There’s nothing wrong with flowery stuff, just leave it for poetry, song lyrics and literary fiction.
Here are seven steps to help you turn out snappy blog posts that’ll spread your ideas and have readers coming back for more:
- Get straight to the point. Set out your store in the opening paragraph. Quickly tell readers what the rest of the post will be about. If you’ve got one, make the first paragraph your opening argument.
- Prove it. Follow your opening paragraph by building on the first idea or argument. Provide back-up information to explain or support the first paragraph. Tell readers why you said what you did in that first paragraph.
- Make extra points in descending order of importance. Readers can drop out at any point, make sure they get the best ones early while you still have their attention.
- Use plenty of full stops and line breaks. Short sentences make your copy dynamic and fast-moving. Short paragraphs make text easier to read. This is especially important on-line. As a bonus, tightly written copy helps you articulate your ideas.
- Murder your darlings. If you think you’ve written something clever, you probably haven’t. Hit the delete key and move on. Don’t use favourite obscure words or complicated metaphors. Anything that sounds like poetry needs cutting.
- Get on, get off, don’t hang around. And don’t outstay your welcome. Don’t feel the need for a long wrap-up. Make your last point, summarise if it helps, then stop writing.
- Check before hitting the send button. Read through your post, spell-check, look for poor grammar, weed out the needless words, make sure the text is understandable. I sometimes walk away and do something else before returning for the last read. The distance helps.