Producing quality business-related content is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in the field of professional writing. In fact, authors with effective business writing skills are becoming harder and harder for employers to find. While writing good business content does require a certain amount of innate talent, there are two concrete principles that can be applied by any general writer in order to produce excellent work. Mastering these principles will allow writers to produce things like:
- Private equity investing news and analysis
- daily stock and financial reports
- industry-specific news reports
- comprehensive business forecasts
Maintain Professional Tone
Business readers tend to be those who are regular investors and/or involved in business at the senior management or ownership level. These types of people tend to be very serious about their business, always maintaining a professional attitude and tone in matters relating to it. It’s important therefore, to make sure you always maintain a professional attitude and tone in all of your business writing. In other words, daily stock market reports are not the place to inject humor.
Maintaining a professional tone requires that you know the facts and present them accordingly. Where analysis or opinion is required, anything you add to the conversation should be backed up with very clear reasoning and, where possible, concrete proof. There are lots of opinions in the business world; if readers are going to give you the time of day, your writing must earn it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old axiom that “brevity is the soul of wit.” I won’t
comment on that, but I will say that brevity is one of the keys to effective business writing. Business readers tend to be short on time and very oriented to tunnel vision. The best business content uses short, factual sentences, brief paragraphs of two or three sentences, and lots of bullets and subheadings. Where longer explanations are necessary, the use of subheadings can help a busy reader quickly get the gist of an article. One good example can be found here.
Business writers that like to drone on with long sentences and big words tend to lose their readers very quickly. When you’re writing a business article think in terms of the “skimming” principle. In other words, assume that your readers will just skim your article for the important stuff. Then, even though you’re using short sentences and paragraphs, still pack your article with important things the reader needs to know. This will keep his attention through the length of article.