Should I use jargon in my blogging?

Can it ever be justified to use jargon in your blog posts? Or should jargon be banned from your writing the same you would want to ban bad grammar, typos or spelling errors? That very much depends on who you’re talking to.

Blogs written for your industry

If your blog posts are aimed at people in your industry, it makes complete sense to use jargon. I would go as far as to say, if you don’t use jargon when you write for your fellow lawyers, doctors, IT specialists or marketers you are probably missing a trick.

Industry specific language is one of the things that binds you all together. When you get together with your pals from your industry you get to geek out (as my 16 year old would say). When you “talk shop” there are probably not many people outside of your industry that really know what you’re talking about. Not using that kind of language would more likely make you seem like an outsider. You would not be taken seriously as an expert.

So if you are writing for people within your industry make sure you use all of your jargon. It’ll be the right thing to do.

Blogs written for people who are not in your industry

Most business owners, however, write for people who are not within their industry. Most lawyers won’t look for other lawyers as a client, most gardeners probably won’t garden for other gardeners. As business owners we are mostly writing for lay people, people who do not know our specialised language and who, to be honest, couldn’t care less about jargon but want to understand what we are talking about.

This is when you have to dial it right down and go down to the same level as your clients. If you have to use industry specific language, make sure you explain each word or phrase, especially acronyms that come as second nature to you but make no sense to the general public.

How to use jargon in articles for non-industry readers

There are different ways you can do that. You can either put the explanation or the jargon expression in brackets. Once you have done that, you can then go on and use it for the rest of the article. You don’t need to explain it every time. Another option would be a glossary at the end of the article. Or, if you’re a bit techy when it comes to blogging, you could create a link that shows the explanation of the word when you hover over it with your mouse (a so called mouse over).

So to sum up, only use jargon freely when talking to people in your industry. Otherwise limit it to what’s necessary and explain the first time you use it in every article.

Over to you

If you write for non-industry readers (like most business people do) look through your last few blog posts and see whether you have used jargon without explaining what you’re talking about. Make sure you fix that so that you become more attractive to potential clients.

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This is only one of the many strategies I teach when working with my blogging clients.
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Categories: Blog and Blogging.
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