If you’re a beginning blogger, this may be your first time writing for other people. Are you looking for tips on how to put your words together better? Do you want to sound professional, and not vague, complicated or rambly?
In your journey to become a better blogger, writing is very important. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers who could use some advice on how to write a blog better.
Four tips to make your words more powerful are to be specific, simple, correct and concise.
1. Use specific and concrete words.
Specifically name the item you’re talking about. For example, if you’re blogging about a serpentine creature that crawls on the ground, call it a “ball python” instead of just a “snake.”
Avoid clichés. These are overused and tired words. If you’ve heard it before, it’s probably a cliché. Business speak is full of clichés, such as “at the end of the day” and “going forward.” Other overused phrases are “knock it out of the park” and “24/7.” One way to make your blog writing more powerful is to be original.
2. Use simple words.
The best language is often the simplest language. Don’t try to impress your audience with jargon and pompous words. They will tune you out.
I found a Plain Language government website aimed at improving communication from the federal government to the public. This is a great list that any writer can learn from, and it can be useful to you in your blog writing.
3. Use correct words.
Make sure you are familiar with the meanings of the words you use and that you are using them correctly. For example, I recently saw this sentence at the beginning of a blog article: “According to Social Media Examiner, 89% of marketers want to know how to measure social media ROI, and yet calculating the social ROI still remains illusive to many companies.”
The problem is with the word “illusive.” It means deceptive or illusory. Is this what the writer meant here, or did he or she mean “elusive,” which means difficult to find, catch or achieve. I think elusive is the correct word here.
Another note: The writer should have spelled out ROI, which means “return on investment” the first time it was used, in case some readers don’t know what the abbreviation means.
Word meaning has two dimensions: denotation and connotation, so you want to choose your words carefully. For example, take the word notorious. Its denotation means famous, but its connotation means famous because of something evil or cruel.
4. Use concise words.
Eliminate words and phrases that add no meaning, such as in my opinion, or as a matter of fact. The phrase “due to the fact that” can be shortened to “because.” Another wordy phrase I’ve seen lately is “on a weekly basis.” Just say “weekly.” The same applies to “on a daily basis” (daily) or “on an annual basis” (annually.)
Avoid narrating your writing technique. In other words, don’t tell your audience you’re going to write a blog post – just start the post by introducing your topic.
Seth Godin posted recently on this topic: They’re your words. Choose them.
Your words are your impression to your audience. Taking the time to care about specific, simple, correct and concise words will help you improve your blog writing.
Readers, what do you think of these tips? What other tips do you have to make writing more powerful?