When it comes to blogging, you’ve probably heard that “writing skills for bloggers are essential”. Everybody says that but what does it actually mean?
There are lots of articles on how to become a better writer, but the only thing they suggest is writing more. If you want to write, you’d better write. Well, it is true but it is not so much of a help.
In the year 2020, 4.4 million blog posts are published per day. Competition is enormous; there is probably a blog on anything in the world. To stand out, one should be a great writer.
When I say it, I do not mean being good with grammar or knowing a couple of fancy words to slide in. I mean being passionate about what you do and incorporate techniques that help you achieve better engagement with the audience.
Although there are many bloggers, not so many of them use four amazing writing techniques I’m going to talk about. Many of them just concentrate on the SEO aspect and such metrics like the length of the post and keyword stuffing. Of course, they are important, but if the text is plain, dry, or boring, no keyword will save it.
Here are 4 rare writing skills that bloggers often miss out on
#1. Consistent Voice and Branding
Why is it good to be consistent with your writing? Well, it helps to build trust with the audience and fulfill their expectations. It is also something that makes your style truly unique.
After all, information can be found anywhere online; people stick with their favorite bloggers because of their unique perspective. Be consistent on all levels, such as:
- Posting schedule;
- Style and voice;
- Relevancy of the topics;
The posting schedule is quite clear, so let’s talk about style and voice right away. Having a personalized and distinct voice and writing style helps to make the delivery more personal and connect with the audience on a new level.
It comes in many forms, starting from the use of spelling and up to metaphors. The style is a lot about technical details. It also makes the content more polished and professional.
Another important thing – BE YOURSELF!Vasy Kafidoff
Consistent style is exactly what makes you stand out of the competition. Maybe you choose a humorous approach or strong research, it is up to you. But stick to it because if you change the delivery with every post it looks disingenuous.
Trust is built on the fact that readers know you and expect a certain type of content. The original writing style also keeps the readers engaged, looks pleasing, and holds the attention to the end of the text.
Another important feature of the style is being dedicated to the topics you cover. There are lots of bloggers that write about everything and nothing at the same time. It is a bad idea. Find your niche, something you are good at and share your expertise.
Do not jump from one topic to another because the audience will be confused and unsatisfied. If someone is subscribed to your travel blog, they are probably won’t be happy with the post on comfortable sofas. Even if your advice on that is valid.
All of that together – style, delivery, and relevancy is what helps to build a brand. Some of you might say “well I’m not a brand, I’m just one person”. It doesn’t mean that a personal blog cannot be a brand. Branding in this case means building a credible online presence and establishing expectations among the readers. It is a foundation of building a loyal community.
Look at the other spheres of life – people choose certain products or services because they like and support the brand. They trust the brand, expect a high level of quality, and share the same values. This principle applies to blogging. Branding is what makes your blog recognizable and trustworthy.
Stay on-brand by sticking to your niche, having a consistent writing style (including technicalities and design branding), and by providing real value to the readers.
#2. Expertise and Storytelling
Your expertise in the field is the core of your writing. Show your expertise by building credibility, providing strong research or evidence, and by sharing your own experience.
Some bloggers think that being credible means being dry with facts. As if all people want are numbers and graphs. Do not get me wrong, they are cool. But it doesn’t mean you have to be boring. One of the amazing ways to make any content more vivid and engaging is storytelling.
Storytelling is as old as the human race. We love stories, whether they are told or written. They are incredibly powerful too. Incorporating stories in your blogs can:
- Make information more personal and close to the audience. I mean, it is much easier to relate to a character than to a graph;
- Add memorability to the post. A concise story is easier to remember than just the facts;
- Make your personal experience more exciting for the audience;
- Offer a more transparent point of the text. With a powerful tale, you can deliver a message effectively.
And if you are still not convinced, just listen to a David JP Phillips TED Talk on storytelling. He explains the brain biochemistry processes behind our fascination with stories.
You can also check out the case of GrooveHQ that tested this technique in their blog and attracted 300% more readers to a post with a story. They posted the same text with and without it and compared the results. The conclusion is obvious – storytelling is a great advantage for any type of blogger.
So how to do it properly?
- Open the post with a story. This is a great way to motivate the reader to read till the end. You can even keep the intrigue by not revealing the ending.
- Use a story as an example. Even the hardest concept can be explained with this skill.
