One of the biggest turn offs for me as a blog reader is a blogger who fails to write well. You can have all the best ideas in the world, but if you don’t know how to write then you may as well tell your ideas to your pet dog because your wisdom isn’t going to be noticed.
The nature of blog writing is that an author should write short, sharp posts that focus on one topic, designed to engage a reader and have him come to an understanding about what the author is trying to say. If the reader likes what he sees then he will be happy to come back the next day… and the next.
Set your writing out logically. Keep it short snappy clean – and don’t get bogged down with style. Notice how I didn’t use any commas in that last sentence? Writing should flow and reflect the author; it should say something about you.
Here are a few pointers for keeping your writing clean:
- Use capital letters: Most word-processing programs capitalize all letters at the start of a sentence for the writer, but there are still some bloggers who refuse to use capital letters in the right places – don’t be one of them.
- Stick to one type of spelling: When you write in English, you need to make a decision about whether to use British or American spelling. For the sake of popularity, it’s likely that most of your readers will expect American English, but whichever you choose, stick with it.
- Learn about punctuation: A comma (,) pauses a sentence; a colon (? introduces lists or a clause directly related to the preceding sentence; a semicolon (;) adds a related thought to the first half of a sentence or pause a sentence slightly longer than achieved with a comma; a dash (–) amplifies in the second part of a sentence a thought introduced in the first part; and finally, a period (.) ends a sentence, and nothing else. Use it often, and keep your sentences short. And avoid the use of exclamation points – they make writers look amateurish.
- Start at the beginning: In a blog post, get to the point and tell your readers in the first paragraph what your message is. Then spend time working through that message logically before ending with a paragraph that will give the reader something to think about. A call to action (“Go here! Do this!) is a good way to engage your readers in your opening gambit.
- Spell check everything: If you don’t hit spell check and read through your writing then you will miss errors.
- Remove clutter: About 25% of all words on a blog are unnecessary. You don’t have to say “in my opinion” or “as a matter of fact” or “ it seems to me that”. If something is true then say it is true; if it’s not, then say so. Be straight with your readers and keep everything simple.
- Don’t overuse quote marks and italics: Use double quotes for reported speech and single quotes for reported speech within reported speech. Italics can be used to emphasize a word, as I did just now.
Keep your writing tight and you will win your readers over. Words are the most powerful weapon a blogger has to put across his message.
Like this post? Subscribe to the feed
Share: Digg it for goodness sake! Stumble your heart out!