Dilbert: “Write like a cartoonist!”

Dilbert: “Write like a cartoonist!”

OK, not Dilbert, but his creator, Scott Adams, has some savvy writing tips useful for you small-business owners trying to make your website more interesting and compelling.

While most of his advice had to do with humor writing and making people laugh, many of his suggestions are valid for copywriters and business writers, too. In fact, anyone who wants people to keep reading what they’ve written.

Here’s some of Dilbert’s daddy’s advice:

  • Start with an attention-getting “lead.” Here’s Adams’ opening gambit in his Wall Street Journal article: “Last weekend a French fry got lodged in my sinus cavity.” Does that make you want to read more?
  • Hook your readers with stories. You don’t have to be funny, like Adams’ tale (about his ignorance of the human reproductive system when he was 11 years old). But stories resonate with people, draw them in and make them feel closer to you. What if you told the story of why you started your business — who you wanted to help, and why? Show a little of your authentic self — I guarantee it will be a lot more exciting than your company mission statement.
  • Make them curious. “Good writing makes you curious without being too heavy-handed about it,” Adams writes. “My first sentence in this piece, about the French fry lodged in my sinus cavity, is designed to make you curious.”

Adams also explains why “yank” is funnier than “pull.” Now there’s something every writer ought to know!

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