not stand the test of time or close scrutiny.

The truth is facts (numerical or in other format) are great marketing tools.  Facts are persuasive because they are inherently transparent.  This makes them a solid basis for any business endeavor.  Facts drive successful marketing strategies.

FACT is a buzzword of value to an enterprise with long term plans.  Facts endure.  Support for this position abounds.  Here are some thoughts to keep us all on the straight and narrow path pave with facts:

“We can have fact without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts”  

John Dewey

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored”

– Aldous Huxley

“Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence”

            – John Adams

“If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error”

           –  John Kenneth Galbraith

“The degree of one’s emotions varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts.  The less you know, the hotter you get”

– Bertrand Russell

“He who learns but does not think, is lost.  He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger”

– Confucius

In short, facts will get you there – wherever that destination is for your business.


© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.