How to Write a Blog with 5 Straight As
by Joanna @ Confident Writing
You’d think with all the advice on how to write a blog out there we’d have it cracked by now, but of course we keep on learning, improving, inspiring and experimenting… Which is just as it should be.
I’ve been on the look out this month for posts, articles and resources that will help us write with greater impact.
As the first two ingredients I found both started with “A” I decided to add an extra filter to my search and see if I could come up with 5 of them. Which of course I did, because the blogosphere always provides (with a little bit of creative adaptation).
Here’s the list of ingredients I came up with, together with some coaching questions about how you could apply them to your own blog writing.
I have to admit, I do enjoy reading Lorelle’s stuff when she rants. This was a piece about the rubbish she was reading from wannabe bloggers on SEO. Her point was simple: don’t blog about that which you understand not
I don’t care what you are an expert in, blog about that. Make your blog the source for your expertise. Share your opinion, your experiences, but tell folks you aren’t an expert if you are not. Let the experts handle the expert stuff and let you handle your expert stuff.
There is so much clutter on the web, why add useless information you honestly know nothing about to the trash pile. I know you want the link juice. I know you want to be dug by Digg. I know you crave getting StumbleUponed or Twittered about, but let’s stop the nonsense and get down to the meaningful, original content.
This doesn’t mean you need to be the authority, or even an authority. (Once you start worrying about that you’ll clam up all together.) You just need to be clear with your readers where it is that you’re coming from, what perspective you offer, what meaningful, original content you can add.
And of course your writing will be even more powerful when you’re clear on the source of your authority.
So the question is:
Are you writing about the things where you know you can add meaningful, original content?
If you are – how do you know? Where do you feel it? How can you tap into that feeling more often to add power to your writing?
And if you’re not sure… what would it be like if you did? What would you find yourself writing about?
You’ll catch a lot more flies with honey
The post at Drew’s Marketing Minute is worth a read (of course), but the headline gives you the message in 8 words (and there’s another clue.) If copywriting seems like an alien art form to you (and you wouldn’t be alone in that) I’ll leave you with this simple question:
How could you dabble some honey on your copy?
Our old friend, authentic writing. Though Robert Hruzek (the author) didn’t call it that, but gave it the title it deserved: a guaranteed, sure-fire, never-fail formula for successful blogging.
You know what constitutes success in blogging? It’s when you can takewhat you pick up from other writers, and springboard it into something unique; something only you can produce.
This is the challenge we face in relation to all the blogging (andwriting) advice you’ll ever read. At some point you need to take what you’ve learned and turn it back into something new, and unique.
Something that only you can produce.
Authenticity can’t be copied – of course. But I think we can learn how to develop our own authentic style, by recognising what it means to us.
So if I asked you about the bloggers who, for you, had an authentic voice – what would you tell me about them? About the way they write, the language they use, the things they say (and don’t say)?
What can you learn from that for your own writing?
This post wasn’t about blog writing at all. It was thoughts from Seth Godin on how the music business should respond to the challenges of the digital world. But there was a paragraph in there that really struck home – and has equal relevance to writers who might worry about their copy being stolen or scraped. It was about the inimitable power of
Interactivity can’t be copied… The winners in the [music] business of tomorrow are individuals and organizations that create communities, connect people, spread ideas and act as the hub of the wheel…
indispensable and well-compensated.
Think about the blogs you visit where you feel part of the audience.
What are the things that make you feel engaged? Which could you start to use in your own blog?
Writing with impact doesn’t mean we’re looking for a collision. Yes, there might be times when you want to make a “forceful contact”, to grab people’s attention, to wake someone up. But it also means to have an impact on, to influence. And that suggests altogether softer, quieter writing skills. It means listening as well as talking. It means leaving room for your reader to be.
This is a challenge for many writers who are making the adjustment from ‘finished’ articles to the more open ended and conversational style of blogs. I found this piece from Darren Rowse one of the best explanations of and introductions to the idea of leaving space for your readers.
Maybe it’s the picture that helps to illustrate the point – what do you think?
His post has some great suggestions (as usual) about practical ways that you can create more space for your reader, and a sound conclusion that
None of these things mean you can’t write comprehensive posts that show off your expertise. To me it is more of an attitude or an issue of the ‘voice’ that you use in blogging. Some bloggers come across as being more closed and unapproachable than others.
Which takes me to my last question…
Think about a blogger that you’d say was ‘approachable’. What is it about what they do – what they write, how they engage with readers, the words and phrases they use – that makes them approachable to you?
And in reverse, are there any bloggers you think are more closed? What specific things do they say or do that makes you think that?
What have you learned from your answers? And how could you apply that learning to your own blog?
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