Smart Writing

Smart people use big words, right?

Does it mean that using big words makes you sound smarter?

Well, according to this study, the answer is no.

Irony: The title of the study’s title is Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly. 

In fact, using words no one understands makes you sound small-minded. To sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Smart writing is simple writing, a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly.

Here are the best ways for smart writing… Continue reading “Smart Writing”

Advertisements

Top 10 Persuasive Writing Techniques

Admit it. You write because you want to convince your readers to do something or agree with your point of view. Or maybe you want them to be inspired by your words, to apply your teachings and principles, to act on your ideas.

Don’t want to admit it? Okay. This is not an interrogation. I’ll move on then.

Persuasion is the ability to present a certain situation as being beneficial to both parties. You make someone an offer they can’t refuse. Not in a Godfather sense of the way though.

Yes, you need to work at making the other understand that a good deal is being offered.

Weird, right?

And, yes, there are techniques that can help you create a more compelling case.

Here are the ten best persuasive writing techniques.

Prepare for… WORLD DOMINATION! Continue reading “Top 10 Persuasive Writing Techniques”

The (Very Short) Ultimate Guide to Blogging

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of writing guides out there. But in my opinion, none surpass the simple, direct advice of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White.

This classic serves up much good advice, especially in the last 20 pages in a section titled “An Approach to Style.” Nowhere have I seen more helpful advice in so few words and with such precision.

If (for shame) you don’t already have this reference in your library, I will leave it to you to explore it in depth. But I would like to provide you with eight important writing tips as they apply to blogging. Continue reading “The (Very Short) Ultimate Guide to Blogging”

Write Like Yourself

Let’s face it: most people can’t write their way out of a paper bag. Further, most bloggers are boring, most journalists are so heavily edited that any personality they’ve added to a story has long since been weaned out by the editorial process.

I want to let you in on a secret, though: it’s not really that people are boring, but that too many have been taught that you shouldn’t write the same way you talk. I blame our educational system, actually, with those 5th grade teachers who drilled us on adverbs, pronouns and the minutia of grammar, coupled with too many boring, tedious academic books that we all suffered through while in college.

Instead, I suggest to you that the best way to write clear, coherent, engaging and enjoyable content is to write the way you speak, to recognize your spoken voice and pour it out onto the virtual page of your computer screen and weblog. Continue reading “Write Like Yourself”

5 Easy Steps to Writing a Great Blog Post

People think that writing is a magic skill, mostly because it seems you’re creating something out of nothing.

It’s not.

It’s not magic, it’s not a genuine act of creation.

It’s part art, part craft. It’s a lot more perspiration than inspiration.

You start with a given set of resources (ideas and a little time), learn the right way to put those resources together, and you’ll write a blog post.

That being said, here’s how to write a great blog post in five easy steps. Continue reading “5 Easy Steps to Writing a Great Blog Post”

The Seven Magic Tricks of Blogging

Magicians are skilled manipulators of perception. They can make people think something is moving when it isn’t or see things that aren’t there. Diverting attention this way and that, they can hide cards and rabbits or make objects appear from thin air.

Blogging is a little bit like that, depending on who writes it. Diverting attention with a little smoke and mirrors often draws readers inwards towards a certain conclusion or believing in what the author wants them to.

Now, don’t get me wrong – blogging isn’t evil. Not at all. But brilliant blogging is a bit like magic. Maybe a bit more than we’d like to admit.

Which means it’s tricky. Here are seven magic tricks of blogging. Continue reading “The Seven Magic Tricks of Blogging”

Keep Your Blog Content Fresh

I think there should be a notice when setting up a new blog:

“WARNING.”

“Blogging is not easy. You may experience unexpected droughts of inspiration, difficultly maintaining a schedule, or succumb to the pressures of always needing fresh content.”

Understandably, awash with the desire to share their great ideas and unique perspective with the world, most people would ignore this warning.

But maybe it would seep its way into the subconscious. Maybe, a few months later as they were staring at a blank page trying to come up with something witty or informative to write, it would come back to them.

Told you so. Continue reading “Keep Your Blog Content Fresh”

How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?

Ever since blogging became mainstream people have been debating about how long blog posts should be. A lot of bloggers may read one or two posts on it, and try to follow the rules – never revisiting the issue for as long as they blog. This can be a mistake.

For a definitive answer, the following are three things to consider when you’re trying to decide how long your blog posts should be. Continue reading “How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?”

The 3 Principles of Effective Blogging

Do you want to learn to blog in a way that goes beyond just conveying information and helps people to take action on what you’ve written?

Well, of course you do.

The truth, the brutal truth, the kind that most people won’t like to accept is that it’s all about these three principles.

That’s it.

Three things.

Master them, and you’ll be able to communicate your ideas clearly with your readers. Continue reading “The 3 Principles of Effective Blogging”

10 Questions Every Blogger Should Ask Themselves

The truth about writing is that it’s 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration; a good writer starts with a quick burst of creativity and spends the rest of their time refining and editing those initial ideas.

This ratio of creating vs. editing time helps clarify your ideas so your audience understands your point of view.

To help you in these crucial editing stages, I think that it’s important to ask yourself some questions so you can make an honest, constructive and critical appraisal of a blog post work before publishing it.

Asking these simple questions could mean the difference between a hastily written blog article that remains obscure and a well-written, influential, and engaging blog that courts a loyal audience with ease. Continue reading “10 Questions Every Blogger Should Ask Themselves”