This doesn't happen too often but I've found when an article comes to mind a few times after reading it, there must be some reason it's on my mind.
I've gone back and read this article and I think I know why I kept thinking about it.
The reason? Because I break almost all of the rules
I've justified these breaks with my own justifications however, in the end I think it's a matter of opinion.
That said, I'm no professional writer. I've experienced a limited amount of success by simply writing about what is on my heart/mind at the time and I write in my own way
. English teachers, literary enthusiasts, and other critics of writing style and fundamental rules likely cringe at my use and order of words up to and including my over use of the dreaded dot dot dot.
Admittedly... I wish I were a better writer.
Okay, now for the fun part. I wish to offer my own top seven rules of writing online. My perspective comes from a simple minded sales and marketing background and a willingness and desire to share my opinions. I'm not trying to win any awards
or even make any money from my skills as a writer, I just share for the sake of sharing and sometimes... for later reference or even to reminisce a little.
Writing a book is much different than keeping a blog or writing in a journal, and I think that is the distinction here.
As a blogger...
Rule number 1 - Stay true to who you are!
Trying to impress people with your ability to use a thesaurus will accomplish little. Sure, it may impress the people who grade your work from an editorial standpoint, but is that your goal?
When blogs start out, the typical readership are your friends and family. They already know you and if you try to "shine on" through new ways of dialog, they will likely chuckle to themselves and think your trying to hard.
Rule number 2 - Remember rule number 1 by writing like you talk
. At least that works for me. What I do sometimes is envision the person who I am trying to reach and simply write as though I'm talking to that one person. Sometimes it helps me find the right words and phrases.
Rule number 3 - Write as much or as little as you want!
If I'm in a mood, I'll write volumes! Sometimes I write just a little, it really depends on my mood, the topic and the time available. Fact is, people will read a long dissertation if they are interested. I agree most will not but it's the internet and you get all kinds of people.
Rule number 4 - Make it easy for people to scan your articles. What I try to do is bold key words and phrases throughout the whole post so if someone scans through it, the words I want remembered are brought forward
. Lots of people disagree with this manipulation but that doesn't change the fact that people do scan and I want them to remember what I had to say, not what they were able to pickup randomly.
Rule number 5 - Sit on it for a while! Many times I'll write something and then let some time pass before I post it.
It could be for a few minutes or a few days. Mostly so I can think the subject through, other times so I can read it through and make sure it make sense... well at least to me.
Rule number 6 - Focus is important! On my personal blog I get pretty scatter brained
but on my small business one, I've recently resolved to be more focused
on the theme. I think this has helped greatly and have experienced an increase in the repeat readership.
I have a number of blogs now and planning a few more. Personal, business, travel, web development to name a few. I'm also considering a fitness blog
as I return to the gym this month. I'm really just keeping with rule number one and doing what I want over a market driven agenda. The reason for the number of blogs is so I can focus and not have a reader who is interested in marketing have to sort through my political or technical ramblings.
Rule number 7 - If you're going to post a link to an article, spend a little time offering your opinion on it. Many times, people are reading your blog because they are interested in your point of view anyway so why not offer it? Frankly, I think a blog post with nothing more than an excerpt and a link is lazy
... but that's just me.
There you have em. Now I must remind you that I'm talking about blogs
. I do think that information posted on your business websites as well as official press releases, article submissions, company news, event announcements etc. should be properly formatted and accurate, but in the context of a blog and one attached to ones personality, it should have just that... a personality.
In my opinion of course.