This week I’m focusing on how you can improve your blog. So far I’ve talked about why you should schedule blog posts, how to write a product review, how to spice up your blog with pictures, and how to get people to find you online, and today I’m wrapping things up with a book recommendation. My next series in a couple of weeks will focus on social networking basics.
Everything I know about style, I learned from two dead white guys.
Strunk and White’s classic book The Elements of Style crams a lot into less than 100 pages, and it’s less than $15. It covers basic rules of grammar, explains frequently misused words, and inspires readers to become better writers.
My first reaction upon reading the Approach to Style section was a revolt. I don’t want my blog to read like a faceless newspaper article or an encyclopedia entry. However, the more I dug into the book, the more I realized that it encouraged the reader to follow some simple guidelines in their efforts to build their own unique voice. When the book’s authors put similar passageways from Faulkner and Hemingway side-by-side to show how two writers convey the same concept, it just plain works.
It’s chock full of examples from famous books I know I should have read a long time ago. Reading each snippet reinforces the notion that writing really is an art, and that every time we publish a blog entry, Strunk and White each turn another revolution in their graves.
The hilarious presenter and blogger Jimmy May (Blog – Twitter) first prompted me to buy this book, and I owe him a debt of gratitude. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Weathersby, my senior year English teacher, and point out that I learned a valuable lesson in her class. Although she was horrified to discover that I’d written John Szegda’s term paper for him, I did indeed learn that writing pays off.