While every blogger can improve their blog through better writing, "better writing" doesn't mean the same thing for every blogger. There are some common things we can all improve -- our spelling, grammar, and paragraph length for example.
Beyond those basics, "better writing" largely revolves around your chosen writing style. And it's important that you choose your blog's writing style based on your audience rather than just your personal preferences. Let's take a look at a few examples.
Formal Writing Styles
Formal blog posts will often be on the longer side -- I'd say the 500 - 2000 word range. They're more like feature articles than what we think of as traditional blog posts. They're highly structured and carry a formal tone.
Who might use this blog writing style: You might use a formal writing style if you're a blogger sharing a lot of research and commentary (science and medical blogs for example) or if you're writing a highly specialized industry blog for executives or others who are used to a more formal approach.
Journalistic Writing Styles
Journalistic blog posts can vary a great deal in length -- from short news blurbs to long investigative-style features. You'll probably want to follow AP style guidelines (or whatever news writing guidelines are appropriate for your location and audience).
Who might use this blog writing style: You might choose a journalistic approach for your blog if you're adding a blog to a magazine or newspaper's website, you're a journalist managing a personal blog, you're looking to get into journalism and you want to use your blog as an ongoing portfolio piece, or you run a local or niche blog with a heavy emphasis on news.
Conversational Writing Styles
When we think of blogs, we often think of this writing style. That's because blogs are frequently less formal than other types of publications. They involve a back-and-forth conversation between a blogger and readers in the blog's comments. This is a "write the way you talk" blogging style (which is not an excuse for routinely poor spelling and grammar).
Who might use this blog writing style: If you're like most bloggers, you'll probably choose a conversational approach to blogging. It works best in personal blogs, but it's also highly effective in niche blogging because it makes readers feel more connected to you and your content.
Educational Writing Styles
Many blogs have an educational element to them and would perform well with an educational writing style. For example, your posts might be structured tutorials with solely "how to" content.
Who might use this blog writing style: Anyone running a tutorial-based blog could benefit from a structured educational writing style. That would likely involve a combination of background, introductions to projects, and lists of step-by-step instructions. Food bloggers who share recipes frequently are another example.
Entertaining Writing Styles
This is probably the least formal of all of the blogging styles mentioned here. It can vary greatly, from fiction blog posts (like short stories) to celebrity gossip. Like the conversational style, choosing this type of blog writing isn't an excuse for poor spelling and grammar. But the overall tone is likely to be very relaxed.
Who might use this blog writing style: Celebrity, gossip, and entertainment blogs would be obvious choices for this writing style. But so are blogs written for children, character blogs from authors, and satirical blogs.
As you can see, there isn't a single "right" way to blog. You have to choose a blogging style that works for you. But you also have to choose a style that's appropriate for the target readers you want to reach. You don't have to limit yourself to just one of these. You might alternate between posts (like conversational updates combined with weekly tutorials) or you might combine two or more styles in each post you write.
I'd consider this blog a mix -- more on the formal side than most of my blogs, but still conversational in nature. And we'll feature a variety of structured tutorials along the way. What writing style does your blog use? Do you wish you had chosen something different? Do you use a blogging style not mentioned here? Tell me about it in the comments.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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