It is so important for businesses and non-profits of all types and sizes to begin blogging. Blogging strengthens your website from an SEO, content marketing, and customer service perspective. However, with so much content hitting the web every second of every day, it’s not just important to write blogs – but also to write blogs really well.
Luckily there are several small improvements we can all make while writing that will make our pieces that much more readable.
My favorite advice for new writers is to think critically but express yourself poetically. If you’re able to do that, your website and your readers will thank you.
All You Need is Alliteration
Alliteration, a stylistic device that employs the use of the same sound within a series of words, always works – when developing blog titles, adding headings or just finding an interesting way to highlight an important phrase within a paragraph. Take the title of this blog, for instance.
Using Alliteration I changed this original blog title from:
Small Things that will Make a Big Impact on your Blog
Tiny Tweaks That Will Give your Blog a HUGE Boost
The use of alliteration in both Tiny Tweaks and Huge Boost (the oooo sound) packs a little more punch than the original title. This stylistic device is taught in poetry and creative writing classes but acts as a perfect example of how critical writers can begin expressing thoughts in more romantic and readable ways.
Have a Little Pun
See what I did there? Utilizing a pun, or, a play on words within your writing is a cool way to grab audience attention, bring things down to earth and just have fun with your articles. Even in blogging for business, there are so many fun ways to use puns within writing and posting on social media.
A great example of fun pun usage:
Jonathan Adler’s Knot Your Average Rug Campaign:
While not everyone is a fan, I personally have nightmares about what a world without puns would be like. Challenge yourself to stop being so literal and find the pun in everyday writing.
Context is Queen
If content is king, then context is queen. It is difficult for lots of business owners to avoid using industry jargon with writing business-related blogs. The fact is, your audience may not understand things that we, as business people, use in every-day language.
As a business owner who blogs about content marketing, I shouldn’t assume my audience knows what content marketing or SEO is. I also shouldn’t assume they know the names of each social network. The easiest way to lose an audience is to speak in a foreign language. That’s why context is so important.
When writing about what you do, remember to put everything you write into context for all of the layman’s who may be tuning in. Whether you’re writing about cars parts or manufacturing metals, try spinning the subject matter and including the general public in the discussion.
Highlight What is Important
One way to make blogs easier to read is to highlight phrases that matter within the content. With millions of pieces of content going out each day on the web, we’re living in a world where readers need to be able to skim through your content to justify reading it before taking the plunge. Make your articles super skim-able by featuring photography and highlighting important content.
Do this by choosing a different heading, color, and playing around with the formatting.
Employ the Active Voice
Allow your words to work for you rather than trying to force your point. I discuss the active voice in a grammar article from earlier this year. When you drop the habit of being passive and begin employing the active voice, you and your readers will be amazed by how it changes your writing.
Here are some tips directly from the blog:
A verb in the passive voice contains a form of the verb to be (e.g., was, is, am, are, were, will be) plus a past participle: a verb that is formed in this way tends to be wordy and weak. Notice: a passive verb has two parts, which is to say at least two words. A passive clause has a subject and passive verb.
When speaking, people have a tendency to express themselves passively as to avoid seeming aggressive or pushy. In writing, you must push your points actively or you will absolutely lose your audience.
This small, nuanced, technique can make all the difference when writing and there’s a chance you’re doing it wrong without even realizing it. Ultimately, your statement may sound unnecessarily wordy and sometimes even apologetic when you use the passive voice. Using the active voice will automatically and undoubtedly make your article easier to read.
Idioms Make an Impact
Idioms represent old or wise sayings that are recognizable to nearly all native writers and speakers. Some of the most common examples include: don’t cry over spilled milk, a penny for your thoughts, when pigs fly, hit the nail of the head, and many, many more.
While idioms can be looked down upon in technical writing as a way of over-generalizing rather than figuring out how to describe a scenario on your own, they absolutely work in blogging because they are a way to put things in context for the reader and make your article look a feel familiar to your audience.
For every new project or client that I acquire, I always like to see what idioms relate to what is being marketed. Let’s say you’re in the restaurant business. you can utilize the following idioms when crafting blogs, posting on social media, or sending out e-blasts:
- A piece of cake
- Go bananas
- Since sliced bread
- A hard nut to crack
- Don’t walk on eggshells
And once you get really good with idioms, enhance them by pairing them with alliteration or puns.
- A penne for your thoughts
- Don’t go bacon my heart
- Pho Show
Want more idioms? Check out this set of Watercolor Kitchen Puns from Etsy!
To conclude, I hope these tips and devices add a some needed extra freshness to your upcoming blog! Don’t be afraid to reach out to Citrus Social for any writing-related needs.
Write-on and have fun!