In 2018, it seems that everyone has their own blog. Even Grandma has one!
But why do you need one, especially if you already have a super demanding life?
For many, blogging is a chance for them to help themselves. Take healthy eating blogs, such as Good For You Gluten.
Jenny knew her diet was poor and that things had to change.
But unless she had something that would hold her accountable to herself and others — such as a blog — she was always going to find it hard to stick to a healthier diet.
Blogging also gives Jenny the chance to help others. She uses her blog to share her own personal experiences on a gluten-free diet and hopes that it will inspire those who are facing the same situation that she was.
There are other reasons to start a blog. You might do it simply because you have a passion for something that you want to share with the world, you might do it to help you pass the time, or you might even see it as a potential full-time career.
Indeed, blogging can be a fun, lucrative adventure if you get it right.
In this post, you’ll learn why a writing style matters for your blog, and exactly how to start crafting and improving your own.
Why a writing style matters for your blog
Perhaps what matters more than anything else is your writing style.
Grandma might be older than you, but if she’s got her writing style nailed; she’ll keep readers avidly glued to her page and convert more people than you. Why? Because she knows what people on the Internet like to read.
The thing is that, no matter how much we might declare: “I’m blogging for myself first and foremost, and if others choose to read it, great. If not, fine,” we know that a blog that has no readership is a pretty disheartening.
Moreover, when you blog, you surely want to present the best version of yourself — and this includes your writing style — to the Internet.
And because people can read your blog, you surely want to give them something awesome to read, right?
Visitors to your website aren’t like readers of high-brow Russian literature. They’re not interested in your extensive vocabulary, or the fact that you know how to fit fancy words like “soliloquy” into a sentence. They like their blogs like they like their sports cars — fast, punchy, and engaging.
In other words, they don’t want you to be dry, boring, slow to get to the point, and utterly uncompelling.
They have options in the form of thousands of other websites. If your writing style is as unappealing as a wet day at the beach, they’ll quickly head elsewhere.
The stats prove it:
A good writing style helps build trust with the reader
If your writing style is awkward and clumsy and exhausts the reader, it’s going to be very hard for them to trust you.
Your blog is a great way to build credibility with your readership.
Correct grammar, a conversational style, and a friendly tone of voice help to build credibility and trust.
It’s one thing being an expert in your field. But if your writing style is horrendous, you won’t be convincing anyone.
A good writing style is aesthetically pleasing
Is writing an art? It sure is.
But does great writing look good? It sure does!
A weak writing style makes your blog look disjointed and hard-to-read. It just looks aesthetically displeasing. An awesome writing style, on the contrary, looks welcoming and inviting. People want to keep reading.
Your readers are more receptive to giving a chance to a blog that looks good and organized than they are to a blog that looks overwhelming and messy.
A good writing style ensures your reader keeps reading to the end
We all have different purposes for our blog posts. For many of us, we want our reader to take a specific action after we’ve warmed them up with our blog.
When a reader enters your site, they might be a bit warm — but they might be totally cold.
In other words, they’re a bit interested in what you want to sell them, but they still need some convincing. You can then use your blog post to get them interested in your message or what you’re selling them.
To warm them up so much that by the time they get to your Call To Action at the end of the blog post, they’re ready to do what you want them to do.
A good writing style keeps eyeballs on the page, improving the chances of a reader making it all the way to the end.
But what makes a good writing style and how can you stand out? Let’s take a look.
How to improve your writing style
1. Use short paragraphs
The golden rule seems to be that a paragraph should contain no more than six sentences. If possible, each paragraph should average four or five.
Why? Because it makes your blog post look readable.
Nobody wants to stroll into a website to be confronted by huge blocks of text. It looks visually overwhelming. The first thing we’ll do? Bail out.
Your writing style needs to be fluid and have good flow, and it needs to look presentable. Aim to break your paragraphs up as much as possible. The reader will feel a lot more relaxed about making it all the way to the end of this particular blog post.
Also, where relevant, use bullet points to break up the text.
2. Be engaging
Easiest way to engage your readers? Do what I just did and ask a question.
Asking questions is super easy. You don’t need to ask complex questions or spend ages coming up with one. Instead, all you need to do is turn a sentence that currently doesn’t pose a question into one that does.