- Tell your own stories, something from the world outside, or anecdotes. It makes the post more personal, so it feels more like a conversation.
- Make it illustrative of the topic. Choose something that is relevant and goes along with the main message of the text.
- Always use 4 main elements of a successful story – character, problem, action, and solution.
- Be relatable. It is one of the most powerful effects of this technique. If the audience relates, they are more motivated, inspired, and trustful. Because they’ve been there!
Here’s one more tip for you – post and answer to readers’ stories. Ask them to share in the comments and provide an insight into the situation. It is a win-win option because to get in touch with the audience, have a story, and can show expertise.
#3. Appeal to Emotions
Now, let’s head back to Ancient Greece. Sometimes it seems that everything was invented back there. And the rhetoric is not an exception. Rhetorical strategies for persuasion are used in public speeches, but you can actually use them in writing.
There is a well-known triangle that includes
These are three types of arguments that can be used to persuade someone. Logos appeals to logic and reason, so it can mean factual information and scientific approach.
You can share a case study or research in your post and appeal to the audience’s voice of reason. It is considered the strongest type of argumentation. And rightfully so, no one is arguing with facts.
Ethos is based on the credibility of a speaker/writer. If you establish your expertise in the field, it will make your text more persuasive. Readers are already more likely to believe you because they respect your knowledge. You can add up to it by referencing only reputable sources in your posts.
Pathos is an argumentation that appeals to emotion. In classic rhetoric, it is considered to be the weakest strategy. Of course, emotion will not conquer logic in a debate, but when it comes to choosing services, products, movies, blogs, or anything else – emotions are incredibly strong. The best strategy would be, of course, to use all three of them together.
Why appealing to emotions is such an important blog writing skill?
Many writers choose to use only the credibility and voice of reason. It is a great basis for an article, but do not disregard the power of emotional appeal. People might say that they followed the logic when they did something, but for the most part, emotion is the driving force.
The ability to evoke an emotional response in the audience will make your blog much more successful. Emotion is exactly what creates a deeper connection with the readers. It also provides a stronger reaction and response to something. That’s why it is so widely used in marketing and advertising.
An emotional appeal has two main purposes in writing – build a connection with the audience and provide value to them. But not all emotions work the same. In Psychology, there are two types of them – high arousal and low arousal. The first type motivates people to take action and the second one has the opposite effect.
For example, the feeling of joy, happiness, and relief is high arousal. For example, we share things that make us happy – like funny pictures of puppies. Sadness, on the other hand, is low arousal emotion and doesn’t us motivate to do anything. Yet, it can be used too – just look at some charities using it extensively.
Be emotional, show the value, and meet the needs of the audience. Be real and speak directly to your readers. Like I do 😉
#4. Be Simple
Remember what Albert Einstein said – “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself”. And it is true. If you cannot make the topic you are writing about simple – you probably have not figured out it for yourself.
Some writers think that by using complicated terms and references they will gain more credibility. The fact is, the reader can see right through it. No one is going to subscribe just because of your exceptional vocabulary.
Simplicity is a virtue.
If you are being too complex in your writing, the audience might feel impatient and confused. Of course, I don’t ask you to write for six-year-olds. Just focus on the message and its clarity instead of being impressive.
Of course, when sharing professional expertise on a subject, it is sometimes challenging to use simple language.
Here’s what you can do to know how readable the text is. You can ask your friend or relative that does not know this topic to read the text. After that ask them to explain the concept back to you or tell what they’ve remembered from it. If they cannot describe it – you need to rewrite. It is not comprehensive enough.
To make a topic more graspable add visuals. Here the graphs and charts come in handy!
Visualization of data makes it more digestible. Also, use simpler terms and short paragraphs.
Be simple in your delivery. Unless you are writing a Detective novel than keep the suspense on. Form a clear message in your head and stick to it. Build the text around it, so the meaning is transparent. Make sure that the readers understand you, otherwise, they’ll read something else.
Being a successful blog writer requires a lot of dedication. It is all about learning, growing, and practicing your craft. One of the most important aspects is being true to yourself and your brand.
Keep a consistent voice, tell a story, be simple, and evoke emotions in reader – and you will build an enthusiastic community.
Change your habits, add some personal experience to your texts, it’s way better to do it slowly but starting from today. Start from now on, do not wait till tomorrow, or next Monday, or next month.
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