Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Consider Substance before Quantity- The Three R's

                            Image courtesy of Boins Cho Joo Young / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had to take a short break from my contributions to this space for a couple of days. This past weekend was a really busy one for me. I had to MC a wedding and my niece was having a baby - needless to say, I didn't have a lot of spare time!

One of the first things you notice when performing a search for any topic on your Web browser, is the amount of information available at our finger tips. There are an abundance of articles available to us on any topic you like. What isn't as easy to find are articles of any substance.

We live in a world where everyone has something to say - and that's a good thing. What we need to avoid is the desire to produce content for contents sake. Some of the best novels where the only works the author ever produced. Consider Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, or Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Neither one of these authors ever wrote another novel, but these titles are instantly recognizable to most of us.

My point is you don't have to be prolific to make an impact. You have to produce something worth the readers time. Far to many people focus on pumping out article after article, with barely a thought given to whether it's actually of any use to any one.


The Three R's 

I recommend focusing on what I call The Three R's - research, readability, and reliability. These are all topics I've considered in other articles, but they bare repeating because of their importance. Writing, regardless of your medium, is an art form, but it's also a craft you need to work at.

Research is, without a doubt, an area that is not given enough consideration by most authors. Whether you're writing for a family focused blog, or the next great novel, you are an author and you should want to produce something you can be proud to associate your name with. 

In order to produce work with substance, you have to put some time into researching your topic. How many times have you listened to someone talking off the cuff about something they clearly know very little about? It's  hard to pay them much attention. Writing is no different. If you simply write about the first thing that comes to mind, without doing any research into your topic, it will be hard for anyone to take you seriously.

However the job's not done with the research. You have to be able to take that research and turn it into something that catches the attention, something with a good flow to it. Proof read your own work. Try to write in the same style you would use in conversation. Remember, a blog is a conversation with your reader, it's not a formal written essay. If possible, have someone else proof read it as well.

The last thing you want to keep in mind is reliability. There are times when you won't be able to produce a post as consistently as you would like. Life often gets in the way. Don't lose to much sleep over this, but when at all possible, try to produce your blog posts on a consistent schedule. Your readers need to know they can rely on you, just don't sacrifice quality for quantity. 

What do you do to ensure the quality of your posts? Do you use the methods described above, or do you have other methods? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.