“In late spring, when your jasmine vine is done blooming, prune it back one-third.”
I felt like I was destroying this plant that I had coaxed and nurtured from a single cutting. It was lanky, with long leafless vines that produced only a few flowers in early spring. But after the drastic pruning, new growth sprang out and grew all summer. Next spring, I was wowed by the results – instead of a few blooms, a profusion of fragrant white blooms exploded. Now I eagerly wait for the last flowers to drop so I can hack off another third of the plant.
This same principle applies to businesses. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he slashed the product line drastically, and the once-struggling company became the one that produced the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and the iWatch. According to Steve McKee’s book When Growth Stalls, one reason the growth of many companies plateaus or plummets is lack of focus. Narrowing a company’s focus to a small profitable niche can overcome market forces and keep a company growing.
This same principal applies to your blog. Too many ideas and too many words can dilute the one message your readers will grasp from this piece. They’ll be confused, or they may not even finish reading your post.
Here are some ideas to help you keep the unruly vine of your great ideas in check and flourishing:
- Choose one idea as the focus of each blog. Before you start to write, pick just one concept to write about. You may have to break that one idea into several pieces if you find your writing branching in too many directions. This can give you several blog posts instead of just one.
- Keep it simple. Keep your sentences short and use simple words. Word has built-in review tools that will give you readability statistics, including the grade level. You may need to turn these on under Options. Paying attention to these stats will make your writing easier to understand. Here’s an article that demonstrates that simple writing doesn’t mean the ideas are simple – just easier to read.
- Keep your posts short. Your object is not to teach your readers everything you know, but to educate them enough to let them see your expertise. To alert them to issues they may not be aware of. To encourage them to call your office for advice, which is the main reason an accounting firm should have a blog.
Following these ideas will help your blog grow its followers and produce the intended fruit of more and better clients.