December 18, 2011
Writing Right: Blogging Tips for the Non-Writer
Bruce Springsteen once sang about people who were born to run. But the world takes all kinds, and while some people were born to do one thing, others were born to do something else. Facts are facts: not everyone was born to write. Up to this point, non-writers may have been able to get away with their lack of literary capacity through smart business savvy or by virtue of the fact that running a successful enterprise has nothing to do with word-smithing prowess. But the popularity of blogging as a means of getting your company message "out there" proves that these days, good writing's not just a useless talent--it's a requirement for expanding your business. Here are a few tips on learning how to write right, right now. Keep it simple. Some of the best writers in the world have what can best be described as "limited vocabularies," and if what you see on the New York Times Bestseller List every week is indication, it doesn't take a genius to sell a million copies. This should come as sweet relief to the eyes and ears of anyone who's ever felt inferior every time they attempt to jot down a few thoughts for public consumption. People get in trouble when they try to be something they're not. Some can pull it off--but most fail miserably, especially if it's an effort that's based purely out of desperation. By keeping your narrative simple and to the point, and focusing on content over quality, you'll do well. Let your personality show. Not everyone was born with personality, but the fact is you don't have to be a dynamic individual to say something compelling. Where most people go wrong in writing blogs, Twitter updates, and even web page copy is in their attempt to say something well rather than just saying it. And a lot of that comes from the idea that writing is a "formal" art. Well, it's not. At least it doesn't have to be, especially for the purposes of a blog. The more you that you inject into your blog, the easier it will be to write--and the easier it will be on your readers to read. Talk about what you know. No surer way exists to distract your readers from a no-frills narrative approach than to lure them in with good, solid information. Who cares that you can't eloquently depict the inner workings of a home's complex plumbing system as long as you can explain how to get the toilet to stop running? And who wants William Shakespeare when all they need is Bob Villa? Write about what you know, and you'll establish yourself as an authority in your industry. That's worth a whole lot more than a perfectly structured sentence. When in doubt, hire it out. Some people struggle with words the way others struggle with simple mechanics. Some don't have the time to devote to trying. If this describes you, consider working with a professional writer that specializes in writing web content and blog articles--yes, they have those!--and who can take the information you give them and really make it sing.