(continued from Tips for Business Bloggers - part 1)
3. Follow your organisation's guidelines - or create them!
If by organization they mean ME, and by guidelines they mean My Writing Rules, then I believe I follow this tip quite faithfully already.
I don't have many rules for writing. They basically all boil down to making sure the reader knows exactly what I'm saying.
eg: proper spelling, and no silly text or internet speak.
Actually, I've broken both of those rules already. I do try to spell correctly, but having been raised amongst both American and British spelling conventions, I'll do British things like spell colour with a U, but then do American things like spell organize with a Z. And while I do avoid text speak (ie: you won't see me write things like 'hv a gd weeknd'), I will occasionally throw in the acronyms like LOL and WTF.
Text speak somewhat irks me. For example: today I hung out with some friends to watch a hot air balloon light show.
Amongst us was a person I hadn't met before, who had received the most cryptic text message that made sense to none of us. The cryptic part of it read:
d b a gd weeknd
d b a? W T F?
We bounced around several ideas (database administrator? don't be a good weekend? douchebag a good weekend?) but none of them made sense. She finally asked the sender of the message what the hell it meant, and got the reply that the d meant either 'should' or 'would'. I don't know what dimension or ass-crack they pulled that from, but there's a good example of miscommunication for you right there.
So I guess my guidelines would be that I don't stick to one spelling convention, but I spell consistently, and I don't use text speak, but I like to use internet acronyms.
4. Focus every blog post on a single topic: it's not a newsletter.
Oh fail. Just like when I talked about having a focus or strategy in point #2 in the last blog post, I definitely don't have a single topic in mind. But I don't think this point could apply very well to what I'm doing now anyway.
Sure you have your topical blogs which only post news relevant to the topic being covered, but when it's a blog about my life, I don't think I could ever confine myself to a few defining topics, or just my hobbies, or just my job. There's a whole lot of funny things that can happen to me, and I think it would be unrepresentative of life in general if I didn't talk about the comedic side.
This reminds me of back when I was a 7th former (US equivalent would be a senior) in high school, and one of 3 7th form students who were assigned to a 4th form (freshman) class. I never knew what the exact reasons were for this arrangement - maybe we were there to act as role models, maybe we were there to keep them off drugs - but there we were. One day, the teacher was berating one of the 4th formers for laughing at something (I didn't catch the joke) when then the teacher turned to me and said:
"Life isn't all that funny, is it Em?"
Side with authority, or side with what I believed? It was one of the easiest decision I ever had to make. My reply:
"I'm gonna have to disagree with you there miss."
That little remark got me into the good books of the 4th formers. And having funny things to say or talk about has got me into the good books of a lot of people ever since.
It's just how I roll.
(more to come in part 3)