Chapter 2 - Writing

How to Write – Language Style and Rules

There are several types of good writing. But for blog content, there are specific elements that make good writing for this medium. Some of these elements are basic writing tips, but others may go against traditional writing styles.

Traditional Writing Rules

Incorporate Logical Flow

  • Walk the reader through an idea from start to finish.
  • Clearly introduce ideas at the beginning of articles and sections.
  • Properly wrap up ideas at the end of articles and sections.
  • Don’t randomly insert ideas and concepts that are irrelevant to the article or section.

Maintain the Active Voice

  • Always avoid the passive voice.
  • With an active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing something.
  • Active: The meeting is at seven. — Good
  • Passive: The meeting will be held at seven o’clock. — Bad

Don’t Insert Opinions that May Be Tied Back to the Client or Publisher (If You Are Not the Publisher)

  • Avoid language that insinuates the opinion of the publisher.
  • Don’t ever say “we feel that,” “our idea is,” “we think,” “we did this so that,” etc.

Use the AP Style Guide

  • Refer to the Associated Press Stylebook for all questions about formatting and terminology.
  • Exception: CopyPress doesn’t adhere to AP style for commas. We use the oxford or serial comma in content (red, orange, and yellow).

Not-so-traditional Writing Rules

Employ Concise Language

  • Keep sentences short and to the point. Use simple language.
  • Avoid flowery, fluffy, or repetitive copy.
  • Avoid superlatives and meaningless adjectives that add no weight to a sentence (very, really, just, that, exactly, extremely, best).

Write in a Conversational Tone

  • Write the way you would talk to your audience.
  • Write in the third person. (Example of third person: “Most readers find this interesting.”)
  • You can also write in the second person and refer to the reader. (Example of second person: “You will find this interesting.”)

Don’t Be Technical

  • Only use vocabulary and terminology that audiences will understand.
  • Don’t replace short, basic vocabulary with big words. Just say chewing, not masticating.
  • When discussing technical topics, think about your audience and the vocabulary they use.
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