I have to admit that I am still learning about the best ways to present information on this website as well as on my own. I keep looking for lessons from others to speed up my learning. That’s one reason I refer to and include content from other bloggers. And in this post, I’m including information from two bloggers. First is Cari Bennette, guest blogger for BookBaby, a company dedicated to making self-publishing easy, in its blog. Thanks to BookBaby for giving me permission to quote from that post. And second, Mandy Feruggia and her blog, A Girl Obsessed.
From BookBaby Blog’s guest blogger, Cari Bennette
#1 Have a Personality
Some techniques to let your authenticity show are:
- Write the same as you talk. If you don’t speak like an English professor, don’t try to be one in your writing. Let your personal idiosyncrasies show through as these are the quirks that make us uniquely individual. And they’re endearing to your readers, creating a bond of familiarity.
- Write about what you know. Resist the temptation to dive into the pool of popular online subjects to be seen as on-topic or trending and stick to what you know. Your passion will shine through when you write from the heart.
- Speak directly to your readers. Ask them pertinent questions, get to know what they want and what problems they have that you can solve. Share some personal stories, problems and solutions to strengthen the connection with your readers.
#2 Use Simple Words
[A]s [the 19th century German philosopher] Arthur Schopenhauer said “One should use common words to say uncommon things.”
#3 Keep Content Simple and Visually Appealing
- Think like a newspaper and keep your important content above the fold.
- Keep your paragraphs short and sweet to separate thoughts and keep the reader moving quickly.
- Create a post-specific call to action to draw attention and get a response.
- Ensure your pictures and text mesh together seamlessly.
- Pay attention to formatting details. Formatting should be as professional as possible to keep reader distractions to a minimum.
#4 Simplicity Equals Focus
Simplicity of focus:
- Helps SEO [Search Engine Optimization] by leveraging searches for specific content.
- Helps the readers “… to find the answer quickly, and writing well defined titles with focused content will bring in happy readers.” And,
- It helps the blog. By drilling deep into a topic, the process naturally creates many sub-topics to write about. Which makes the process of writing more enjoyable as he no longer scrambles for writing inspiration by trying to force a topic.
#5 Edit Like a Pro
A good exercise to flex the ruthless-editing muscles is to write an 800 word piece, then trim it to 500 while still retaining the key point. It’s a wonderful and strange feeling of liberation to learn the editorial craft of becoming concise as a poet.
Note: The above excerpts originally appeared on The BookBaby Blog. Reprinted with permission.
Mandy Feruggia’s post includes 30 tips for improving any blog and a day-by-day program to follow. I’ll be following these steps on the Guild’s website and then take the same steps on my personal blog. I’ve already completed tips 1 (Update your About page) and 2 (Organize your categories and tags). I’m ready to dive into tips 3-7 this week. Will you join me?
Mandy’s tips are here.