Ever notice the differences in writing from one blog author to another? Are they informal, creative, literal, dramatized, structured, outside the standard method of documentation otherwise known as APA format?
As an author, have you asked yourself what writing style is suitable for blogging and appeals to readers most? It’s a great question to ponder especially if you haven’t established your own personal style of writing yet.
ESTABLISHING A WRITING STYLE FOR YOUR BLOG
I don't know about you, but I find myself allowing the subject matter to determine my writing style. As my topics vary, so doesn't my writing. For example, I may write about the trials and tribulations of potty training. A topic of this nature, in my opinion, cries out to be written informally and dramatic. The purpose being to evoke a particular emotion from readers. For instance, I might start off this post with sentences like This time the poop has really hit the fan with the second sentence being Pun intended to induce humor. Alternatively, I may publish something instructional like how to increase your page rank and write in a more structured and literal manner. I would even consider following the standard APA format knowing I will likely be source referencing, crediting, and/or quoting. In the past, I have published posts recommending products or services. Depending on the product, I will often alter my style of writing to suit the product appropriately. For product recommendations like toys, books, and clothing, keeping it casual, light, and fun seems fitting! For service recommendations such as web design, photography, and search engine optimization tools, I would keep it formal and factual (e.g. Lola Farra Photography has been in business since 2001).
An inconsistent writing style will not hurt your blogging reputation as long as there is writing style consistency within your subject matters. In other words, if you write a post on parenting using an informal, casual, and humorous style, try to write all of your parenting posts similarly.
Of course, there are exceptions. I wouldn't write a post on How to Tell if your Child is Autistic the same way I'd write a post on 10 Outdoor Activities your Children will Love. Although they both would be categorized under parenting, one is clearly of a serious nature while the other could be considered breezy.
So, in answer to the questions we should be asking ourselves above, any style of writing is acceptable as long as it corresponds to your subject matter appropriately. Readers will find your content appealing if it is unique and well written (notice how I didn't say correctly written). That's because I'm in favor of creative writing, starting sentences with the word And, making up words like bloggortunity, and the like.
On the flip side, a sure-fire way to lose your readers and credibility is to publish posts that contain incomplete thoughts, run-on sentences, misspellings, plagiarism, subject jumping (defined as sentences that have no relation to each other or the subject), and so forth. The last thing you want to do is confuse your readers or leave them asking themselves “What the heck are they talking about?” Readers should not have to go on a scavenger hunt for the relevant details or point you are trying to convey. Your writing should be concise and easy to comprehend.
Just remember, poor grammar should have no place on the pages of our blog sites. Consider Grammarly, a tool I currently use, to check for deviations like these. Unfortunately it is not free, but they are offering a 7 day free trial! For an annual subscription, their best value is $11.66/month. If you’re a student, I believe you are entitled to free access!
Other online, and FREE, grammar checkers are
- After the Deadline, and
And some additional resources that may be worth taking a peek at.
- Is It Plagiarism Yet? A great article that provides a list for anyone trying to establish what needs to be credited.
In case you are unfamiliar with APA format, it is most commonly used for documentation like school papers and/or citing sources in social sciences. In fact, some of the practices don’t even apply to the majority of material a blogger may write. For the instances it is relative, I thought it would be nice to have some resources to reference. As a reminder, following the standard APA format is a personal choice.
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