The internet has opened up a vast, beautiful world for small businesses and entrepreneurs—a space to start a venture, pursue dreams, reach a bigger audience, and connect with their people in a way that is challenging at best for brick-and-mortar stores but potentially limitless with the scope of the internet.

The internet has leveled the playing field, so to speak, to give the little guy an honest and fighting chance at succeeding in business. It’s given opportunity for big ideas to come to fruition with little start-up cost or investment because there is no physical location to maintain. It has given opportunity for bootstrapping marketing efforts and DIY promotion to grow businesses from the virtual ground up.

Today’s online business is different than contemporary brick-and-mortar stores, but the difference is seen even more clearly when comparing online businesses with entrepreneurial endeavors of our parents’ generation.

Marketing has changed.

Sales tactics have changed.

Business/consumer relationships have changed.

Advertising and communications have changed as well.

Without the internet, all these things would look really different today, including the way we reach our target audience. Business has evolved because of the internet, and along with it, the way we communicate with our audience.

Writing for today’s online business is not your parents business or career writing.

As small business evolved with the expansion of the internet, so did the way we communicate with our people.

We are no longer formal and stiff in writing. We are no longer obsessed with following every rule of English grammar. We still learn these things in school and college, and while we apply them to essays, research papers, and theses, communication for many online business models these days is casual, relational, and all about connecting with their people.

Why writing for the web is different business writing in the past.

Writing for the web involves writing to a new culture of people. Writing for today’s online business means reaching a new generation of consumers—individuals that typically connect with a more personal and authentic approach.

This means ditching the old fashioned business writing of pre-Internet days in favor of writing more like you speak.

It means sleuthing around the internet and where your own people “hang out” to figure out how they talk and write and communicate.

This means ditching formal writing in your business in favor of a brand voice that connects more effectively with today’s audience because it reaches the heart of who they are, speaks to their struggles, and offers them a solution.

Questions to consider:

 Does your business writing reach the heart of your audience?

Does your business writing speak to their struggles?

Does your business writing offer your audience a solution to their biggest need?

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