One marker of expert writing ability is being able to delineate how different realms of writing inform and impact one another. Less experienced folks assume that good writing is good writing, and you know it when you see it. If you’re reading this post, you’re chuckling because you know it’s far from that self-evident!
As an English professor with over 20 years of teaching experience and a new freelance writer, I see exciting ways that the worlds of business writing and academic writing can dialogue and mutually benefit. The pragmatics of freelance writing add real-world power to what we proclaim in the classroom. Conversely, businesses should realize that storytelling techniques make blogs, press releases, and product descriptions sparkle and stay memorable.
I have used my freelancing experience to enhance classroom discussions of the art of writing. The fact that I get paid, and critiqued, makes students take notice. We all grow inured to that talking head at the front of the classroom, but when we can view our teacher as a fellow employee, suddenly we may grant their words more credence.
Message for Teachers: Writing for Business Confirms what We Teach
- Deadlines and length limits are meaningful to employers.
- Trim the fat. Academic writing is more analytical and verbose than business writing, but at its best, every sentence serves a function.
- The flip side: academic writing makes you develop ideas, which is great. Knowing how to say something in several ways is key in business writing, which often involves repeating keywords and ideas.
- The world of eCommerce creates a huge, ongoing demand for blog posts that must contain constant new material.
- Creativity in the corporate world is a much-prized quality.
- Delighting in and playing with language is not only fun, but useful. Not only do you expand your intellectual abilities, but marketing is about using words to catch the customer’s attention. Facility with synonyms, versatile vocabulary, precise diction, and varied sentence structure keep you from sounding just like everyone else.
Message for Businesses: Good Writing and Your Bottom Line
- Ultimately, business is about understanding people, and profiting therefrom. English courses, where you study stories about people and their passions, are solid preparation for effective business communication.
- Writers with literary backgrounds understand character, audience, setting, and tone—all of which make blog posts great and not just informational. For instance, a blog about home renovation will stand out if it captures the dreams of the homeowner, instead of merely presenting prices and logistics.
- Expert writers can hook readers and elaborate upon ideas, creating tone and mood, not just repeating sterile information. You need this to keep your blogs fresh and relevant.
- Hire writers who value grammar. If your website is rife with errors in punctuation, spelling, and phrasing, customers won’t understand your message. Plus, the site will reflect badly upon your business.
Celestine W is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.