Monday, August 01, 2005
An obvious fact that bears repeating:
the writer has a distinct advantage in a blog.
What is blogging exactly?
Effective blogging includes:
(1) specialized writing skills
(2) web design and HTML/CSS skills
(3) unique personality
(4) original ideas
(5) conversational voice
(6) controversial topics
(7) beneficial information
(8) relevant content
(12) continual improvement
Specialized Writing Skills
and Writerly Blogs
Blogs are judged primarily by the writing quality.
All the other factors play huge roles in the perception and value of a blog, but in content blogs (i.e., not link logs that primarily list URLs with slight descriptions) it all boils down, in the final analysis, to the writing.
If the blogger is a poor writer, chances are, the blog will not be enjoyable to read. There are many well-written blogs in existence. No one needs to waste any time with poorly written blogs.
One of the problems with many business blogs is that they sound too stiff, impersonal, and fluffy. People are seeking user-friendly, personalized, interactive services. A business blog is a service mechanism, specializing in customer satisfaction: providing the intended audience with relevant material and desired functionalities.
One of the problems with many personal blogs is that they sound too emotional, private, and mundane. People are seeking focused entertainment, information, and community. A personal blog is a service mechanism, specializing in intimacy and unique personality: providing the fan base with private thoughts and personal observations.
A personalized business blog would stand out from the pack.
An intimate, candid, two-way conversational blog for business purposes would be ideal.
Customers have sickened of listening to and obeying robot recordings and selecting from pre-set menus.
They want to connect with a real human person at your company.
The writing style, therefore, has to be the opposite of corporate brochure-speak: non-corporate, casual, un-business-like.
What do corporate brochures
* questions to the reader
* admission of faults and weak spots
* complete contact information
* natural speaking style
* intimate atmosphere
* friendly tone of voice
* cynical attitude
* humble posture
* hesitant approach
* references to external sources
* praise for competitors, rivals, opponents
* side-by-side comparisons
* philosophical depth
* strong expression of contrarian opinion
* abstract art as window-dressing
I'm sure you can think of many more qualities of natural human communication that are NOT to be found in corporate fluff writing. Not all the anti-corporate qualities are worthy of using in a blog. But most are.
Deliberately writing in a clearly non-corporate style will signal to readers that it's not "business as usual", not altogether boring and hyped-up.
Blog Priority: writing style
The most important aspect of any blog is the writing style, an appropriate style for the intended audience.
The best text content blogs (i.e., not photo/audio blogs or link logs) are writerly, whether the blogger is conscious of it or not.
Keep improving your writing skills, read classic literature, visit popular, well-written, unique blogs.
If your writing is improving, it doesn't matter how many visitors, comments, or RSS subscribers you get.
Be true to your own vision. As long as you're satisfied with your blog, that's really all that matters. It's not the readership of your blog, it's the writing of it that's vital.
While we must not neglect the blog design, and other aspects of blogging, the post writing's the main thing.
Master the art of blog post writing.
FREE lessons available in the Vaspers the Grate family of fine quality blogs and premium post archives.
Posted by steven edward streight at 8/01/2005 09:21:00 PM