When I talk about what is new in marketing, I often find myself telling people things have not changed as much as they think.
Sure, we have social media and websites that didn’t exist ten years ago. We can text ads to consumers based on their location where we once relied on expensive billboards. I will admit, the tools have changed, but the rules for good marketing haven’t really changed in 50 years.
I was reminded of how true that is when I read a post by Adam Singer, writing for the FutureBuzz. In it, he shared a memo written by advertising genius David Ogilvy about 50 years ago.
His list of 10 tips for writers looked a lot like the list of suggestions I would make to blogging beginners. My favorites from the list were these:
- Write the way you talk. Naturally – This is harder to do then it sounds. It takes practice to bring the rhythm of your speech to the page. If you can, your blog posts are infinitely more readable.
- Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs – It is not that your reader is stupid, they just won’t take the time to digest complex thoughts in your blog post. Make it a quick read and they are more likely to come back.
- Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass- I wasn’t sure what demassification meant, so I am pretty sure I wouldn’t use it in a blog post. The point is well taken though; using words which are not a part of common speech will alienate your audience.
- Never write more than two pages on any subject. I prefer short blog posts of about 250 – 500 words. Again, the average reader wants content in little bites. If the topic really requires more than 600 words, I almost always break it in to two posts.
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