Writing Strategies For Your Blog – Part II


The Message:

Every writer must find a voice. Skillful poets and painters develop their artistic voices through years and years of practice. If you really want to get better at writing, you’re going need a lot of practice and you’re going to need some virtual elbow grease.

Cliched writing, in general, usually comes from a voiceless person. Copying is bad and crimping someone’s style is painful. Cliched writing is one step away from quoting your favorite blogger. Don’t do it.

The Bad Example:

Word: Opt
Used in a sentence: I opted to buy the Macbook at the Apple Store.
Incorrect usage: I opted you through the gap in the door with using the sniper rifle.

Additional Tips:

Don’t use the passive voice and don’t use really weird words without knowing their true meaning. Lorelle has a list of good grammar tips. If you don’t know what the terminology is, ask your English professor. I know that a good percentage of you people are still in school which by the way starts in a couple of months.



12 Responses to “Writing Strategies For Your Blog – Part II”

  1. 1 Dennis Pater 6 July, 2006 at 6:38 am

    One’s again we are very glad whit your strategies to help us feather

  2. 2 Omar Barsawad 6 July, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for the advice and tips!

  3. 3 Claire Millington 6 July, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    I like the tips. Especially the tip on not using the passive voice – it can make it difficult to understand what you are going on about. I used to work for a very formal employer (government one) and we used first person in all reports to give clarity to your (inevitably busy) reader.

    Something to add on sentence length: In report writing sentences should be no longer than (if I recall correctly) 20 words. Longer is difficult to understand. I think the same works for internet too – its an illuminated screen which tires your eyes so you want the reading to be easy for your readers. So think about sentence length. Sometimes using a really long sentence is great and can really add a sense of flow to your writing but don’t be afraid to use short ones too. They add impact.

  4. 4 Michael 6 July, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    Claire: Very insightful. I come from a print background and the key is to keep things concise. Lily talks about using long sentances but that’s because she works for a law firm and every word counts.

    Gosh no wonder law stuff is so boring. 🙂

  5. 5 bloglily 7 July, 2006 at 5:05 am

    Now then, young man, I AM listening! And you’re right, law stuff can be boring. But only when it’s written about by bores! You’ll note I almost never talk about the law in my blog. There’s a reason for that.

    I do think brevity matters, as does clarity, and frequently the two go together. But everyone has a unique voice, and I’d hate for us all to sound exactly the same — every once in a while a winding sentence can be interesting, as Claire points out. But you do have to kind of seduce your reader into following you in the direction you want to take him or her.  And — fortunately for all of us — there are as many ways to do that as there are human beings.

  6. 6 Michael 7 July, 2006 at 5:16 am

    Lily: You’re right about the law stuff. It’s boring. But you do like to use long form and that’s your style.

    Style is hard to obtain and there’s no easy formula to archiving it. It always pains me to read blogs that try to be funny on purpose. (And fail miserably.) It’s not easy being funny.

    Speaking of strained comedy. I can’t believe that I used a CS source reference…

  7. 7 bloglily 7 July, 2006 at 6:07 am

    HAGS? I thought that meant Have A Good Summer.

  8. 8 Michael 7 July, 2006 at 6:10 am

    That’s what it means. It’s a message to all of those kids who’ll be going back to school in a couple of months.

    You’ll find that I’m a very weird and quirky kind of guy.

  9. 9 Claire Millington 7 July, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    Law stuff? I used to have to figure out laws. In Italian. Maybe why I am so concise these days…

  10. 10 Claire Millington 13 July, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    where are the rules for good writing? Would like to read em.

  11. 11 Claire Millington 13 July, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    Oh its the ones already referred to elsewhere.

  1. 1 Nimish Batra, The Life and Times of » Parle Vous Anglais Monsiuer? Ja/Nein? Trackback on 13 July, 2006 at 12:17 am

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