In his recent article, ‘3 things Bruce Springsteen can teach you about writing’, Nick revealed how the Boss’s storytelling and songwriting prowess could improve your blog content.
With 20 Grammys, and worldwide album sales topping 150 million, Springsteen is an incredible teacher.
Popstar Pink (styled P!nk, real name Alicia Moore), has sold a comparatively modest 16 million records during her 20-year solo career.
The lead single from her fifth studio album, 2008’s Funhouse, is the autobiographical ‘So What’. A punchy pop number, the title alone has much to teach, namely about editing.
Here’s why you should ask yourself “so what?” when editing your blog content – plus some other important questions to consider.
The “so what?” test
Throughout the blog writing process – including when you sit down to edit your work – you should ask yourself the above question. This is the “so what?” test.
Go through your article line by line. If you read a sentence and think “so what?” remove it.
There are many reasons why your writing might fail the “so what?” test. Asking yourself these five questions can help:
1. Is my blog idea a good one?
Does your blog say something new, or at least something old that bears repeating?
A topical piece on the Budget is likely to cover new ground. An evergreen article about pension decumulation will repeat a familiar message, but one worth keeping at the forefront of your clients’ minds.
If you think “so what?” too often when editing your blog, you might need to go back to the drawing board and tweak the concept.
2. Is the goal of my article clear?
You might be confident that your idea is good and your message valid, but too many diversions could obscure your goal.
Are your important points coming across clearly enough?
You need to hook the reader in with the title of your piece, but if your article doesn’t deliver on its promises (or takes too long to reach its point), your reader may ask “so what?”.
3. Is my blog relevant to my target audience?
You know your clients well; you understand their circumstances and concerns. Put yourself in their shoes.
The tax treatment of untethered hot-air balloon rides in the US state of Kansas might be fascinating, but if your clients are UK-based and tend to get around by car, there might be more pertinent tax queries for your blog to address.
4. Is the article aimed at my target audience?
Not only does your content need to be relevant to your clients and prospects, but you also need to write it for and to them.
Remember that you are selling the benefits of working with you and your company, so be sure to highlight those benefits.
You might have recently won an award. While you will be understandably proud of your success, your readers will be more concerned with what your win means for them.
Check your blog for the word “we” and refocus the sentence to emphasise the benefit.
Instead of “We are pleased to announce we have been awarded Chartered status”, try “You can be confident of receiving the best advice, service, and support from experts you can trust”.
5. Am I being succinct?
When you are happy with the topic, flow, and focus of your article, you’ll need to go back to basics: spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Proofread it and proofread it again. While you are doing so, check for style too.
Are there repeated words, ideas, or sentence structures? Each could be a sign that your article isn’t succinct.
Reword or remove the offending sentences and you should have a well thought out and focused article that delivers its message clearly.
Get in touch
Before we begin writing bespoke content for you, we will get to know you and your clients. This ensures the content we write is aimed at your target audience and carries the exact message you want to convey.
If you would like the Yardstick Agency to create exciting and engaging content on your behalf, please get in touch. Email [email protected] or call 0115 8965 300.
‘So What’ reached number one in the UK charts on 5 October 2008, remaining there for three weeks. It was toppled by the Girls Aloud smash, ‘The Promise’.