I hate writing and always have. Throughout high school and college, I dreaded English and Writing classes because I just did not care for them. It just didn’t make sense to me, I am a math person so why in the world would I ever need to know how to write exceptionally well. I was always at least a B student in my English/Writing classes, so that should be good enough to get me through the rest of my life right?
Actually the answer to that question is probably yes, but it sure would have been advantageous to be an A student and have above average writing skills.
Whether you notice it or not, writing plays a huge role in this new social media, internet savvy world. Your writing has always helped represent who you are and what you know, but now millions of people have access to it. Did you even realize that? Every blog post, Facebook comment, status update, tweet and Quora answer will end up being a representation of who you are. Even the way you fill in your profiles help to give a preview of your overall image.
With writing having such a crucial role in your overall branding, it is extremely important to understand how to write content that truly represents who you are as a person and a professional. Good news, I am going to try and help by giving you 3 important aspects to consider when writing content online.
#1 - Be yourself and have a voice.
There is only one way to put this…nobody likes a fake person! The amazing thing about the online world is that you can act like somebody else. You can literally change who you are.
If I really wanted to, I could write this whole post in a very eloquent and sophisticated manner and give you all the impression that I am a very educated and classy person. Not that I’m not classy (I swear I am most of the time) but it is just not my personality to use sophisticated grammar. Plus would you even be reading this if I used complex words and confusing sentences?
Just keep it simple. Write as if you were speaking, and let your personality show through your writing. Don’t write to make yourself look different or copy the style of an already influential blogger/person…build your own identity. Use your own personal voice and let your audience see who you truly are.
#2 - Don’t be afraid to take risk.
This somewhat goes along with #1 but has more to do with writing freely. Whether you are blogging, tweeting or commenting, you should always be expressing how you truly feel. The online aspect of it all should give you that much more courage to actually speak the truth and stop hiding your true thoughts.
When it comes to writing with a personal voice and being yourself, it really means writing with passion and heart. Write things that you truly mean and believe in, and do not be afraid to take a risk. Not everyone will agree with what you have to say or how you feel but that does not mean you are incorrect. Write with conviction and passion, rather than being safe and writing what you think people want to hear.
Helpful tip: There is always a line that you should try avoid crossing. It is important to write how you truly feel but that does not mean you should completely dismiss other people’s feelings and beliefs…it could backfire!
#3 - Double check your work.
Yes, this is very similar to the process you went through when taking tests in high school and college. The only difference is that I am not putting as much emphasis on spelling and grammar. It is definitely important to make sure that your spelling and grammar is correct, because you do not want to look like a complete fool, but it is more important to make sure that what you are saying in general makes sense. Pretty much, dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
When you begin expressing how you really feel and start jotting down all the thoughts in your head, you need to make sure all of it makes sense. Everything you say needs to hold some weight and cannot be developed from a bunch of b.s. numbers or ideas.
Helpful tip: Don’t look foolish by writing blog posts and tweets that share thoughts that have no real base. Express yourself but make sure that there is some actual thought and structure behind it.
Every single word that you end up typing online can somehow come back to represent who you are. Whether everyone wants to admit it or not, people are always trying to build their personal brand and therefore it is time to start giving more consideration to all the comments and tweets that you post. A blog is not the only way that people can learn more about who you are…every small tweet, comment, and answer can also do the job. With that being said, write wisely and stay within your writing lane!