Sandra Lee from Always Well Within, wrote a post “Has Blogging Murdered Eloquence and Elegance?” that inspired my article today. I wanted to write about something that’s been bothering me but didn’t have enough to add, until I found Sandra’s article.
Sandra asked her readers some interesting questions regarding their writing styles. I have listed them below, but would urge you to read her detailed post.
1). Have you altered you writing style as a blogger? Where do you draw the line?
Have you simplified your writing style?
2). Do you use formulaic headlines? If not, how do you write effective headlines?
For example: 10 easy ways to get organized today.
3). Which words turn you in the opposite direction?
Sandra mentions words such as awesome, killer, kick-ass, dude.
4). What do you think about the use of swear words and vulgarity in blog posts?
My response to several of her excellent questions and points is: Who is your audience?
If you’re appealing to a young crowd of 20-30, your writing needs to relate to them. Since I cannot write like twenty-somethings speak, (half the time I don’t understand my own sons,) they are probably not my audience.
I added two of my own questions below.
5). Has blogging improved your writing skills? We all put more time and effort into writing and editing our blog posts than we would in an e-mail to a friend. My problem is I speak French and Danish, and notice after I’ve read or spoken French, my sentence structure is incorrect in English. (How do you like my excuse?)
6). Have you ever left a comment on someone’s blog you regretted after you clicked submit?
When I’m in a hurry or over-tired, I have commented without thinking before I hit submit.
This happened to me the other day on another excellent guest post, “5 Steps to Captivating Readers With Your Secret Message,” by Carol Tice on Copyblogger. Copyblogger is huge, the Guardian named it one of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs.) And this is what I wrote:
“I don’t have a secret message. I want my readers to share their opinions and encourage them to be open. I love cross-cultural comparisons from around the world regarding topics that we can all relate to in one way or another. Thanks for asking.”
After you read “5 Steps to Captivating Readers With Your Secret Message” you realize I did not pay attention to the article’s main focus. It was about how our writing is an opportunity to tell readers what we’re about; to convey our personality, passions, expertise, and attitude.
I realized my stupidity, or shall we say, “misinterpretation” and tried to redeem myself by writing a second comment in the Reply section, to myself (like the world cares!)
“I hope to be authentic in a Gutsy way, that inspires viewers to think about everyday issues in unusual ways.”
Please hop over to Sandra Lee’s “Has Blogging Murdered Eloquence and Elegance?” and Carol Tice’s article on Copyblogger’s “5 Steps to Captivating Readers With Your Secret Message” to help with your writing and content.
Please share anything you care to about your writing and commenting experiences.
Jeff Michaels says
As a non-Blogger (currently!) I cannot speak directly to some of the questions posed.
As a reader/writer I will say I have a title for an article, "Top 5 Reasons I Hate Headlines That Start With the Words 'Top 5 Reasons'". One day I may actually blog about this…
I also do not respond well to buzz words or weasel words. "Terror Strikes…" or "Horror in…" no longer mean anything.
Hype means the content does not stand on its own merit..
Blogs have improved my writing however. Especially yours! Thanks for the links!
Thanks for your comment and I like your idea for a post. Please let me know when you write it.
Mad Bush Farm says
What a fascinating post Sonia sorry it's been a while since I've been able to visit anyone's blogs. Family health issues have got in the way of me having time to catch up with everyone's blogs.
I'll have a good look at all of those links you have posted. My writing has improved since I started blogging in late 2007. My current blog wasn't started until 2008. I've written a number of journalistic articles for various local publications and one regional.I've also branched out and studied other writing styles and tips. A headline does grab the eye but it doesn't ahve to be catchy as such. If it contains words of interest then people will read it. How I blog and how I write for publications are two different styles entirely. Great Post!
It is interesting isn't it? I know blogging has improved my writing, especially in a technical way. I think I've stayed true to my voice, but I agree with Sandra's feelings about unnecessary swearing. I swear regularly, but usually with people I know well. I find it a bit jarring to read it when it's only there for shock value.
I have hit submit too soon. It happens to the best of us. When it's a post about blogging or writing skills, you agonize over getting it right then pull the trigger too soon. oops.
The other thing I have to mention is hyped headlines… red flag to me. And I'm really leary of lists that claim to change my life. doubtful.
Thanks for your post and the links!
i started blogging as a way to share my writing. it's given me another venue in which to express myself and get feedback, so that has definitely been useful. i think blogging can serve an important function to help writers reach out to other writers (and readers) and connect in a way you otherwise wouldn't, sitting home and working at your desk alone.
Doctor Eclectic says
Interesting post. And thanks for leading me to Sandra. I now will be a follower.
Thanks to you and your suggestuion. I think my writing style has improved by posting. I am more controlled and concise with less effort. I also find that I am more curious, and am interested in more thangs. I have a list of potential blog topics that seems to get longer every day. I just hope things stay that way. BTW have now sold 10 books (and given away 15). Life is indeed good.
