Lets say for a minute you own a dog walking business. You have a blog that covers all the issues that come along with dog ownership. Probably a good idea. You and your business can become a trusted resource when it comes to doing the right thing for your four-legged friend.

You’re busy clanking away at the keyboard, writing an important blog about a healthy dog diet. It begins to rain outside. Suddenly, you’re reminded of the story about one of your clients’ dogs that burrows in the bathtub every time there’s a thunderstorm. It’s really quite the amusing story, so you begin to tell it…

Well, stop. Ask yourself, unless it’s food causing this freakish behavior, what does this story have to do with the dog’s diet?

Probably nothing.

Your prose may be golden. That’s not the point. It doesn’t belong here.

Instead, why not cut and paste? Use that golden anecdote to write a blog post about canine behavior.

What’s Your Main Idea?

Yes. You remember the question from that high school English teacher who always used to mark your paper up with red pen. While she may have not been your favorite, she did have a point. And that is that you need to get to yours.

We’d all love to stay here and listen to you ramble all day long, but we both know that’s not going to happen. So….

When you write, ask yourself “What am I trying to say?”

Once you answer that question, and you’re reading through your material, make sure every word, every sentence, every anecdote supports your main idea.

If it doesn’t, you have to cut. I know it can be hard to lose your work, that you put so much into. If it’s bad, it needs to be deleted.

But if what you cut is good (but doesn’t help your point) then maybe you have the start to a new blog. All is not lost.

Your Readers Don’t Have All Day

Content is plentiful. Attention spans are short. If you have something important to say, then say it.

Because the “X” on the tab is easy to find.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.

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