On Mondays, I’ve been serving as a tutor in the Ivy Tech Learning Lab, and just the other day, I found a treasure there I knew I had to share with business blog content writers. That “find” was a little paper-back book called Study Skills Strategies, by Uelaine Lengfeld.
On page 2 of the book I found what we now refer to as an infographic. This chart depicts a study technique called SQ3R, consisting of five steps students can use to learn successfully from a written text.
When it comes to online blog readers, I couldn’t help reflecting ruefully, there’s no way every reader is going to go through all five steps. In fact, today’s searcher is a scanner rather than a true reader. That means, I’ve concluded, that we, the business blog writers, have to be the ones performing those steps and literally leading the readers by the hand through our content.
Survey – “Take a sneak preview of the reading you’ve been assigned,” The first part of the survey involves examining the title of each chapter. in Say It For You corporate blogging training sessions, I emphasize using keyword phrases in the first part of the title of each blog post. A third concept that’s important for blog content writers to remember is keeping the title and the actual blog post content congruent.
Question – “Always read with the intent to answer a question, using the words who, what, when, where, or how,” Lengfield advises students. Blog writers need to anticipate the questions and answer them before they’re asked. But rremember, as friend and fellow blogger Karl Ahrichs says, “People want the answer in a few, short, well-thought-out words, with a long answer to follow if requested.”
Read & Underline and Recite & Write are the next two steps. But, since our target readers have hundreds of marketing and sales messages hitting them each day, it’s up to us as content writers to, as we post our content online, use bolding, italics, and graphics to “steer” our reads through the learning process.
Review – in blogging for business, the tie-back technique serves as a forced review for the readers. Whatever you meant to convey in the post, in the closing line tie back to that theme, using the very words you used at the outset.
In business blogging, we content writers need to take the SQ3R initiative!