One of the questions I get is whether or not to write a blog in a serious style or with more personality. Obviously if you’re writing the blog for the IRS, you probably have your answer there. But if it’s for your small business, the answer is very different and this, bud, is for you.
Your blog is your blog. While you are working on establishing yourself as an expert in your field and you want to provide valuable information to your reader that they can use, you also want to establish who you are.
Personally, I love puns. I think they’re the greatest thing so I sprinkle a few in my blog here and there. Frankly, those who work directly with me on websites, blogging, event planning and social media are going to hear a pun now and again so I might as well be up front about this.
Your blog is your voice.
This is particularly important since people are trained to remember stories. Dan and Chip Heath discuss this point in their book, Made to Stick. Here’s an example by straight shooter Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer who uses a client case study to make his point.
Sounds Like You!
While your English teacher might wish they could give you a big “F”, write so that it sounds like you would have said it. If you find this difficult, try recording and transcribing what you want to say. Alternatively, take a page from bloggers like Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn who occasionally do videos instead of committing their words to electronic paper. For another example, read Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness, which makes readers feel like Tony’s speaking directly to them.
Avoid Corporate Speak
If you have to have a committee approve your blog posts and someone loves to nitpick, quit. These blogs are neither fun to write nor fun to read.
Have you ever flown Southwest? If so, you know how much fun the flight attendants are encouraged to have with the boring flight rules at the beginning. But this also makes you want to pay attention because it’s fun. Double win - you’re safer and happier.
However it’s also nice to have someone else read the blog before it goes live. Nothing like a misspelling or misuse of words to make you look bad.
Read It. Re-Read It
Honestly, I’ve posted blogs where the bits on the screen are barely dry before I hit ‘send.’ It’s really obvious. The blogs are not fun to read, they don’t make concise points and there are errors in them. Considering that I’m applying for the Grammar Cops, this makes me cringe. Having your blog posts done well in advance makes the world a better place. Oh, I am also the lead procrastinator in Procrastinators Anonymous. Well, I will be if we ever get around to a vote.
Who’s Yer Grammar?
If spelling wasn’t your best class, that’s fine. But you should write your blogs and hire an editor. Same’s true if you think that grammar is your mom’s mom.
Some of your audience won’t know or care if there are misuses in your blog but, for those who do, it’s kind of a big deal. Again, since I am applying for Grammar Cop it just makes me nuts when I read a book and there is an error in it. It takes me right out of the story.
Recently we’ve been looking at RVs and it drives me nuts when people write “hot water heater.” No, it’s just a water heater. If you had hot water already you wouldn’t need a heater.
Yes, I know that’s a misuse. But it’s winter as I’m writing this and I like things that are summery. Like beaches. Did that misuse take you out of enjoying this post and make you want to write me a hate mail? See what I mean about grammar and spelling?
These are just six rules for writing your blog that I hope help you to get started. I always appreciate your input and you can comment below, comment on my Facebook Page or spray paint it on a wall and take a picture. And I really do appreciate your being on this journey with me.