When you create a passion blog as part of your personal brand to help you find a job after college, you should forget all the stuff you learned in school about writing (except grammar and spelling, of course!).
While we were all plugging away in school, “learning” proper writing etiquette and formatting, there was a different writing world outside the, “beginning, middle, end,” outline that we were so meticulously taught as youngsters.
Most rules we were taught as we rose up the ladder of school grades. Spelling started when we were young, third grade, then came punctuation, grammar, and writing analytically as we rose up to the older grades.
It’s all fine and dandy that those rules apply to high school paper, and, even college, writing styles, but in the “real” world, a more popular form of writing has reared its not-so-ugly head. So, take a breath and realize that you no longer have to write in the third person if you want to. If writing in the first person is what your little heart desires, then go ahead!
Here are some tips on how to ditch those old step-by-step writing formats and be the best blog writer around!
1. Include your voice!
In school I’m sure when you were writing a paper on World War I or Women’s Rights, you were told to explain what your paper was about in the first paragraph and state your thesis. After that, you probably knew, like the back of your hand, that you were supposed to have three supporting paragraphs, all bringing up an important point to add substance to your paper. And finally, in your last and final paragraph, you were supposed to summarize everything you previously stated in the paper and leave the reader with a thought provoking and profound idea in order to take your paper just that one step further towards A+ material.
Blah, blah, blah…
Throughout this whole paper, it was always drilled into our heads to never say I or insert our own opinions. However, in blog writing, it is extremely effective to use your own voice and weave in your opinions and thoughts– it’s your blog, design it how you want and say what you feel!
Go ahead and ramble off topic! I promise you won’t get deducted a grade for going astray… just make sure to, ya know, eventually get to the point.
2. Write upside down
In Mark Schaefer’s article on how blog writing is unique, he brings up a really awesome point. People who read blogs aren’t looking to invest a ton of time with reading every last detail and supporting paragraph you include. They like to skim, glance over something and if they aren’t immediately interested, they aren’t going to spend any time on your blog.
You need to tell everyone right up front what your blog post is about, no dilly dallying and writing a long opening paragraph slowly explaining what you are going to talk about. Tell them in the first sentence and prove why they should read your post!
Another great point that Mark Schaefer makes in his article: keep your blog posts RITE aka Relevant, Interesting, Timely and Entertaining. No need for much elaboration or explaining here, I think you guys get the point.
Ugh, I just love a good acronym.
4. Have a catchy title!!!!
What is more important than having a catchy and attention drawing title? NOTHING! That is the whole way you get people to read your posts! No one is going to stop and think to themselves, “wow, this blog post on toe jam really sounds like it’s going to be life changing.”
Toe jam, right….?
Nope, don’t think for a second that you can get away with having a lame title. This is something that we were always taught in school but still applies to blogging– have an interesting title that will make people curious about your writing and want to read more!
Here are some really fun, imaginative headline suggestions:
- The 100 Best Headlines Ever