I picked my headline from a fellow blogger’s deep worries about his writing style. He said, “I don’t know what’s happening. Whatever I write looks tacky whereas I find top bloggers’ posts very alluring and interesting. I don’t know what’s missing in my writing.”
This post is only about your writing style and the way you present your view to the reader. This is not about SEO, formatting and visual presentation of your blog post
Does it happen to you too? Many would agree, I believe. So what’s that missing element in your writing style?
As a writer of about more than a hundred posts, including those on content mills and my own blogs, I have taken great number of roller coaster rides of failure and success to learn what are the magic factors that make your post look fresh and inviting. Analyzing the rise and fall of posts has also been my favorite daily blogging chore for long.
Having learnt this through hardship, I feel from all my heart that my experience should be put to good use by struggling bloggers. Here, I assume your post contains good material. My job is only to make you incorporate certain modifications- some fine tunings only and some altogether new ones, which give your post a new, different and original look.
What’s a ‘Tacky’ blog post by the way?
I shall try to deduce it from my discussion with the fellow blogger I mentioned in the beginning. He implied his content was not that bad, core material of the post, no non-sense garbage. Still it did not breathe lively. Not to speak of others, he didn’t enjoy reading his own post.
‘Tacky’ was the word used by him for his posts. As of informal language it means ‘cheaply showy’ or a person or thing having no class. In other words, it meant ‘ungraceful’ or in some way, ‘out dated’ or ‘unattractive’. His posts were missing a critical element. No. They were missing the only essential element. ‘LIFE’.
I read some of his posts. In one post he had written this:
“Some writers do not find time to write much because they remain busy with their full time job. However, one can manage to find some time by properly adjusting one’s daily tasks with their writing work. So it is advised to fit one’s writing time in the free gaps and that’s the way to be successful as a blog post writer. Read more and you will know how to do it. ”
Though there is nothing bad with this writing style yet it doesn’t have teeth to grab the attention of blogosphere users. Nor does it have the glue to keep them stuck. He could have well put it this way:
“Are you fed up with your 9 to 5 job? Do you want to work and earn at your will? Start today. Do it in bits. I assure you, even if you are a part time writer today you can do wonders by cleverly allowing yourself to write in the small available spans which slip away silently and stealthily. In what follows, I walk you through a step by step guide on time management by a part time writer and how to gradually call it quits to 9 to 5.”
Dev, the blogger I have been speaking of, admits he wants to write like this. But it doesn’t come spontaneously to him. His writing style is different. He says he is sick. He says,” My writing stinks like leftover food. It’s rotten.”
I looked into his case. On going through a number of his posts I found there was not much cause for concern. His posts were O.K. They needed some tweaking only.
So the diagnosis is:
This was but a petty example. There are more diseases, more diagnoses and more prescriptions.
Next, let’s see how Dev has got to change.
The 5 Mantras which will change the game for Dev
1. You need to spice up your recipe to sell it
As I have already said above, adding trigger material to your content is so important because today’s internet crowd suffers from click-mania and slide-surfing. Until your writing style poses a more interesting obstacle than the sleep-walking pattern of a hustling surfer she won’t move out of rhythm.
You must add spice to your recipe. Only in case the fast flying visitor sniffs a sizzler she will care to stop by and read your tale. Either offer her a power pill just as Mario grabs the pills of strength in the video game or stun her with your blitzkrieg earning story.
Put in a simple way, you must write clear, hard hitting, effective and to the point. ‘Succinct’ style of general writing is not sufficient for a blogger. The killer strength, the impact or energy or however you name it, must ooze out of your content.
2. Address the reader with an eyeball to eyeball contact
To speak to your visitor intimately and play a conversational style you must write in second person only. Whenever you need to, address your reader with ‘you’. Whenever you need to say something personal,the best way is to write in first person, i.e. start with ‘I’. It has been proved beyond doubt that viral articles on internet have been penned with this kind of addressing.
3. Sometimes you must move off the track though being relevant still matters
I’m going to speak of a writing style you must assimilate into that of your own. Though I have advocated above being simple and straight-hitting yet you have to move off track at times. All of a sudden you start telling something which appears irrelevant and the reader gets intrigued as to why she is being told that.
This is a rare art. You have deviated off the track for a good reason. To prove a point, to illustrate what you have just said or may be to establish the earlier fact was incomplete without understanding this aspect. To maintain the relevance though, you have to back up quickly.
Hope you got it!
4. Keep your writing style easy
This is about
- Keeping your sentences short
- Using light words and avoiding verbose style of writing, and
- Developing a skill of saying a difficult thing in a less untwined way
Look at this:
Having reached school tomorrow request your guide to speak to all the concerned teachers about the circumstances that led to your failure and also convince them that you can repeat your past performance in the scholarship test, in such a way as will secure you candidature in the said exam.
This could have been written as:
Go to school tomorrow. Request your guide to hold a meeting with the concerned teachers. There he would brief them on your past performance. He would also convince them you can repeat your past performance. Such convincing shall earn you a berth for the said exam.
5. Use new words, synonyms and self created adjectives and verbs in your headlines and posts
Observe the following sentence:
My earnings skyrocketed in the month of December to threefold in comparison to my November earnings.
I was not coming across the word ‘skyrocket’ much too often till 3 to 4 years earlier. But once blog communities started using the word it became very popular in the internet parlance.
Then we used for surprising thing or effect phrases such as ‘spellbinding’, ‘dumbfounding’ etc. But once these were used to the saturation point other advanced forms like ‘bloodcurdling’ and ‘jaw dropping’ popped up.
Some self made verbs also show up sometimes. Watch here:
She snorkeled through facts to find out the reality.
I bungee-jumped with joy as I saw my post reach a million clicks.
But the ultimate is here:
He had a ‘Fell from the bed reading-still reading on the floor’ type of curiosity in the book
You should also have an inventory of ready-to-use synonyms. Synonyms have the ability to provide the power punch required to maintain the reader interest. Use of such words and phrases keeps your post scintillating and full with fragrance and taste.
A very helpful article in this regard is 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer
If you found this post useful feel free to discuss with me through your comments.