If you’ve read this blog on even a semi-regular basis, you know that I promote blogging in any way (your own blog, guest blogging, or commenting on relevant blogs) as one of the best ways to generate evangelism for you and your personal brand, and build your online identity.
For those of you who already blog or who think you want to start, I think you’ll love Scott Ginsburg’s fun and compelling post, 22 Ways to be a Great Date for Your Readers.
Borrowing from Kurt Vonnegut’s advice, “If you want to be a great writer, be a great date for your reader”, Scott suggests taking on the characteristics of an ideal date – “Fun. Fun-ny. Engaging. Emotional. Interesting. Stimulating. Memorable”.
His 22 tactics to “get more literary kisses” include:
♦ Write like you talk. People will listen.
♦ Don’t “try” to be funny. The moment you do, you aren’t.
♦ Use every emotion. Just like a good speech, every piece of writing should make people feel happy, sad, glad and mad.
♦ Pay attention to the architecture of your writing — the creative design and page presentation — and make your writing easy to read with plenty of white space.
♦ Trim the fat. Give people the guts. The meat. The content. The lists. The strategies.
♦ Insert your passion into everything.
♦ Draw dating parallels. Think back to the WORST date you ever went on. Then jot down all the reasons you never called that person back again.
♦ Make fun of yourself. It makes your writing more approachable.
One of my favorites is his 16th suggestion:
Dance with language. Give yourself permission to spice it up. Don’t worry, your English teacher will never find out. Here are a few structural elements that will help you do a little verbal jitterbugging:
♦ Intentionally spell words wrong to prove a point. Don’t be a know it all. Dare to be dumm.
♦ Write shorter sentences. They get read.
♦ Throw in the occasional foreign word. Approachability comes from the Latin apropiare which means, “to come nearer to.”
♦ Use multiple hyphens. This works well when you want to E-M-P-H-A-S-I-Z-E a word.
♦ Go Charlie Brown style. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
♦ Intentionally overuse periods. This. Slows. Readers. Down.
♦ Use CAPS LOCK for emphasis. Listening is also about what you DON’T say.
♦ Use single hyphens and extra vowels for authentic sounding dialogue. Mary, that steak was dee-licious!