Catherine Bauer writes…
Silence (or thinking music).
Tap, tap, tap.
Those are the sounds of a frustrated writer – be it journalist, columnist, blogger, novelist, student – whatever.
Writing doesn’t always come easy – even to someone who enjoys it or who writes for a living.
More than a few of Adelaide’s PR consultants have a journalism background and are regularly asked by clients to help write columns or blog posts.
A good column or blog requires more than just the ability to articulate an opinion. Your opinions have to make sense, provide insight and be convincing. And ideally, they must be entertaining. They can be more intimate, informal and conversational than a lot of mainstream writing.
Here are a few tips that might help you with any New Year blogging resolutions.
Write as you would speak – don’t be formal if you’re not. And don’t be informal and lighthearted if it doesn’t come naturally.
Don’t be long winded – a rambling rant that takes forever to reach a point is blog poison. Get right to the point ASAP.
Write with conviction – put forward your opinion as something you truly believe in. Argue your case with conviction. Don’t sit on the fence. Be definite and be prepared to stand by your statements.
Use facts – back up your arguments with facts.
Be critical – people like reading columnists who dare to criticise. Naming names might create a bit of controversy but as long as you do not libel anyone and don’t go overboard in your criticism, it works well to make your column an interesting and exciting read.
It’s ok to be passionate – a ho-hum piece of writing is akin to a flaccid handshake – or being flogged with warm lettuce, to borrow from former Prime Minister Paul Keating. A soft or passive voice isn’t one for a columnist or blogger. If what you’re writing about doesn’t excite you, don’t expect your readers to be engaged either.
Have a point – if you’re going to raise an issue, you should also suggest a solution – not to is pretty useless.
Come up with some posts for the blog bank – this is a good idea if you’re a regular writer. Keeping up a series of blogs or columns can be onerous, especially when you’re not faced with some good juicy issues to tackle. Find some ageless subjects that aren’t time sensitive. And write ahead at those times you’re feeling creative, rather than at a time your stressed or busy and the words have to be painfully extracted.
Finally, don’t enter the realm of sharing your views, opinions and experiences unless you have a thick skin!
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