by Marya of Writing Happiness
When I finished my MBA degree about a decade ago, I undertook a course which taught me how to write great content for my blog.
Sceptical? I know what you are thinking: blogging wasn’t even around then! I know. Allow me to explain.
Doing MBA, I did many subjects like Marketing and Management which are great for anyone who is a webpreneur or looking to become one. That being said, Business Communication was, by far, the most enjoyable subject of the whole course. And I knew it would come in handy one day.
I just didn’t know that blogging would be the area that would benefit the most from it.
Time to dig through the dusty old boxes, locate the Business Communication textbook and revisit the well thumbed pages once again!
Blog writing is effective communication
We all agree that at the heart of great content lies effective communication. If you don’t, you are almost guaranteed to fail at whatever you are trying to accomplish with your posts.
To compose effective written or oral messages, there are certain principles that we need to apply. These also provide guidelines for your choice of content and style of presentation, be it a post or a video on your blog.
These are 7 Cs of communication:
Your post is only complete when it contains all the info that your reader requires in order to have a reaction you want them to have.
Remember when you are writing a post, only you are aware of what’s happening inside your head—the readers don’t. They don’t have access to all the voices in your head. For them to interpret the message as you intend, make sure you provide them with all the necessary information.
That could be a back-story to your post; it could be the questions you were contemplating while that thought popped into your head to do your post. Readers need to know what motivated you to write your post. Answer all the questions that are bound to come up and relate to your purpose.
Give your readers the whole picture, laying down the benefits, and talking about the results to convince them. Bring your reader to the page where you begin, or much context will be lost or misinterpreted.
Ahh… I am really partial to this one—it’s easily my favourite child of them all!
Conciseness is saying what you have to say in the fewest possible words—without sacrificing the other C qualities. Pay attention to the last bit as this is gold. It won’t help you to write briefly if you haven’t provided complete information, lack clarity, and are not courteous.
A concise message saves time for both you, the blogger, and for your readers. By being concise you are showing respect for your readers’ time. You lay emphasis on important ideas by eliminating unnecessary words, including only relevant information and avoiding needless repetition.
Wordiness has been the bane of writers for ever. So avoid long introductions to your post, omit unnecessary explanations, and don’t insult your readers.
Cut down pompous words, trite explanations, and gushy exclamations. Stick to the purpose of your post. When combined with the “you view,” which I’ll explain in a moment, concise posts are that much more interesting to your readers.
Write each post with your readers in mind. What do they need? How much of a difference will your post make in their lives? Be aware of their desires, problems, circumstances, emotions, and expectations.
Put yourself in their shoes. This is “you view.”
Most new bloggers are actually surprised to find that the most important word in their posts is you and not I. Yes, it might seem contradictory; I mean, you started blogging to air your thoughts, right? Well, that’s probably not entirely true. Don’t let your posts become an exercise in navel-gazing: write with the goal of helping your readers in some way, be it educational or entertainment.
Show them the benefit of reading your posts, and gently encourage them to take the desired action—sharing your post, commenting on it, or buying something from you.
Getting the meaning from your head into the head of your reader—accurately—is the purpose of clarity.
Choosing the right words to convey your message will work wonders for your writing.
Be conversational, and avoid being superior in your writing. Your writing doesn’t need to be pretentious to be taken seriously. It doesn’t matter how big your vocabulary is, you won’t achieve any results if nobody understands you. Use familiar language, and words that you are well versed in, and are appropriate for the situation.
Use short words if you have a choice between using long or short. Avoid using technical jargon and, when you have to, explain it once for people who might be beginners in this area.
Construct effective sentences and paragraphs by laying emphasis on the main idea. Generally, short length works best, and be sure to have unity and coherence in your sentence structure. Look into style elements if you feel you need some help in this regard.
Do you reply to your comments? Do you thank people for sharing your posts, tweeting them, and linking to them?
Your sincere “you attitude” makes you courteous—and it makes you likeable. Courtesy is politeness growing out of respect and concern for others.
Be thoughtful, appreciative, helpful, and truly respectful to your readers. Remember you are building a community here, so you want to promote values that define you as a person.
Be specific, definite, and vivid in your writing, rather than vague and general.
Use active verbs rather than passive, and choose image building words. Use analogies to make comparisons when appropriate, and avoid dull language. Show off your personality and your voice—that’s what makes readers hang on to every word.
And lastly, an extension of that is the final C.
This issue is the easiest to fix, and should never ever see the light of the day—there is simply no excuse for it.
Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Check the accuracy of facts, figures, and words. For oral presentations, substitute spelling with speech etiquette. Enough said—you are a bright reader, I can tell.
Do you follow these 7 Cs of communication when you write your blog posts? Tell us your approach in the comments.