This is a guest contribution from Victoria Elizabeth, writer for the Ometria Blog.
If Ernest Hemingway were around today, he would have made an excellent blogger. From online news sites to individual industry experts and straightforward enthusiasts, people are using blogs as a way to attract consumers to their goods, services and information. With all the blogs out there on the internet, it can be difficult to weed out the good from the bad.
Although what makes a good blog post can differ with context, you should keep in mind that bloggers and content marketers are always pressed for time. So making your blog posts as digestible as possible will ensure that you keep them interested and engaged with your writing.
Hemingway’s short, snappy prose delivers a clear message and his writing scarcely strays into flowery descriptions. Online content writers in-the-know understand why his style is worth emulating, and so should you.
Here are 5 blog writing tips that Hemingway would have definitely approved of:
This tip seems obvious but if writing isn’t a regular habit for you, then it’s easy to fall into writing longer run-on sentences. Hemingway was fond of short clear sentences and thought little of elaborate language.
“You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast.
Your writing should be similarly straight to the point as an online audience won’t hesitate to leave your webpage with a click once they get bored or confused by your language.
2. Research the Truth
Hemingway wanted to find the truth within stories, and his research heavily drove his writing pursuits. Research is vital to writing truthfully, and this should always be your priority as a blogger.
If you want to move people with your message, then you must convince your audience of the truth in your writing. Hemingway also wasn’t a fan of adjectives, and bloggers who use words like ‘great, exciting, amazing, etc.’ tend to betray their creative insecurities. These words detract from your message instead of adding value so beware the verbose adjectival pitfall (See what I did there?)
3. Brief Clear Introductions
Not only do short clear introductions allow your readers to gauge whether they will read on, it is also the best opportunity to hook them in. No one likes to read four paragraphs if they can read four sentences instead. In marketing, time is money, and reading time is something that people are less likely to extend solely for your long elaborate blog post.
4. A Specific Beat or Topic of Specialty
You can’t write about all of your knowledge in one blog post. Your purpose should be to educate and convince people, and you should always have material left for another time. Never give away all your secrets as this will shorten the lifespan of your blog, and leave you with no material to keep writing about. The trouble is figuring out what the right balance should be. How much is too little, or too much? Evaluate your topic to see how much information should be included in one post and try to stick to a consistent word count as well.
Writing effectively means that you form a habit of doing it everyday. This is difficult for most people, but if you train yourself it will undoubtedly become easier. Hemingway typically wrote about 500 words a day from daybreak till noon, and tried not to think about his writing until the next day.
Hemingway’s habit had a twofold benefit. First, the morning is a good time to write because your mind is fresh and the day’s distractions are limited. Second, leaving your writing aside for the afternoon allows you to digest and process what you write, while you focus on other important things. You will find your afternoon workload lighter because you already accomplished so much, and may get more ideas from subconsciously digesting what you wrote earlier.
Stick to these simple little tips and you will ensure that your writing style stays clear and concise for your readers to enjoy.
Victoria Elizabeth writes for the Ometria Blog. See her recent article on the Wild West of Big Data.