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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Writing for the Web – How to Be Memorable | Melissa Breker, Fresh Spark Strategies

Initially, to be honest, when I read this blog post, I wondered, "What's in it for me?" And to that I asked myself, "Why share it with people who visit my blog?"

But then I started pondering Brecker's suggestions for "Creating Memorable Web Copywriting." (Her introductory comments about a content plan and her concluding nutshell tips on copywriting weren't new insights for me.)

But those suggestions prompted some thoughts that I hope will benefit my blog posts -- and people who read my blog:
1. Be Personal – Share Your Expertise 
Too often, when I come across an article I like, I simply summarize or excerpt its most significant points (to me) and post those points. I don't, often enough, add my insights, related experiences or other personal reaction to the article. And that's kind of lazy -- though I should note that summarizing an article is not always "simple." For me, the thought process for doing that actually can lead to a better understanding of an article's main points -- an understanding that could also benefit my blog readers if I took time to describe it in my post.
2. Break the Rules
I typically post only articles that I agree with in most ways. I highlight the points I find most valuable and ignore points less meaningful to me. I don't often post articles that don't fit my point of view, and I don't often comment on points within articles that I don't value. But I'm reconsidering that. Like a good drama, some conflict is what makes it interesting and tantalizes people to watch it again -- or read other books by its writer. And beyond being dramatic, writing about differing points of view can help clarify the issue (and, perhaps, win points for my point of view!)
3. Solve Problems
Of these suggestions, I feel I'm accomplishing this one pretty well. As I wrote in the first paragraph above, I typically ask myself "What's in it for me?" when I find an article. And if I post a comment about it to my blog, I try to highlight information that could benefit my readers, that they could relate to in some way.

My experience in journalism and public relations has been filled with considering what's interesting or important to potential readers. If my target audience isn't likely to value the information I'm providing, why write about it? Or, if I think my audience should value it, I must write it to emphasize how the information meets their needs (not just my needs or the needs of my employer or publication).

I think I'm practicing what I'm preaching to myself (and to you) in this blog post.

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