Photography: Margo Love
Turns out, writing is cool again. Those who would have laughed at touching a keyboard ten years ago, are now are busy typing away, rushing to get their next post out.
If you have a business, and you don’t have a blog, you’re missing out. There is no better way to get your name, brand, and product out to the world, and into search engine results – just make sure you blog well.
So, what does writing well have to do with search engines? Plenty. If you write well, others will link to your article. When others link to your article, search engines take notice and point to you too.
But – don’t think for one moment that you need a degree in journalism to have a blog – you don’t. Some of the best bloggers have no formal training in writing, yet they are successful because they have taken the time to brush up on basics – you can too.
So, how do you write well?
Use plain English. Of the nearly 700 words in Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, 505 are of one syllable, and 122 are words of two syllables
Use active verbs unless there is no comfortable way to get around using a passive verb – “The Googlebot saw him” is strong; “he was seen by the Googlebot” is weak
Get rid of small qualifiers. They dilute your style and persuasiveness. You are not sort of tired, or a bit confused, or somewhat annoyed. Be confused! Be tired! Be annoyed!
Keep your paragraphs short. Writing is visual; it catches your eye before it catches your brain
Use fewer words but make them count
Get to know the most common errors in English
Edit, Edit, Edit. Once you have written your article, go away, have a coffee, come back, print it up, and read it out loud. When you stumble over a sentence, rewrite it, because if you stumble, others will too
And a final point from Brian Clark about headlines:
The benefits of writing well are many: more readers, increased links, higher rank on search engines, the power to influence, and revenue.
Pretty decent return for your investment, dontcha think?
Much like Brian Clark did with his remixing headlines experiment, I thought I’d try an editing experiment. If you have written a post that you think could have been written better, leave a link in the comments section below. I’ll edit it for you and write up the reasons for the edits next week.