I’ve heard many people say that the best writers aren’t necessarily the best bloggers.
Blogging is supposed to be conversational.
And all of the tools and tricks we learned in our high school English classes don’t apply here.
Well, I disagree. I think that certain creative writing techniques, when done well, can transform your blog and help it stand out. Here are 5 for you to consider using in your blog.
Alliteration is where you start a bunch of words with the same letter:
This morning I meandered outside, mellowing out as the melon-colored sun melted out of the water.
Alliteration not only sounds cool, it also pushes you to use unusual words.
I never would have thought to use the words meandered, mellowing, melon, or melted if I hadn’t been alliterating. And doesn’t “melon-colored sun melted out of the water” sound more interesting than “I watched the sunrise”?
You can also find alliteration in many brand names, like Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Lululemon.
How can you use it in your blog?
Try an alliterated headline: The Best Bunch of Bagel Bloggers in Brooklyn
Or throw it into a post randomly. You only need 3 select words starting with the same letter to be alliterating.
Use it in your categories.
Want more examples of alliteration? Check out this site.
Metaphors are when you say one thing is another.
For example: My dog is a delicious dollop of joy in my day. (Did you see how I alliterated in that metaphor?)
Metaphors can be used in so many different ways. Let’s look at a few of them.
Your entire blog theme can be based on a metaphor.
In her site A Place to Nest, Desiree compares a website to a home. Many people have websites that are a mishmash of things, much like a home where the furniture doesn’t match. But when she does a site redesign, everything is in its place. Brilliant.
You can use a metaphor to teach your readers.
For example, if you are teaching your readers how to use Pinterest, you can say the pin-boards are buckets and you fill them with products and images that interest you.
Metaphors can bring freshness to common ideas.
Awhile back, I wrote a post about parking karma, but it was really about how to approach life in general. One of the ideas in it was “Expect to get a close spot. Go for the good spots because most people think they’ll be taken, so they’ll park further away, leaving them open for you.” Instead of writing, Dream big, which is kind of cliche, I used that idea. And it is much more fun, don’t you think?
Imagery is basically using sensual images in your writing. (Not sexual, sensual.)
This just means your readers should be able to taste, smell, hear, touch, and see what you are writing about.
If you write a food or fashion blog, it’s easy to do this. Travel blogs are also great places to throw in lots of sensory details.
But what if you write a blog about ideas, like this one? How can you include sensual details?
One way to integrate imagery into your blog is to throw in snippets of stories every once in awhile.
Like in my post about seeing my grandma after I shaved my head.
Another way is to help your readers imagine themselves in a situation.
Lets say you write motivational posts. Don’t just tell your readers ideas about motivation, help them feel motivated.
For example, if you are writing about living with gratitude every day, you could write, Take a moment to feel gratitude when you wake up in the morning. That’s nice, but devoid of sensory details.
You could transform it by taking your readers into the moment: As you press your bare feet to the carpet, be grateful for your warm, safe home. As you brew your coffee and smell the rich, strong scent of the beans, be grateful that you can start your day with your favorite beverage.
See how that worked?
Repetition can come in many forms. You can repeat certain phrases again and again to achieve a poetic effect, and you can also repeat certain ideas again and again so that they become associated with you and your blog.
In individual posts, use repetition to create a rhythm, to develop an idea, and to bring more cohesiveness to your writing.
For example, in this post about the writer’s freshman year of college, she repeats It’s okay at the end of every line. This not only strings the ideas together, it also creates a great subtext to everything else in the post. (Notice that the post was shared 10k times on Facebook?)
Repetition is also a brilliant way to develop your voice.
When you repeat certain words or phrases frequently, people start to associate them with you.
For example, the guys at Fizzle often talk about whether your project will “fizzle with energy or fizzle out.”
Seth Godin repeats the concepts of the lizard brain, tribes, and linchpins. And they are part of what he is known for.
Quick, say that 10 times fast.
Onomatopoeia may be hard to spell (I admit it, I copied and pasted the word from another blog), but it’s a super easy concept.
It’s when a word sounds like what it means. For example, words like “buzz,” “pop,” “fizzle,” and “bang.”
When you throw onomatopoeia words into your blog, it helps readers hear your writing in their minds.
When appropriate, try throwing a bam or a boom into your writing.
This goes back to the sensory details part. If you’re writing about a trip to India, it’s super easy to put some crashes and screeches in.
But if you’re writing about concepts, how does it work?
You can emphasize ideas with onomatopoeia.
For example, if you’re helping your readers learn to participate in Facebook groups effectively, you could write, The Facebook group world may seem confusing, but I’m here to help you creak the door open.
Want a list of 285 onomatopoeia words? Check this out.
Head spinning? Here’s a brief summary:
1. Alliteration is starting a bunch of words with the same letter.
2. Metaphor is comparing one thing to another.
3. Imagery is using sensual details that help readers see, hear, taste, smell, and feel.
4. Repetition is repeating words, phrases, or concepts throughout your writing.
5. Onomatopoeia is using words that sound like what they mean, such as zoom and zip.
There’s a reason why these techniques have been used by the best writers for centuries. It’s because they really work. Try one of them out in your blog.