Readers Shouldn’t Yawn: Why Blogs Should Be Written Creatively
Although blogs are a relatively new concept in the history of the written word, the definition is starting to become ambiguous.
Nowadays, the characterization of a blog is as vague as what constitutes a catch or roughing the passer in pro football. The first part of the definition remains true in most circles – a regularly updated website or web page entry, typically one run by an individual or small group.
It’s the second half of the description that is being contorted – written in an informal or conversational style.
In the apartment industry, specifically, the concept of a blog is getting stretched farther than the elastic on a pair of size 48 sweatpants. More companies are moving away from the quick-hit blog and toward lengthy news article-type pieces. The informal chatty language is being replaced with a writing style generally reserved for news articles, which serve a different purpose.
At the risk of getting too longwinded – because this piece is a blog – here are a few reasons why blogs should be creative and filled with personality.
Audience expectations: When viewing a blog, readers want to quickly learn about a topic. They’ll research more in-depth later, but “blog” implies that the piece will have a narrow message about a particular topic. The less ambiguous the better – and the breezier the better.
Opportunity to distinguish yourself: Most topics already have been written about in some form, but this is your chance to give a unique take on the subject. In my sports reporting days, you could guarantee that a Broncos trade was reported about in several local and national pubs. But a quick-hit blog offers the opportunity to put your personal spin on the trade, why it was good or bad and why the draft pick gleaned from the deal might eventually be the difference-maker.
Better readership: If the blog reads like an article and not much more creative than the instructions for your new carpet shampooer, readers will move along. Readership audience can vary in our industry, but sometimes includes creative professionals, whose job description largely consists of putting zest and pizzazz on content. They want creative copy that will keep their interest, not serious language that resembles the news articles they read with a cup of coffee this morning.
With a blog, your job is to impart your key message and get the reader quickly to the end. If you’re still reading now, I’ve done my job with this one, although I’m guessing a few readers inevitably moved along once they absorbed the objective.
Either way, I’m hoping the definition of a blog doesn’t become further blemished.