Does A Blogger Need To Be A Good Writer?

by derek on May 27, 2008 · 23 comments

The following guest post was submitted by P Ling while I was in Las Vegas, unfortunately my extra-curricular activities prevented me from publishing the post while I was away but I think you will enjoy it.
So Derek is on a trip to Vegas, and he asked me to write a guest post to keep the blog ticking while he’s rolling the dice. Now I’m a travel writer, and I review hotels, restaurants, destinations, and write about traveling and vacations. But basically, I’m a writer. I love to write, and I’ve always had this conflict about which was more important – My writing talent or the places I write about?
Point I’m trying to make is the importance, or lack thereof, of good writing when your subject is not fiction. Most blogs are about the real world – News, advice, discussion about daily life, politics, sports, etc. So is it enough that your subject matter is interesting, or do you also need to know fancy words and be able to write grammatically correct sentences?
To give you an example, let’s say I put up a blog post about a specific destination with lots of beautiful pictures, along with a couple of scratchy sentences, and another blog post about the same destination, with a full page review and lots of information, but no pictures.
Which one would you be more interested in?
Definitely one good picture is a lot more interesting than a full page of eloquent text. And this post by Derek Semmler proves my point. If you take a look at it, you’ll see that the 10 pictures, accompanied by one line each, do a far better job of explaining how wonderful it is to be a father, than anything he could possibly have written.
Now this was my way of explaining that if you’re a blogger, all you have to do is take great pictures and videos of everything you see, and write a couple of lines describing the picture, or video. That’s all you really need. If your life is interesting, then so will your blog.
Your specific field of blogging may not be as easy as is this, but the point is still valid. If you are an expert at what you do, you really do not need to worry about grammar or commas or full-stops. Blogging is about being authentic, providing something of value (even if it is only your opinion), and your personality should be reflected in the blog.
Be funny, be short and to the point. Use pictures, videos and write in the first person – A blog post is a conversation, not a PhD thesis.
Most importantly, you must enjoy blogging, because readers can sense it, and it makes your post more interesting.
P Ling is a writer for travel search site Uptake.com and also scribbes for Uptake’s blog.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy (Discovering Dad) May 27, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Nice post, and I agree with the majority of it. I will say, though, that the problem with not using proper writing techniques and grammar is that it is usually noticeable by the reader. It probably doesn’t rank in the top three reader priorities, but I bet it is in the top five. Quality of content and authenticity is extremely important, but it also sends a good message to readers when you pay attention to the details. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.
Jeremy (Discovering Dad)’s last blog post..Premature Hope – The Calm Before the Storm

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Luca Govoni May 27, 2008 at 11:31 pm

In my opinion the Bolgger must be a good writer. There are many views in his mind every one can’t tell them.

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Andris May 28, 2008 at 12:15 am

Yepp..i agree. a blogger must b a good writer eminence of content and authenticity is extremely important, but it also sends a good message to readers when you pay attention to the details. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.
Andris’s last blog post..Design a wedding ring online!

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Cesar May 28, 2008 at 1:24 am

Hi P Ling, I believe a blogger doensn’t have to be a good writer but if a blogger want to attract more visitor and earn money with blog then he/she must be a good writer.
Cesar’s last blog post..Radio Glitch delays work on Mars

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Airsoft Guns May 28, 2008 at 4:48 am

Pictures are worth 1000 words, and I suppose in the blogging world, they are 1000 good words. I just read that post about fatherhood and it’s pretty good, but I’d never want to have children. Just the thought of it makes me sad.

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Ste May 28, 2008 at 6:19 am

I dont think a blogger has to be an exceptional writer, it is usually the ideas that the blogger has that will keep me reading and not his/her writing skills.

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Home Recording Studio May 28, 2008 at 8:08 am

There appears to be a lot of confusion about what makes ‘good’ writing. One increasingly finds blogs being written by people whose first language is not English. Most of them may not be able to write the kind of ‘proper’ English. That does not however stop from conveying what they wish to convey. I would rather use the word ‘communicate’ than
write in this context. Then things fall into place.

