Over and over again we hear that the key to blogging success is to write good content. However, the focus here isn’t necessarily on the word “write.” It is on “content.”
Content is King
Once again, I’ll join the ranks of those who have written about content’s royal quality claiming that content is “king.” Indeed, content of all types attracts readers. You must write something others want to read. It must be unique, authentic, necessary, or appeal to readers’ emotions. It must be relatable. Or readers must relate to you.
Yet, who judges your content? Your readers. I’ve written about Tucker Max with his bestselling books and blog. I wouldn’t read either of them, but lots of people do. I’ve also mentioned the successful blog and book Texts from Dog. Not much there, IMHO, but people like the content—including my daughter.
If you provide unique value to a particular market with your content, that’s all that matters. Your readers provide the best judge. If you have no readers, your content probably provides little value or is not unique in the marketplace.
Writing is the Throne
But do you have to be a good writer to produce great and unique—marketable—content? That’s really the important question, especially since blog posts tend to get written by most bloggers (at least start-up bloggers) with a staff of one. I’d say you have to be a reasonably good writer. That means you need to have enough command of the English language (or whatever language you write in) to produce copy that isn’t so flawed that it is difficult to read. Readers will forgive some typos and grammatical mistakes in a blog post. It’s better, however, not to have any—or to have few—so the actual content can be easily read and understood.
Plus, if your intention is to produce a book or to be discovered by an agent or acquisitions editor, you want your writing to impress. It doesn’t have to be “literary” or filled with long words, but it does have to be “above average.”
Consider your writing the throne upon which the king sits. Without good grammar and syntax, the content lacks a sound base upon which to sit. A weak throne can collapse, leaving the king sitting on the floor amidst a pile of wood and cloth. What started out looking regal and having clear shape and form ends up reduced to an embarrassing heap of rubble with a hardly distinguishable kernel of an idea in the middle.
That said, there is a place for creativity and thinking and writing outside the box. Sometimes an odd usage of language can become authentic and work for you. And over the years, many old grammar rules have become outdated. Just do a Google search for commonly broken grammar rules to find some you can break without too much worry.
You must know your readers, though. I recently conducted an email interview with a hip hop dancer and teacher. His responses came back spelled in a variety of unconventional ways. Had he put these on his blog, I’m sure his readers would have loved them. They didn’t work for my article, which was meant for a regional parenting magazine. I had to rewrite them in “plain” English and send them back for his approval.
Get the Help You Need
If writing skill stands in the way of your success as a blogger or book blogger, get the help you need.
- Take writing courses.
- Read books on grammar and writing technique.
- Attend a critique group.
- Hire an editor.
- Hire a proofreader.
And write or blog a lot. Writing improves over time as you practice. The same can be said of blogging. Blog a lot and your blogging technique will improve.
Need help with your blog? Hire an editor, ghostblogger or blog coach. Click here to find out more.
Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com