Rules for Successful Business Column Writing
When it comes to writing new and original material, it is always important â¨to stay current and relevant, but I also believe it is important to compile â¨these thoughts and ideas in a clear and compelling way. That means always followingâ¨ the rules of writing and using proper grammar. I also have to beâ¨ very mindful of my audience and the message I wish to convey.â¨â¨
Writing these columns is enjoyable to me because it reminds me how far my â¨business has come. After almost 30 years in this business, I feel like Iâ¨ have quite a few lessons to share. I feel a strong responsibility toâ¨ communicate solutions and practical advice about situations that took meâ¨years to resolve. Allowing others to gain from my experience can be veryâ¨gratifying. It is easy to come up with topics when I think about all theâ¨ things I have learned or feel strongly about. I also have a great supportâ¨ system in place that offers great topic ideas.
â¨â¨I have found that personal stories really add to the value of the lesson â¨learned, and real life examples are always more interesting to read. As â¨long as the stories are tasteful and publicly acceptable, it is a welcomed â¨addition to a business article.â¨â¨
While editorial columns are, by definition, the writer’s opinion, it is â¨still important to be accurate when quoting current conditions or trends.â¨ They should be based first on fact, then on personal experience.â¨â¨
In this day and age, it seems impossible to communicate without offending one â¨group or another. Humor can certainly be a part of your story, but â¨rereading your words and running the article by others before sending it offâ¨ can be very helpful, as another perspective can be instrumental in the â¨proofing process. It is also important not to offend someone’s â¨intelligence, though I have found it is helpful to remind my readers of theâ¨ basics every so often. So much of my business success is a result of theâ¨ basics… hard work, having a plan, doing the right thing and keeping itâ¨ simple.â¨â¨
With that said, it is also important to consider the business climate andâ¨ remember that practices and the way in which we do business changes all the â¨time. For example, a column that I wrote a few years ago on “the business of â¨entertaining” might not be as relevant in our current economic climate. The â¨ideas and advice you give need to be applicable and not outdated. â¨â¨
Fortunately, I have never experienced any strong negative feedback from aâ¨ reader, though I believe it is always important to address these “letters toâ¨ the editor” with courtesy and respect. First and foremost, thank them for â¨taking the time to read your column. Remember that everyone is entitled to â¨their own opinion. It is up to you to back up your point with more factual â¨information, but if you see a pattern in the responses that you receive,â¨ consider writing another column based on these opposing opinions.â¨ Controversy always makes for an interesting read- just remember to play thisâ¨ out in a mannerly way.â¨â¨
I read as many business publications as I can, especially when I travel. I â¨don’t follow any one columnist in particular, but I typically scan theâ¨ publication for topics that interest me at the moment. If I don’t have time â¨to read something I think might be valuable at the time, I tear out the â¨article or print it from an online source. I keep a large file of “to read” â¨and try to keep it with me at all times, using any opportunity I can to pullâ¨ something out to read when I find myself with a few free minutes. If it isâ¨ something I want to keep long term, I have a filing system for futureâ¨ reference or to share with others.
â¨â¨I am fortunate to have had wonderful feedback from the etiquette slant to my â¨columns. I have a great following of readers who also believe that learning â¨and maintaining good manners in all areas of our lives needs to be â¨reinforced. Many of my younger readers have not grown up in an environment â¨where we have put a lot of weight on it, so these topics are particularly newsworthy toâ¨ them. â¨â¨Since I have the privilege of using this column as my personal “soap box,” I â¨like to use this as an opportunity to set an example with the style of myâ¨ writing as well as the topics that I discuss. I get tremendous satisfactionâ¨ from communicating things that I believe are essential for every generation,â¨ now and forever.
By April Fawcett Nagel
May 6th, 2019
April 12th, 2019
March 27th, 2019
January 30th, 2019