A couple of months ago, Darren Rowse of Problogger wrote something on Google+ about blogging that caught my attention.
It was from a G+ post titled “Traits of Successful Bloggers #6 – Communicators.”
It caught my attention because it contradicted a belief I had about blogging.
Here’s the quote:
“Some might think that this point is all about bloggers having the ability to write well – but that is only part of being a good communicator.
Successful bloggers have a knack of knowing and connecting with readers that goes beyond the way they use words.”
So what’s the big deal? Why did this quote catch my attention?
It caught my attention because, to some degree at least, I still consider blogging to be a genre of writing that needs to be done “well.” And by well, I mean conforming to rules of writing that have been taught in schools for decades and decades. If it doesn’t perfectly conform to these rules, then it’s a complete waste of time.
But that’s just not the case. Blogging is much more than merely writing well, in that sense. It’s about communicating. It’s about conveying your idea to a larger audience.
These ideas may be communicated in well thought out sentences that match every known grammar rule, but they also may not. In the end, if the idea gets communicated that’s what matters.
I’m not arguing for sloth to be rewarded and for every writer to become a blogger that no longer worries about grammar and rules. What I’m trying to say, and what Mr. Rowse said very well, is that blogging is about more than that. It’s about communicating ideas well, and not as much about writing well, per se.
If bloggers are able to do both, that’s awesome. And that also should be the goal. Any improvement in writing benefits the delivery of ideas and influences how people perceive you and what you’ve written. If you leave typos in your prose and you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” then you’ll lose some credibility with your audience.
But on the other hand, people are willing to overlook these mistakes. They realize that every blogger doesn’t have an editor looking over their shoulder catching every error. And they realize that not every blogger studied rhetoric at an Ivy League Institution.
What they don’t overlook are good ideas that are well thought and out and that connect with readers. They don’t overlook writing that serves the reader and gives him something that he wants.
So remember this: Blogging is about more than writing well. If you do write perfect prose, that’s a plus, but if you don’t, as long as you connect with your audience and communicate ideas that are worth listening to, you can be a blogger.
Don’t let perfectionism scare you from getting started with blog writing. It’s ok if you’re not perfect. Nobody else is anyway.
Just start writing.
Eventually, you’ll become a better writer simply due to the fact that you’re writing more. Focus on communicating the best ideas that you have at your disposal and learn more about writing as you go. In the end, you’ll become a better writer and communicator, and that’s what it’s all about.
Note: For those who are interested in becoming better blog writers, here are two posts that will help:
- 5 High School Grammar Rules Great Writers Learn to Break
- 5 Tips for Writing Significantly Better Blog Posts