Friday

Newbie Blogging: The Series (Part 3)

Do you have a body that turns heads?

Let me rephrase that "Does your blog have a body that turns heads? "

Our last chapter dealt with creating an attention-grabbing title.

If you haven't checked out my series, then shame on you!

As a gesture of goodwill I'll gladly give you links to the previous chapters, but please try to keep up by signing up for our free email updates and RSS feeds okay?

Here they are: 

Prelude, Part 1, and Part 2.

Finished reading them, yet? Good. Let's continue our journey shall we?



The body of your article is what gives your readers the entire picture of what it is you are writing about. This is the "meat" of your posting that will (hopefully) provide people with some helpful and informative content that can be shared both on and offline. 



The body of your article should clearly define your subject. In other words, after you have enticed your reader with a relevant and/or clever title you need to get right into the subject matter right away. 

Let me give you an example, let's say your subject is about..the sport of marathon running. Here's one way the body of your article can be composed:

"...this has always been an experience for most runners when training for a mile run. Correct running shoes are very important to a serious marathoner. Always make sure you have the right running shoe before you run. If you do not have the right shoes, you cannot participate and you may even...."

 Versus...

"....this has always been my experience when training for a 5 mile run. Proper running shoes not only protect your feet against varying terrain (flat pavement versus rocky inclines), but they can also help to enhance your performance. In some cases, marathoners have even reported improved pacing, speed, and stability by more than 15%! You can't beat that type of improvement! Let's face it, if you don't have the right running shoes, you've already lost the race. Speaking of racing...."

Notice I didn't give you complete contextual statements here because I am trying to emphasize a point.  

I want to illustrate a distinction between these two excerpts. The first one gives you the gist or summary of what this portion of the article is about...running shoes. It is informative, it does give you the "why" behind owning a quality pair of running shoes in short detail. Good excerpt, but maybe not great.

What's missing from it? 

Style. 

Personality.

The writer's voice.

If you read the excerpt audibly you'll see how it comes across as a lecture as opposed to a helpful tip given by a knowledgeable blogger. This is okay for instruction manuals, but when you're writing something that people will be reading on their cell phones or tablets in their downtime, you need to make it interesting.

In short, this excerpt needs some work.

The second excerpt (though considerably longer) actually reads more like a conversation from a friend who is sharing their personal experience with you about running shoes. By personalizing the text, the blogger will keep the intended audience captive. In fact, the "why" behind getting quality running shoes comes off stronger with statistics ("...improved pacing, speed, and stability by more than 15%!"). This helps build credibility as your definitive statement comes across with more authority by the mere presence of numerics.  

Image credit: en(dot)wikipedia(dot)org
Even if you aren't writing fiction, your articles need to convey a sense of storytelling. You need a beginning, a middle, and (of course) an ending. Use the old school writer's pyramid graph to give your content the needed rising and falling action to keep your readers glued to your blog. Structuring your posts to provide a course of action or to simply move the reader along to your next point. 


Another way you can help your writing is to read it aloud to yourself and someone else to see how it "reads". This allows you to see real time whether you're on the right path or not toward building your readership. If something is amiss, you'll get the opportunity to find out long before you hit the "publish" key.

I mentioned earlier about the "writer's voice", this subject by itself could generate a sizable article (easily 1000 words or more, trust me). I'm not going to get into all the intricacies of this, but one thing I would recommend for newbie authors is to PLEASE use as much of your own verbiage as is possible when your are posting to your blog.

It may seem tedious & time-consuming, but in order to get an audience that trusts you, it's highly imperative.

It's always easier to find a writer that you may secretly admire and try emulating their style or (God forbid) plagiarizing their work. Both of these scenarios are risky to  your reputation, your site, and/or blogs ranking on search engines & could potentially generate a subpoena for copyright infringement. Either way, it's just NOT worth it.

My suggestion: "Do the hard work YOURSELF and it'll pay off in the end" 

So, now (hopefully) you have an idea about structuring your posts to keep them interesting. 

What are your ideas on this ?

Share them below!


Up Next: Newbie Blogging: The Series (Part 4)






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