How to write better blogs for the realities of today

In the current social media environment we read a lot about how to write better for blogging, almost as if it has become an entire written creative entity in its own right.

How to write better blogs for the realities of today

That is understandable in some ways …after all, journalism, copywriting, scriptwriting, speech writing and most other forms of written business communications became part of the social/business media types over the last few decades.

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However blogging, for a while at least, became a cute little wordy-form in its own right, championed in some cases by bloggers who didn’t know how to express themselves accurately in writing but said it didn’t matter, as long as readers more or less understood what they meant.

Is that still the case?

No chance.

So now it really is time for us to take another look at blogging, and ask just where it really does belong in the current social media marketing mix … and as part of what should be valuable online content.

Are people who write blogs really a special breed of writers?

Many bloggers argue that writing and blogging are not the same – an argument that blasted through social media circles a few years ago.

There are still people who believe that and I can’t answer for them. But what I can say is that anyone who blogs, needs to be a reasonably good writer. Much as the old die-hard “who cares about grammar, spelling and punctuation” wallahs may rant about it, reasonably good English is required.

Why? Because the time for opinionated, badly written blog posts is over. Readers are fed up with patronizing blog posts that sneer at what you believe in and value and – in some cases – do so ungrammatically, which makes the posts even more of a mockery.

Not because anyone is being pompous or snobbish about it

More often than not right now, if you bitch and moan about spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and other goofs the trendier populace spit fur and feathers at you and complain that you’re soooo totally out of fashion.

So why shout about writing mistakes in blogging or other writing, for that matter?

Simple. As I keep saying over and over, mistakes often lead to misunderstandings (not to mention an instant label of “unprofessionalism.”)

The English language – in its traditional sense – was not devised purely to be misused by uneducated British bloggers from the wilds of ex-Cockney Essex, the depths of fiery Liverpool, or Gaelic-strewn Glasgow.

With the internet, we have become international whether we like it or not. We simply can’t afford to think purely in terms of the English we learned at school and use in our own parochial neigbourhoods.

Now, it’s not just about how to write better English: it’s also where to write which English

The English language has acquired a number of new responsibilities. It has become an important, if not key language in countries like India and South Africa where people choose English as a convenient means of communicating when faced with the plethora of their own languages – which can create the most hideous communication problems.

How to write better blogs for the realities of todayEven in countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand where English is the native language, there are major differences in what things are called and how people express themselves.

So where does this leave blogging and how to write better for it?

Most business bloggers now have seen the writing on the wall and have raised their game to match the needs and wants of international audiences. Some have gone overboard in their attempts to appeal to US readers, especially, and change their vocabulary accordingly while forgetting to take out the occasional Cockney expression or Irish phrase … amusing at best, embarrassing at worst.

As always, though, the bottom line is to write for your audience.

If you blog about rural issues in deepest Devonshire or Nebraska and your audience consists mainly of local and regional farmers, you don’t have to worry about broadening your vocabulary or avoiding local jargon.

If you blog for business that’s of interest to any audience that’s more mixed – international, non-native English speakers – you need to write better: more clearly, more professionally, and more effectively.

For more on how to write better for your blog, check out this category here on HTWB: more than 200 articles and tutorials.

How do you feel the role of blogging for business has changed in the last few years? Please share your views.