“Write drunk, edit sober.” Ernest Hemingway
This approach to writing might have worked for Hemingway, but when I’m writing blog copy and social media content for clients, my creative process isn’t nearly as romantic.
Before I even sit down to tap out an article on real estate, architecture, design, or content and tech marketing - I have a few specific goals in mind based on that particular client.
My focus is sharp, and the process is somewhat linear; resulting in an article that is SEO optimized and “ready to go”.
It’s any wild guess, too that I’m having about 75% of the fun he was (shrug).
Surely for my own blog, I am a little looser with my writing structure; I use it as a place to experiment.
So why such a discerning outline and editing process, you might ask?
Well, NOTHING has changed the art of writing more than the advent of the internet - you can basically throw out everything your English teacher taught you about prose! With our attention spans shortened, consumers are looking for bite-sized pieces of information, with some advertisers even doing ads purely in emojis. Dominos, anyone?
That’s why you’ll notice that a lot of what you read online will be articles with catchy headlines, short, choppy sentences (goodbye flowy, descriptive paragraphs) and anything to break up the information. Think bullet points, headers, and as many visuals as possible.
Consider the tone of the writing you see online, too - in the classic works of yesterday, writers were philosophizing on the human condition; on the experience of what it is to be alive.
Now, as a collective, we’re writing to solve problems - rather than analyze them.
Think of today’s headlines you see online and on the magazine racks; much like this (albeit slightly terrifying one) I saw grace Women’s Health Magazine a few years back..
“Have the baby - and keep the body”
I’m just going to leave that there.
Plus, there are technical aspects to blog writing (and sharing or advertising on social once it’s complete) that must be understood if you want people to find you on Google and social media. Meta-tagging, SEO, long-tail keywords, backlinks, and even sponsorship affiliations are just a few of the techniques used by experienced bloggers.
Marketers might tell you that writing is an art, and blogging is a business.
For sure, I know and am moved by a few talented writers who can make your heart pound with wants I didn’t even know I had.
A “successful” blogger is typically qualified by traffic, engagement or monetization. I am inspired by many of these as well - most of whom wouldn’t be considered as “great” writers -but they really “get” the user experience, SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing.
There are incredibly talented poets and fiction writers in the world without a blog (or perhaps one that receives very little traffic), and there are successful bloggers who are not necessarily good writers.
I also feel fortunate to know of a select few who do a beautiful job of both.
This is, when a blog becomes art.
Personally, my favourite kind of blogs are not necessarily the kinds that monetize the most, but the kind that educate, inspire, and build relationships.
These are usually the kinds that last, too.
The promising part? With practice, you can develop your writing skills over time, and you can learn how to bring traffic to your blog (or even monetize it, if that interests you). You might enjoy my article (as seen in REM - Real Estate Magazine, How REALTORS® Can Create Meaningful Content in 2018)
Whether you’re selling Real Estate, or in the fashion/art/lifestyle niche, a blog is a great way to build a relationship with their audience, position yourself as the expert in your field, and to drive traffic to your website from social media (a big PLUS for getting you higher up on the Google ranking). And when you’re passionate about what you’re writing about, it will shine through in your post - and this is where the magic happens.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, this is a great way to boost your online marketing efforts.
In fact, most of my business opportunities to date have come from my blog.
Do you have a favourite blog that you read?
Or do you have any questions on how to best write and use your own?
Leave a comment or send me a line. I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading.