You know how every type of writing has its own style? Like academic writing is logical and devoid of emotion. Technical writing is about numbers and steps. Fiction is emotion, sensation, experience.
Online writing has its own style too. That’s why blog posts feel so different from fiction. But you can learn a lot about fiction writing when you compare it to blog posts.
A lot of the online writing style has to do with how the bright screen on your phone and computer causes your eye to fatigue. So you need a lot of white space in online writing. Places for your eye to rest. That means short paragraphs, scannable sections, and subheads.
Online writing is informal. Grammar is less important than making the text feel like conversation. It’s more like copywriting and ads in that regard. You’ve noticed how bold ads can be in their disregard for proper spelling and grammar. There’s a reason for that. They care more about how their words move you.
This is on my mind because my Blog Your Way to a Writing Career clients just went through their first round of blog post revisions. And I’m showing them how to write to what people are looking for when they read via internet browser.
That’s why I want to unearth a few posts I’ve written here about writing for an online audience. Even if you don’t have a blog. Even if you write fiction you share only with friends, you can learn a few things about your preferred writing style by comparing it to other styles.
#1 How Not To Write: The Style Mistake Most Bloggers Make
This post tells you why you should abandon what you learned in high school English when you write for your audience online. And when you write fiction too, really. Academic writing has its place. And you should know the rules of English grammar, if only to manipulate them for effect. But abandon the formal style if you’re not writing a master’s thesis. Here’s why.
#2 The Jennifer Lawrence Effect: Become a Better Blogger through Online Transparency
We love Jennifer Lawrence for her adorkable honesty. And her popularity reflects a trend toward transparency in our modern world. Because privacy is dead in our NSA-surveilled, everything-we-do-is-now-visible-online age.
So get ahead of the trend. Take a cue from Jennifer Lawrence and embrace transparency in your online life. You’ll be more successful if you do. And that isn’t just for how you write or conduct yourself online. Even if you have only a Facebook page, you need to know this.
#3 5 Ways Writers and Bloggers Can Achieve Online Transparency without Committing “TMI”
So if we should embrace transparency in our online lives, where is the boundary? How much information is too much information? Here I share 5 ways to know if you’re revealing too much in your online life. You won’t look at your social media accounts the same.
I love all your tips & tricks! I was wondering though.. do you have any specific tips & tricks for ‘article’ based blogs? I write for a blog called the good story.. It isn’t so much a blog with personal stories, recipes, DIY’s etc but it focusses on global development, human rights, news etc.
I’ve been trying to find my own writing style but I’ve noticed that most tips & tricks (to stick with the term) online are directed to ‘personal’ blogs. Any advice? Here is is: https://thegoodstory.wordpress.com
This is a good question, and my feeling is that even professional journalism should be written in a more personal way, more subjectively. We’re just fooling ourselves when we pretend anyone could write an unbiased article. Watch any news network, and you can guess which way they lean even as they pretend to offer the unbiased viewpoint.
In the end go with your gut, but I think there’s a wide range you could go with as far as how much personality you choose to show in your articles. Ultimately what really matters is the kind of reader you want to attract. So imagine your ideal reader, and write your articles to that one person.
Hope this helped.