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Blogging Resources May 28, 2008 at 8:32 am

Having a good writing skill is very important for any blogger no matter what niche or subject he choose if u can write good article in simple and easy to understand manner your visitor will come again and again to read your blog
My personal experience tells me that article written in easy language attracts more reader and comment compare to article with heavy vocabulary
Blogging Resources’s last blog post..Make Google fall in love with your Blog with cornerstone contents.

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Forex Trading Strategy May 28, 2008 at 1:10 pm

If you are going to blog, you have to be a good writer! Proof read everything, do it like five times before you make a post. Spelling errors are one thing that drives me crazy when reading blogs.

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Asia'h Epperson May 28, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I don’t think a blogger need to be a good writer. Take a good at all the blogs out there, how many of them can write well?
Asia’h Epperson’s last blog post..Teacher lets Students Vote out Little Boy

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Public Shells May 28, 2008 at 6:22 pm

A blogger definitely has to be a godd writer! The reason is very simple: there are too many good bloggers outside, so a lame one is just boring… not useful… I consider blogs as a part of literature, and I read a really lot of blogs. Blogs are art.

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Top Rated May 28, 2008 at 9:13 pm

If being a great writer was a prerequisite for blogging, there would be significantly fewer blogs around then there are. I think, to be a blogger you first of all, need to have something to say. Who doesn’t? And secondly you need to write honestly and sincerely. If you can do that, people will come, read, and keep coming back.
Top Rated’s last blog post..My Six Word Memoir

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Ling May 28, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Thank you for all comments. I’d like to add, as a response to the comments, that the nature of the internet tends to bring together people from all kinds of backgrounds and places, and as a global community, we should be forgiving of any shortcomings in areas like writing skills and language problems.
Ling’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday?June Lake, California

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Soham May 29, 2008 at 6:49 am

I agree that a good picture is more interesting than an eloquent text but it is situational. I cannot make a great post about my politicals views by posting pictures,and I think being able to write well is important for a blogger if his subject itself is not very interesting. I saw funny and interesting blogs on pets whereas I myself am not interested in pets.
Soham’s last blog post..Laser Hair Removal For Men

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Steve Elliott May 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm

There is a limit to the impact of images when they are of everyday things that we know and recognise. That is where good writing separates average blogs from the cream of the crop.

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Eva White May 30, 2008 at 1:50 am

I think that presentation is what counts. A post can be all words and still be as captivating as a beautiful picture.
Eva White’s last blog post..Simple Ways To A Thinner, More Beautiful You

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Nicole Price May 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I think having a talent for writing well is required for a successful blog. I cannot see myself being a regular reader of a blog with scratchy sentences.

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Furniture Store May 31, 2008 at 8:50 am

I think that is a very important point of distinction, whether the subject matter is fiction or not. If it is fiction that a writer is dealing in, then they should be required to be a lot more creative, however when the writer is dealing in passing on information and imparting fact details, the style of writing is perhaps not as important.

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Penisverlaengerung November 13, 2008 at 3:29 am

Well I think that a Blog is more interesting when the blogger writes good, but is not so necessary to be a perfect writer, I think that if the subject matter is interesting, and also you are able to write grammatically correct sentences, the perfect match! By the way actually you write very good, It’s a pleasure to read you so please keep writing!

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woocoo@ultra hait away January 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I think you learn as you go anyway.
you start out and learn how to write, learning that simple things make a massive difference and how to encapsulate your audience

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woocoo@ultra hair away January 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

It also helps if you havent got fat fingers like me.

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Harvey@Free PS3 May 28, 2009 at 3:15 am

I would find the blog post with the pictures more interesting! Long written blog posts can some times be quite dull and boring.

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Rich@Reverse Directory Phone Numbers October 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

I think a blogger has to be a fairly good writer but I like to see someone write in a friendly style. You don’t have to be the best to do that.
.-= Rich@Reverse Directory Phone Numbers´s last blog ..Reverse Directory Phone Numbers =-.

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