Blogging is an art. But just because you write a blog, does not mean people will read it. Why do some blogs titillate, excite and incite, while others bore? Not all bloggers are great writers. Readers understand that and (fortunately) do not demand it. In fact, what they are after are your thoughts, wisdom and gems of insight. They want to relate to you.
While there are many “rules” for writing, here are a few useful tips that will add polish to your posts and take them from ordinary to being extraordinary.
- Stop using Clichés
Some bloggers love to use a certain phrase. That is fine, as long as you are writing about a character and identifying him or her with that phrase. Constantly using tired clichés is a turn off and can be annoying for readers.
A few examples:
- Every cloud has a silver lining
- Eye of the storm
- Walk the talk
- Exactly or totally
- 24/7 (which I am guilty of from time to time)
- So (as in “So, when I was at home…”)
- Going forward
- Proof is in the pudding
- At the end of the day
You get my drift (oops, there’s another one). By just not using them your readers will thank you.
- Spell check, pleeeez!
We are all guilty of misspelling on occasion. That is why spell checkers have become an essential writing tool.
If you do not have a copy-editor or a second reader, then it is time for you to spell check everything. Very few people are able to write fluently and quickly without misspelling. Even journalists who write for a living use spell check.
The problem is that a single misspelled word sticks out like a sore thumb. Finding a misspelled word in a huge novel can raise eyebrows. The same goes for your blogs.
You may be focused on the content, but the reader does not want to sieve through misspelled words. Sometimes, it can even change the meaning of your message completely.
Other common writing offenses:
- Bad grammar (this will take time, and it is always better to have a second pair of eyes. If you do not have someone else to look over your work, read your blog again the next morning)
- Readability (it may sound like words of wisdom to you, but it may read like a complex legal document for your readers. Time to invest in readability tools.)
- Missing words (Sometimes we think faster than we type, and so a missing “not” can change the meaning entirely)
- Spacing (This can irritate even your closest fans)
- It’s vs its and theirs vs there’s
- Write for the reader, not for yourself
You think you have written a masterpiece. However, that is an opinion reserved for the reader.
Writing for yourself is the worst way to blog. That’s because the audience is you, and you are not learning from (or engaging with) your readers. Worse still, you are overlooking what your readers really want. [bctt tweet=”Write for the reader, not for yourself #blogging “]
The whole point about blogging is to engage. It is not a forum to brag about yourself or your accomplishments. Focusing only on what you want to read lowers engagement and causes readers to abandon your posts. They will soon shift their gaze to other blogs that “talk” to them.
For example, before you write about your expertise on blogging to an audience that is more concerned about software development, think twice. The readers may entertain a unique blog-post once in a while, but if you do not hold their attention by appealing to their main interest in reading your blog (i.e. software development), you will lose them.
Targeting the interests of your intended audience and blogging in a way that allows them to identify with you will increase the feeling of engagement they have.
Blogging democratizes writing. Remember, there is a big difference between a blog and THE blog. To become the latter requires practice, care and a good sense of who your actual readers are.