Everyone is talking. Your website or blog is your voice. It represents you through personalized content offered to your visitors. So what writing style will produce the best results on your blog? I classify my style as casually informative. I like to keep things simple by writing similar to the way I speak. Sure I could use “fancier” words, but I don’t feel they are necessary to get my point across.
Regardless of what your style is you need to create effective communication to keep visitors wanting more. This can be done several ways:
- Be personable and friendly. Having a blog is a popularity contest. Remember those cliques in high school we all despised? Well they’re back. The difference this time is that you’re creating your own clique, but online it’s called a tribe or community. You need people to like you in order to gain a loyal following. Be nice, respond to comments, reply to emails and make adjustments to your blog according to the reader responses you receive.
- Just listen. There are millions of blogs online and new ones being hosted everyday. How do you separate yourself from the rest? The answer is real simple. Just listen. Your visitors (or lack thereof) will tell you what you’re doing right or wrong and listening will always enable you to gain more knowledge from the person on the other end. Listening can help you refine your content, add new features and get an edge with your marketing strategies.
- Share what you know. The easiest way to get started online is by sharing what you know or talking about a subject you are extremely passionate about. My passion is seeing people succeed online, beautifully designed websites, online technology and helping others reach their goals. So that’s what I talk about. I help a friend manage a local sports blog and I always find it hard to post anything. I just don’t have the passion. What topics motivate you?
- Influence your readers. If you have followed the first 3 steps, you have now begun to establish trust with your visitors. Because of your honesty and glowing personality people will value your opinion and trust that you are giving the best information possible. As long as you continue to provide your readers with valuable information, they will return to your blog, subscribe to your RSS and possibly tell a few friends about how awesome you are.
One of the greatest inventions since sliced bread! Yet for some reason I still have a hard time checking and double checking my content before I post it. My biggest problem with spellchecking are the words it doesn’t catch. You know, the words that are spelled correctly, but used incorrectly? So even for me, it’s an everyday struggle.
A version of spellcheck is built into almost every program, browser or website you visit. So why on Earth do so many people (including me) still have so many obvious misspellings on their blogs?
In my case, it’s carelessness. But what it shows, is a lack of respect for the reader, which is at the foundation of all good writing, online or off.
So be sure to check your blog entries. Then check them again for good measure. You can also edit posts after they have been published and in the event a reader emails you about misspellings or grammatical mistakes, acknowledge them and make the necessary changes. You will be respected in the long run.
Speaking of Grammar
Yes grammar counts too. I bet you never thought those elementary english grammar classes would come in handy, did you? It’s personally easier to read grammatically correct writing than material from someone who feels that the rules of punctuation, capitalization and tense agreement just aren’t cool.
So lets leave the unnecessarily abbreviated words, acronyms and text messaging shorthand for another time and place.
Other Issues to Consider
Layout also can also cause a bit of confusion. Keep your paragraphs aligned and tidy. It’s easier for most visitors online to read from left to right. So don’t get too crazy with it.
Sprinkle keywords throughout your posts. If you are talking about hash browns from Mc Donald’s, be sure to say that, instead of using “it”, like you would normally do while speaking. Search engine’s will thank you for it.
Once you have the basics, begin to explore other options. Do you want to write in first person? Do you want to use slag or curse? Should you include jokes? Do you want to share details of your personal life? Your challenge is to figure out what will work for you and your targeted audience.
One of the best ways to establish your blogging voice is to visit other blogs and just read. Do you like their writing style? What makes their style appealing? Do they seem friendly? Take notes, be inspired by them and then begin writing based on what you feel are the best practices.
Last words to remember above all – Find your voice, don’t copy someone else’s.