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Monday, August 15, 2011

5 Writing tips, or a response to "8 Essential Tips to better Content Writing"



Here's the original blog post upon which I'm commenting.

(A disclaimer: I've had no interactions with this author save the message I left for him on his blog. I also have no metaphorical axe to grind nor malice with which I'm replying (the apt expression in Japanese would be that I'm not "selling him a fight"). It's simply that I wish to present my critique on the actual 8 listed tips. I certainly agree with his opening paragraph.)

Now, my response proper:

I believe his 8 tips could be condensed into 5. Moreover, in my world they would be re-ordered as the following:

Valuable
This merges his "valuable" and "solution" tips, and is related to "relevance" too, in terms of what the audience expects to find on the site, topic-wise.

Credible 
Using vetted sources for information is an essential part of all academic writing; lend credence to one's own assertions whenever possible online, too. This also touches upon the "resourceful" tip although in his article, it seems to speak to visual aids and formatting. I recently was reminded of this valuable lesson when I failed to verify the Mashable coverage of the bogus "study"!

Relevant 
His tip speaks to how the content fits into the overall theme(s) of the site in question, but I would argue that in the context of blogs, topic relevance should be measured against one's actual (vs. intended) audience. As the preferences of the actual audience become apparent (as fed back via comments), a responsive author would find her or his topic choices being affected by this information - it's a two way street.

Succinct 
This point would, ironically, merge his "short 'n' sweet" and "to the point" tips; I (perhaps naïvely) believe one can't effectively produce short posts without their being "to the point". Why produce pointless but brief missives? Perhaps that overlaps with the microblogging realm...

Readable
By this, I'm merging both the original post's "resourceful" and "readable" tips. The text should be well written with the target audience's expectations in mind, and presented with some visually appealing items when possible, though my preference is to avoid gratuitous videos or (info)graphics, especially if an alternate mobile design is not implemented for one's readers.

About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.