"Make it human," advises Paul Gillin, author of Secrets of Social Media Marketing.
As a professional ghost blogger and corporate blogging trainer, I think Gillin’s rules of good writing should be the gold standard for blog content writers:
- Good writing is conversational, using terms like "I" and "you" (not third-party dialect).
- Good writing speaks in declarative terms.
In offering business blogging help, I refer to the first sentence of a blog as a "downbeat" (like the start of a piece of music and the ending sentence as a strong "parting shot"..
- Be passionate, or at least committed, adds Gillin, or you’ll run out of things to talk about. Since this is Say It For You blog post #450, I guess I’ve passed the passion test!) Passion can be conceptual, not necessarily directed by a particular product or service, explains the author.
There’s a very common-sense, practical reason for writing in language real people use, says Gillin. In the "new world" of the Internet, it’s no longer human beings sitting in ad agency rooms making decisions about what information people consume. Search engines fulfill that role, working from words that consumers themselves specify.
As every freelance SEO copywriter knows, it’s the keyword phrases in the title and opening sentences of blog posts that help search engines make the match between the consumer and the provider of information. But when I offer business blogging assistance, I must constantly remind blog content writers to live up to those "implied promises" by delivering the appropriate, valuable information in the body of the blog post.
Gillin adds is that bloggers need to deliver that information in human terms – "Write like a person!" he says, reminding readers that social media are, after all, social.
That doesn’t mean you need to be a humorous writer, Gillin concedes. It’s perfectly all right to take a thoughtful, serious approach to your topic. Just write as if you were having an actual conversation!