Halley Suitt is cool. Period. I loved her presentation this week at BBS 2005 on The Art and Science of Blog Writing. It’s a topic I feel passionately about. In fact, the point of this blog is to deconstruct and articulate what effective blog writing is. It’s a big topic… I’ll keep chipping away.
A key point is the intersection between good blogging and good journalism. Your blog doesn’t need to cover current events. Yet you need to write like a great reporter (use specific examples, tell stories, attribute your sources, etc.) in order to be compelling. But wait, there’s more…
Then you have to let it all hang out… let your voice develop. Get a little raggedy sometimes. Don’t polish your prose too much.I need to do more of that myself.I tend to be a bit too proper in my blog writing style… probably because I WAS a reporter and editor for several decades.
Here are Halley’s top 7 tips:
1. Always tell a story.
She refers to Malcom Gladwell’s new book, Blink. He tells stories to explain his ideas.
2. Tell the truth
If your CEO can’t do that then maybe he/she shouldn’t be blogging.
3. Be passionate
Halley: “The writing has to have passion… for your industry or your topic… or nobody will care.”
4. Write about “things of this world”
Halley: “Anything that people are jumping all over… the Tsunami or credibility and ethics in writing as it’s being discussed at a Harvard conference. You have to take a stand. You have to put yourself out there and let your head get chopped off.”
Halley: “Better to write 12 posts than 12 paragraphs. (In blog writing) brevity IS the soul of wit.”
Halley: “You need to be posting a lot every day. At least one thing a day, the more often the better.”
Note: I disagree… this just isn’t practical if you’ve working either in a job or independent consultancy where you’re strapped for time. Yes, I know that Microsoft’s Scoble posts a dozen or more times a day. But he’s not your ordinary blogger.
Halley: “The blogs you want to read have a voice. When people meet me they say I sound like my blog.” (Is that a compliment, she wonders??)
Halley, cont. “Be careful. Especially with corporate blogs. You can’t sound PR-ish.”
8. BONUS TIP… know when NOT to write something!
Halley: “Learn when to take your hand away from the keyboard.”