When it comes to communicating online, many people think that the rules have changed. Shorter attention spans, eye strain and a general overabundance of information online have lead to sloppy writing and poor article construction. If you are a small business owner or are developing an Internet marketing business, you’ll need to learn how to write for the web and write well.
If you feel your writing leaves something to be desired, don’t worry… you’re in good company. In (title of the paper or book this story is from), Benjamin Franklin shares a story of his quest to improve his writing style. Although his father commended him on his spelling and grammar, his style left much to be desired. Even though Franklin lived centuries before the Internet his own experience with learning to write well can help you present yourself better online.
In his account of improving his writing Franklin makes it clear that the mechanics of his writing were fine. He just needed improvement in his style. This shows that no matter what type of writing you are doing, style is important. Your blog posts, articles for back links and website text should all have a style all your own.
If you feel like you need to develop your style more completely, you can follow the same steps that Benjamin Franklin did in order to improve his style.
1. Read good writing.
Your mind is like a sponge. It will pick up whatever it is exposed to and store it for future use. Unless you spend a lot of time reading good writing, you’ll have no idea how to create writing with great style. Make it a habit to read articles and blog posts from well written people in your niche. Even better yet, start reading articles from trade magazines in your industry. A lot of poor writing gets passed off online, but with a full editorial staff most magazine articles have terrific style. Find a few short articles that inspire you and that you can use to improve your style.
2. Do writing exercises to mimic the style of the articles.
Once you’ve selected a few articles, try to rewrite them from memory. Read the articles several times and then rewrite them one at a time from memory. This will help you internalize the flow and the style of the writing. Do this several times to see how well you remember the article and mimic the style.
3. Correct your writing as needed.
The most important part of the process is to go back through the original article and see where you made mistakes. Maybe you left out an important point or didn’t handle a transition particularly well. The point is not to punish yourself or think badly about your writing. You just need to correct your writing to improve your style.
It may take you some time to develop a style of your own and improve your writing. But it will be well worth it when you can communicate well online.
Dan Higby is the author of eBiz Snap, a free newsletter for online marketers of all experience levels. Fill your mind with business snap (wisdom) work hard work smart with rich rewards receive your own complimentary copy of eBiz Snap News Letter. We use and test what we recommend.