Lori Alper aka Groovy Green Livin says
I think you are a gutsy writer! Thank you for adding some great questions on to Sandra's post. Reading your question-"Who is your audience?" really made me dig deep. I seem to bounce around and I think I need to give this some more thought. I have also left comments when I am exhausted and when I come across them again they make me laugh….we all do it!
Miss Sadie says
I don't know whether blogging has improved my writing. After living as an award-winning journalist for decades, my writing style is pretty firmly set.
But that's not entirely true. I think I am both more playful and more reflective that I have been in my past writing. Is that an improvement, or a change to fit a different writing genre?
I write for a living but when I blog I can be more poetic or humourous in a way I can't be when writing for clients…
Sometimes comments get misinterpreted by both parties, but on the whole people are kind to me and I try not to rush off a comment too quickly…
Julie Musil says
If your first language is not english, then I'm really impressed. I would have never guessed from the way you wrote your post.
Blogging has changed me as a writer…for the better. I'm more plugged in to techniques and markets, and just having this cyber friendship with other writers makes me realize I'm not in this alone.
@Mad Bush Farm
I'm glad to see you again. Hope your family health issues are improving. Have a good time showing urban people what farm life is like.
I find searing with some comedians unbearable. Don't you?
So true. I thought of the "lonely writer syndrome" and how lucky we are to "talk" to others via our blogs etc.
Blogging has definitely improved my English or at least I'm not afraid mistakes anymore. I know my grammar will be bad rest of my life. Main thing is that people understand what I try to say… 🙂
I think all writing helps your writing, though I do write differently for my blog.
I have left comments I've regretted. I often am a bit opaque to jokes and end up looking a bit stupid.
M + V says
As you mention, the blogosphere has caused me to re-imagine AUDIENCE–and the evolution of the "story-listener." And so, like a faithful nurse, I try and feel the pulse of the collective blogospheric imagination
I am less drawn to "How tos" and "21 ways to…," so I don't write that way. I've most recently gone back to children's books, Sesame Street, and songs!
Commenting is the currency of "storylistening"–you are right to consider what you've written. This transcends a facebook "thumb's up" and communicated shared ideas…conversation…engagement.
Great essential question!
I agree with Lauri that any time your write, play with words or dig for emotion it makes you a better writer.
I so enjoyed your post girl!
God bless ya and have a beautiful day!!! :o)
Well done on your book sales, and the fact that more subjects are popping up for you to blog about.
You do have a great, professional blog and the green audience can be so wide in age range and interest.
Sandra Lee I Always Well Within says
Thanks for highlighting my article and adding further thought-provoking questions.
I agree wholeheartedly that knowing your audience is both the first step as well as key all along the way as you write.
Blogging has definitely improved by writing. It's given me a reason to pay attention to my writing and learn from mentors who have helped me improve.
Oh gosh, I've left some truly embarrassing comments. There's no question about that. I bet we've all done that. I also make errors responding to comments on my own blog, but I can at least edit those!
Thanks for these stimulating questions.
LZ Blogger says
It has made me very thankful fot MS Spell Check in MS Word. ~ j///b
Well as a journalist, you already know how to write well.
Yes, I do see the other side on your blog:the poetic side.
I was taught three languages at the same time while growing up. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, I understand you. Thanks.
Glad to hear about the comments. I'm not the only one!
Glad to hear those "catchy sales titles" aren't for everyone.
Yep, writing is like exercising: It takes effort.
@Sandra Lee AlwaysWellWithin
Thanks for letting me "use" your article to stimulate further conversation.
Now if only it would write the post for you too.
Miss Sadie says
Writing for blogs is different from writing for news publication, because the "audience" is often different, and has different expectations. One has to adjust one's writing to one's readers.
Penelope J. says
I find that blogging has improved my writing but in terms of blogging. It's not the same as writing a short story or a book, and has a style of its own.
I've learned a lot from Copyblogger about blogging style and how to draw attention to posts, and from other major bloggers how to attract traffic or appeal to more readers or write more attention getting blog posts from other important headlines and content.
Still, the most important thing about blogging is having a unique writing voice and an important message.
I didn't write before I began blogging. That's probably obvious when you read my posts.
As far as regretting the comments I leave, I always cringe when I realize I've left one with a typo or some other glaring error.
Robert the Skeptic says
The questions are irrelevant to me as I blog for myself. If anyone else seems to enjoy or otherwise gain something from my musings, that's great.
I think I was originally blogging too much–everyday for months–so much that I lost my funny bone for awhile!
If anything, blogging brought out more creativity, ability of being more observant of human nature.
I also think that blogging has brought out the plagiarist in some
people, as many of my articles were downloaded…one reason why I'm not up so much.
I'd like to think my 'creative genius' in writing something funny to brighten one's day, is mine alone1
Peter H says
it is as much about practise as anything …….you go to swim training – and swimming skills improve.
Writing is the same.
And you sure get comments.