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Friday, August 19, 2005

How My Business Writing Helped Me Make Thousands Of Dollars

Years ago (long before I had done any business writing and shortly after making my big break in writing via reviewing films for a small daily newspaper) I was suddenly thrown into the world of business writing. Yes, I can see you yawn. If it will make you feel any better, that is exactly how I felt at the time.

Please hear me out and it will change your online writing career when you understand what it has to do with business writing.

Until then I had enjoyed reading biographies about business people and basically folks who had made lots of money. I admired the secret behind their success. I found their “aha” moments fascinating. What is a “aha” moment? It is the moment of discovery or as a good friend would put it, a moment of “pure divine revelation.” The moment you see something you have never “seen” before. It happens every day to all of us, but for some it is a historical moment because the thing they see has never been seen by anybody else before and it ends up making them a fortune.

For Henry Ford, it was the moment he visualized the first assembly line in the world. That small “aha’ moment was single-handedly responsible for the vast fortune Ford made mostly through producing the Model T through an assembly line. Assembly lines revolutionized production making things more efficient and production faster.

But although I enjoyed reading biographies of famous entrepreneurs, the word “Business Writing” still elicited wide, big yawns from me. To me then, business writing was a subject that was so boring that no real writer worth anything would dare to try and write about it. To me then, creative writing was for exciting things, like a short story, a novel or even a newspaper feature or news story about some interesting trends or event. But business writing? Argghh.

A small trade magazine needed an editor to help turn around it’s fortunes. It was actually on the verge of bankruptcy. I quickly accepted the challenge and clean forgot that this was a “business writing” job. And worse still, I would be spending most of my time editing boring business writing.

I will be forever grateful for that business writing opportunity because it was that stint with the Trade magazine that changed my perception of business writing forever. Years later I believe my success as an online writer has a lot to do with the skills I developed as a business writer and editor at that small trade magazine.

To my amazement as I hesitantly started writing my first business stories for the Trade magazine (it was one of those small staff operation where even the editor does a lot of the writing) I quickly realized that my previous experience had greatly prepared me. The fascination that I had felt in discovering great entrepreneur’s “aha’ moments was transferred to the ordinary entrepreneurs covered in the business and trade magazine. I quickly realized that the vast majority of businesses usually fail. Even successful companies launch plenty of products that end up being major flops.

With this realization I started to study the things that made a business successful. So began a fascinating journey which I am still on even today as I do most of my writing online. That fascination showed in my writing and the readership of the Trade journal quickly gathered momentum. Some of those new readers were big advertisers and they responded immediately. Very soon the previously struggling business magazine started to prosper.

Online writing is business writing. Does it not fascinate you what makes a certain site or blog receives hundreds of thousands of visitors a day when most other blogs on the same subject are lucky to get a dozen visitors on a good day? When you approach the subject in this manner topics that would otherwise quickly put you to sleep like search engine optimization suddenly light up and you begin to experience your “aha” moments.

The reason why I have written about my experience as a business writer here is because I sense from the many emails I receive and from the posts by writers in this blog, that many online writers today are exactly like I was before I started editing and writing for that business magazine. Writers are mostly artiste types and most of the things you will be called to write about online are “boring”. Did you know that your boredom about a certain subject will always show in your writing? Just like your fascination and interest will also show in your writing?

When you understand that online writing is business writing and that there is plenty to discover and be excited about, it will change your online writing career forever. Online writing is business writing.

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