Performancing Metrics

“Kids Don’t Try This At Home!” Do All “Good Writers” Make “Good Bloggers”?

Truth be told, there’s a bit of an exhibitionist in every writer.
(Wouldn’t you agree?)

No matter how private or reclusive we may be in our own personal lives,
I believe we go “public” because it’s inherent in our “wiring” to want to change the world, inspire, and “win friends and influence people.”
And for us it’s through our creative ability.

As such, many of us set our sites on becoming bloggers as a way to expand our platforms, our influence base, and our bottom lines.
We in fact are told through an array of sources that we must!
Blogging has become the “new black”.

SIDEBAR…

This kind of reminds me of how when a new, “popular” fashion or fad is introduced in the women’s clothing arena, many females will embrace it regardless as to whether or not it’s appropriate to their lifestyle, size, figure or age.
And some really shouldn’t.
Case in point?
(Spandex is not every woman’s friend!)
The point of this piece?
Not all writers should necessarily become bloggers just because it’s the “in” thing to do.

In other words, blogging should not be considered a natural “write of passage”.

This revelation came to me some time ago when I put out a call for bloggers for a creative project I was working on.
I got submissions from folks from all walks of life, with all sorts of degrees, awards and credentials.

And some, to be quite honest, with more impressive backgrounds than my own!

Unfortunately what I ended up with were blog posts that were too technical, or too cerebral, or too long, or too “vanilla” and bland in nature.

I hate to say it, but I was over worked and

underwhelmed.

These very talented authors were skilled in “communicating” but not “connecting”.
(Are you with me?)

Here are a few reasons that “all” writers do not necessarily make good (pro) bloggers.
They lack one or more of the abilities that fall under the categories I like to refer to as the 3C’s.

• Conversational tone-–Blog writing calls for an informal style, smooth flow, and brevity. Some writers, in their desire to impress, use hundred dollar words, uncommon acronyms, or technical jargon that is not easily grasped by the average reader. Don’t be one of them.
• Consistency—Bloggers with paid gigs, or those hoping to cultivate a solid following for their own personal blogs, must blog well and blog often. One has to produce with or without a “muse”.
• Creativity-–Gifted bloggers know how to take an old topic, theme, or event and give it new life in the way that they spin it. Like good chefs they take the same everyday ingredients and blend them together differently to yield “food for thought” for readers’ enjoyment.

Should blogging have standards?

Do you think that blogging calls for different writing skills than more formal forms of writing?

Are all writers “blogging material”?
What are your thoughts on this?

Categories: General, Interesting, Opinion

This post was written by . You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.


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Comments

  1. Marcie ) says: 3/31/2010

    Ok, the point about women and spandex is funny. And, I personally don’t think that all writers are good bloggers. This is based on my experience as a writer and a blogger. Factors that contribute to my success includes not having formal training as a writer, a truck load of creativity, and my ability to make friends on paper (probably better than in person). Too much education, lack of creativity and lack of interpersonal skills can definity stunt your writing growth. Also, having
    mentors like you who gives me honest and blatant feedback is a great help.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/31/2010

      Thanks for weighing in today. Sometimes it is less difficult to cultivate relationships on paper than in person. I can agree. I guess because there’s less pressure.

      And as your “mentor” I can attest to your creativity, now we just need to work on those careless typos, because I know you’re typically an excellent speller.:-) Have a happy “hump” day.

      Reply

    • Marcie ) says: 3/31/2010

      I found three errors – one spelling, two grammar. That’s what I get for trying to sneak a response in. Going back to class now to pay attention.

      Reply

      • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/31/2010

        You go girl! You grow girl!

        Reply

  2. Nikola ) says: 3/31/2010

    Hey Jennifer,
    I’m just flapping my jaws here, cause I certainly don’t have the creds to back up my opinion (and we all know what opinions are like), :) but… it seems that a gifted writer should be able to adapt to a format such as blogging; perhaps not to technical writing (if this is not their “thing”) or to a genre that is far beyond their scope, but blogging – maybe. You seem to have done so, with a ton of success! :)

    Q2 & Conversational Tone – I agree that blogging calls for a different skill set. I try to blog as if I’m chatting with a close friend. I think the tone helps build a connection with your reader.

    - Nikola

    Reply

  3. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/31/2010

    Nikola,

    I appreciate your thoughts. There are no penalties for expressing an opinion, and you don’t have to have “creds” in order to be entitled.
    As for me and my “tons of success,” I think that my passion and experience in different genres has certainly helped. I actually started out with poetry being my “first love.”
    Thanks for your feedback.

    Reply

  4. clara54 ) says: 4/1/2010

    I don’t think it’s rocket science really. Once writers learn some of the basic ‘rules’ of blogging, they shouldn’t have a problem.

