Why Bad Writers Don’t Necessarily Make Bad Bloggers (and Vice Versa)

Jan 30, 2012   //   by Chris Help   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  12 Comments

Thinking about getting into the blogging game but afraid that since your college professor always gave you D’s on papers that you won’t cut the mustard? Here’s a little secret for you: there’s little connection between how good you were at writing papers in school and how successful of a blogger you can become.

The fact is, you don’t have to be a good writer, technically speaking, to be good at blogging. Here’s why:

  • You can get away with sloppy mechanics—You’re English teacher isn’t going to be reading your blog posts with a red pen in hand. In fact, chances are almost no one will be checking out your mechanics. And in some cases, grammar errors can actually enhance your writing. Unless your mechanics are so poor that they take away from the meaning of your posts, you’re probably going to be okay. Sure there may be a few commenters who give you a hard time (see: grammar Nazis). But you can just tell them to go to hell.
  • You don’t have to have an SAT vocabulary—Back in school, it was all about flexing your vocabulary muscles. The bigger words you used it seemed, the better grades you received. However, when it comes to blogging, the rule of thumb is to keep the vocabulary to a junior high level. That way you can keep things conversational and make sure people of all reading levels can join the conversation.
  • Complex sentences are frowned upon—Again, when you write online, the idea is to keep things simple. You should only do things to enhance readability, not detract from it. One way to go about it is to keep your sentence structure relatively simple. That means weaving together 3 line long sentences with subordinate clauses and conjunctions and blah blah blah simply is not necessary.
  • It’s more about voice than anything else—What it comes down to is does your personality come out in your writing? Furthermore, do people like this personality? Is it witty? Knowledgeable? Approachable? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you’re going to do just fine.

What might be more surprising here is that often people who were “good writers” before will attempt to enter the blogosphere and go on to suck it up. Why? Because they’re style is too stiff. A good blogger needs to be able to bend and not break. He needs to be able to make the words work for him—not the other way around.

What about you? Have I planted a seed of faith inside of a would-be blogger?

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Chris Help

Chris HELP started his own copywriting agency, HELP! Copy and Design, a few years back as a sort of side project to showcase his passions. But what ended up happening is it snowballed into full-fledged thriving business. So whether you need press releases, SEO articles, or good old fashioned high-conversion copy--he's ready, willing, and more than able.

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Comment Policy

  • Andy Nattan
    Twitter:
    says:

    “Don’t worry about making obvious mistakes that make you look unprofessional. And if anyone notices, abuse them!”

    Yeah. Sorry, but I’m not going to be subscribing to your blog any time soon.

    • Chris
      Twitter:
      says:

      The (obvious) point here is people are scared of blogging but they shouldn’t necessarily be. Of course you should always attempt to do your best work (and you’ll notice my posts are not typically riddled with errors. Anyway, thanks for reading.

  • Lily Rose says:

    And “you’re” English teacher’s head would explode if they saw this “You’re English teacher”! :D

    I agree. Writing online is entirely different than writing in school. From topics to the inspiration to your audience.

    • Chris
      Twitter:
      says:

      Ouch…I wish i could say I did that one on purpose.
      Oh well, I’m leaving it s a good example. Even though I’d kill myself if that one slipped through on a piece of copy I was writing for a client.

      Good thing I run my copy through an editor…

  • bbrian017
    Twitter:
    says:

    I gotta agree with complex sentences. I mean c’mon. None of us are writing thesis’ here. When one writes, one wants to reach the layman, therefore you need to talk (write) like the layman. Unless one is in a closed community and you know everyone expects you to write that way.

  • Ivin
    Twitter:
    says:

    I gotta say, freelancing has been very good to me. Especially re: SEO. Because as I write for customers, they constantly let me know what they (and their customers) need. And eventually, my customers. The most important thing I’ve learned doing that, was that I need to talk on a simple level. I did an edit of a brochure and I thought I was very smart when I redid the first paragraph in great, blog-educated speech. The client told me it’s still too difficult. Then I realized it’s better to be myself – people understand me.

  • I never did well in school and was a bit worried about writing until I got into it last year and now I have written a book! If I can do it then anyone can.

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    I personally am not good with grammar and punctuation, but I feel I can usually get my point across well despite that.

    Also not being a “writer by trade” type I generally have to proof read my stuff like 4 o 5 times. hehe

  • Karen says:

    There are writings that I consider impressive, especially with the perfect grammar and vocabulary used yet it’s true that most lack the ability in connecting with readers. This post is motivating to writers like me but though I often commit grammar mistakes, I make sure to avoid typos. As an aspiring blogger, it is important to develop a style of writing that will make my readers easily connect and relate.