Using quotations in blog posts can help create anticipation, suspense, or drama, as we went over earlier this week in my Say It For You blog. Quotations help reinforce points while adding variety and authority, and, so long as they are not overdone, they can be a very good idea in blogging for business. But, in addition to the content writing itself, there are some technical to-dos and no-nos about quotations that bear need mentioning, and that will be our focus today.
On the negative side, Dave Smith of realestatebloglab.com issues a caution about quotations: Don’t use double quote marks in blog post titles, he says. Double quote marks at the beginning and end of a phrase tells the search engine to look only for those exact words in that exact order, severely limiting your ability to “get found” through category or organic search.
A second crucial caution has to do with plagiarism. The dictionary definition? “An instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s
own.” Sure, you’re creating value for your readers by curating, gathering information from many sources, but it’s only fair to create a link to the authors’ sites, giving them the attribution or credit, advises Nick Schaferoff of Torque.
While we’re talking about mechanics, there’s benefit to be had in linking back to your own former blog posts. ”I find that when someone views more than a single page on your blog that they’re more likely to remember it, subscribe to it, comment upon it and become a regular and loyal reader,” Darren Rowse of problogger.com observes.
“Quotations can bring your writing to life – the reader imagines someone saying the words,” says Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, but you have to follow certain rules, depending on what other punctuation marks you mix with your quotation marks. In American English we always put periods and commas inside quotation marks, she stresses.
There are two reasons to use quotation marks in English writing, explains yourdictionary.com.
1. You are quoting someone; that is to say you are using someone else’s exact words, and you are giving that person credit for having said them.
2. You are being sarcastic (He can’t get a date, because no one wants to be seen in his “car”.)
As a blog content writer and trainer, I’m not being in the least sarcastic when I say that, in business blogs, quotations can be a very good idea!