    Clara.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/1/2010

      Interesting point, Clara. Do you think there are “rules”? Or is it more free-formed like poetry?

      Reply

  5. clara54 ) says: 4/2/2010

    I’m speaking in terms of building community . They’re separate animals…I write good poetry, but, will my poems capture a community of bloggers? You’re still tooting your brand/genre in blogging in hopes of reaching a like minded community of clients/publishers/ folks with similar experiences interests, inclusive of poetry…If I branded my blog as only( poetry related) would it fare better within the blogging community? I don’t know. There are basic dos & don’t s in blogging as in any other form of writing that helps guide one’s efforts to increased readership well into the “like” factor.

    Right now,clara54 is a happy blogger, somewhere in the ‘like’ factor:)

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/2/2010

      Clara,

      I beg to differ. You don’t write good poetry.
      You write “fantastic” poetry!

      And consider… you could always do a separate blog devoted to that niche. Many people have different blogs for different audiences and various marketing objectives. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Reply

  6. BizChickBlogs ) says: 4/11/2010

    Hi Jennifer,

    Nice, thought-provoking post here! The blogging standards question is a good one. I am leaning towards saying no, with caveats. The more rules we impose on ourselves and our blog communities, the more difficult it is to connect, I think.

    I think the very question you’re asking here is one only a writer would ask. :-) As writers, we want so badly to fit everything into a set of standards, because writing is a discipline surrounded by technique and standards.

    Blogging (can it even be called a discipline?) takes on so many forms, and with the introduction of video blogging, micro-blogging and podcasting, it’s simply a much more forgiving world than writing. The rules of writing don’t always apply to blogging. Yes, watching the spelling errors and obvious grammar mistakes is important, but the rest is not as cut and dry.

    I liken blogging to reporting, actually. There are standards in reporting, but they change over time. Writers who want to have great blogs must be able to let go of the prescriptive writing school of thought and embrace the changes in communication that come as we progress as people and find new ways to get our points across and connect.

    I have one additional thought about your second bullet point toward the end: consistency. I think it is important to have a significant level of interest in what you’re blogging about (or a muse), but maybe that is where top-notch writing skills can really pay off…?

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/11/2010

      You bring up some very interesting points here, Tia.

      I do think that blogging is a little different (than writing) in terms of expectations and restrictions.
      And perhaps it should also be noted that personal blogs should be approached differently than professional ones and those that are industry related.

      Thanks for this valuable feedback.

      Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/11/2010

      Tia, can you please try to define me ‘blogging’? Is a blogger no ‘writer’?

      As far as I’m concerned it only boils down to what your definition of blogging and writer is.

      Am I just a ‘blogger’ because I publish my thoughts online and my grammar isn’t too awesome (English is my fourth language)? Does this make me a worse ‘writer’ and a better columnist? I have published enough content, often in more different styles than most ‘writers’ ever will, to apply and receive an official ‘Writer’ qualification from UK universities.

      Would that make me a ‘writer’?

      The whole publishing sector is in turmoil ever since 1994 and the creation of the modern internet. Blogging is publishing online. ‘Writing’ are skills, assets which can help you stand out as (often) self-published (online) writer, AKA blogger. Thoughts can ‘promote’ any writer to columnist.

      The main difference? Blogs often are only post-edited, if even. Does that means that there can’t be a style guide such as the AP Stylebook? Does that mean that there can’t be any editorial topics given out? Does that mean that if I want to write a viral entry I would not ask someone to edit before publication?

      Writer and blogger (and journalist/reporter/columnist for that matter) are labels only handed out by mainly ‘competitors’. Often with a negative thought behind the labelling but at the end of the day we all strive to be published. And one’s better at it than the other, one masters skills more. Writing skills.

      You liken blogger to reporter, I say a blogger is a columnist. My neighbour only reads tutorial blogs and my niece only reads personal (and erotica) websites.

      Blogging is not a discipline, blogging is a form of publication. Writing is (can be) an art. A good ‘blogger’ often masters the art to write for the web, knows the ‘Write for the web stylebook’ but there really aren’t any ‘standards’.
      Great authors will have it easier to become widely read but with the international market and less than 10 languages being really influential online, grammar might be overrated as most of us try to opt for popular languages.
      I know many blogs with poor writing standards but a huge following. All are writers.

      Many book authors are poor writers but are edited before publication (I refer mostly to non-fiction here).

      Some people are great authors, other people are really bad writers. But everyone can ‘be published’ online and everyone’s a writer. Talented or not.

      As for the question? Not every ‘writer’ is a great ‘blogger’ and not every ‘blogger’ is a great author.

      Reply