Take a look at these two examples:
If your CTA is weak, it’s game over. All the hard work you put in to drive in traffic and keep a prospect on the page for so long will be for nothing. Nada.
If your CTA is weak? It’s game over. All the hard work you put in to drive in traffic and keep a prospect on the page for so long will be for nothing. Nada.
These are pretty much the exact same sentence, with the exact same message. The words are identical — the only thing that’s changed is that I decided to break the flow up of the second example by asking a question. By so doing, I’m involving my reader and engaging with them.
It’s a simple but super effective tactic that helps to draw a reader in.
Naturally, you don’t want to be asking questions all over the place. But feel free to throw a few in there throughout your article.
3. Be conversational
You know what Internet people hate? Boring writing styles.
What are the things you remember most about your favorite blog posts that have drawn you in, kept you reading to the end, and perhaps even led you to take action? It’s highly likely that you felt as though the writer was talking to you as though they were in the same room as you!
If you can literally hear a writer talking to you, it’s a sign that they’ve written the blog in a very conversational tone.
This is good for a few reasons:
- It improves the flow of a piece, which is great for keeping a prospect on the page until the end
- It helps to win a reader over
- It engages the reader
Easiest way to adopt a conversational style of writing? Pretend you’ve got your target audience sat in front of you as you type your blog post. Do it! Have them in the same room as you, and write to them as though you’re talking to them.
Use phrases like:
“Now, I know what you’re thinking.”
“Hear me out.”
“Picture the scene…”
4. Use short words
George Orwell wasn’t the world’s greatest novelist, but he knew a thing or two about writing style. Fortunately for us, he coined a few rules about what makes a good piece of writing.
Our favorite is Rule 2:
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
When it comes to writing your blog posts, short words are always preferable to long ones.
Why? Because they’re punchy, easy to read, and they help to get your message across.
A reader isn’t interested in how good you are as a writer. All they care about are themselves and what’s in it for them. If you distract them with big, poetic, awkward words, you’ll lose them.
Okay, all that sounds good. But why does it really matter? Will readers really run away if the writing style isn’t desirable? Absolutely. And even if they don’t… Your readers will miss your message.
A poor writing style is a massive marketing faux pas. If your writing style is poor, your message will get lost. As a consequence, your reader won’t know what you want them to do!
As such, they won’t take the action you had in mind.
A seamless, flowing writing style that’s punchy, engaging, and direct hit is much more likely to hit the spot with your reader. Your message will be crystal clear.
5. Choose a tone and stick to it
What makes Fit Bottomed Eats such a great read is the sense of humour of its writers. Jennifer and Kristen are hilarious, and their wit is surely one of the main reasons why their fitness blog stands out among so many.
Just imagine what would happen if they changed their tone overnight and started being all serious and somber? It would be a major turnoff for their readership.
Ask yourself why you read the blogs you do. It’s because of their content, but it’s also because of their tone.
You need to decide what tone you’re going to adopt from the very beginning because this tone will affect your writing style, and consequently, your readership. Are you going to be entertaining, dry, academic, silly, informative, educational, wry, sarcastic, caustic, dark?
Decide on your tone and be consistent.
This all relates to…
6. Positioning your brand
Brand positioning probably isn’t something you’ve thought about before. “I’m not a brand,” you might say with modesty.
The minute you launch a blog is the minute you launch a brand.
Let me explain what this means and why it’s so important:
- Your brand is what make your blog recognizable to people
- Your brand becomes synonymous with your values, and your readers look for values that they share
- Your brand influences your tone. If you don’t know your brand positioning, your tone becomes inconsistent and this is a huge turnoff for readers
- Your brand tells people what you’re all about
- Your brand tells you what you’re all about, and this gives your blog and all of its content direction
Brand positioning is all about how your brand — and therefore your blog — is perceived by readers.
From now on, you need to decide where to position your brand. Take a look at your nearest rival blogs. Where are they positioned and how can you position yourself differently? Take a look at your values and develop a strong position based on them.
Take a look at your targeted readership, too. What would they look for in a brand like yours?
Anyone can write a successful blog. It’s not as complicated as a novel. All it takes is ideas for content, basic grammar skills, a unique voice — and a good writing style.
If you stick to the tips outlined in this article and even expand on them, you’ll be well on your way to crafting compelling blog posts that help you to build your audience.