How to Make Your Blog Less “Salesy”

cheesy salesmanJust as stereotypical, pushy car salesmen are a turnoff, so is a pushy blog loosely masquerading as helpful content. You took on a blog to share useful information and, of course, to get existing and potential customers to visit your site. Here’s how to do it without pushing them away.

Drop the drama! Reserve your exclamation points for special occasions, and don’t feel bad if they never get used. Punctuation marks are for real shockers (not “This idea I have is so great!”).

Avoid jargon. Sure, some of your readers may know what XYZ and PRTSQ means, but those who don’t are going to move on to another site. Skip terms only those within your company or industry would know, as well as vacant, corporate-speak writing that really has no place outside a stuffy boardroom. In other words, simplify. Instead of the word “initiative,” for example, use “project.” And avoid the word “leverage” altogether.

Save your pitch. Blogs are for developing connections with customers, not for closing sales deals. While you may feel inclined to end each post with a “See what we have to offer. Call us at 1-800-WIDGETS,” don’t do it. If your readers want to buy from you or need more information, they can do so through other parts of your site.

Show don’t tell. Don’t come out with blanket statements like, “We have the best customer service ever.” Instead, give an example of a customer who had a problem your company has solved. Ideally, the story will resonate with some of your readers.

Write like a journalist. Text should be pithy, to the point. Downplay your use of “I.” Put your most important thoughts for your blog post (the angle) right at the beginning. And use credible sources to back up your thoughts (such as recent research or a news article). You will come across as more authoritative, unlike the tendency of sales teams who talk in generalizations.

Use the active voice. It should always be clear who is doing what in your sentences (unlike this one). Too many “it is” or “there are” constructions are weak and boring. Salesmen use them when they are unfamiliar with their products.

Step outside yourself. Be truthful. Would you read what you’re writing?

Whether you’re writing your own blog posts or paying someone to do them for you, you set the tone. Ineffective salespeople come across as unrelatable and aggressive. Your blog should be the opposite.

photo credit: peregrinari via photopin cc