Showing, Not Telling Is Still the Biggest Hurdle in Content

Many bad guest post samples have come into the Kayako blog recently. One reason was because the page was visible to Google, so Sir Spamalot and his friends were pitching me crap.

But mainly what was wrong with the posts is the lack of depth they go into. They insist on telling, not showing.

Good writing shows, not tells. It’s ok to tell me the moon is shining brightly, but it’s better to show me by explaining how it reflects off a shared of broken glass. Or at least that’s how it works in fiction according to playwright and short story writer, Anton Chekov.

But in a business-to-business setting, the tendency to use business speak stops writers and marketers correctly conveying how their service or solution can help them solve their pains.

Personable language can do this for you. Not personal language, as in write about your wife, kids, and dog, but personable where you talk like a human, making your words real and palpable to the people you are trying to reach.

As the brilliant content writer and marketer Ann Handley put it:

“Good content – and good writing – doesn’t preach or hard-sell. Instead, it shows how your product or service lives in the world, explaining in human terms how it adds value to people’s lives, eases troubles, shoulders burdens, and meets needs.”

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