You Don’t Have To Be A Great Writer

So says, Skellie, a blogger who studied journalism. His premise is that when it comes to writing for the web, one does not necessarily have to be a great writer. In fact, being “OK” is enough. In this post Why Great Writing Doesn’t Matter Online, she writes:

People don’t read online. Nor do they scan. They extract ideas, resonating with some and disregarding others. They do so at breakneck speed, only slowing down when a particular idea truly warrants it.

If you’ve ever fretted about not being a good enough writer, I hope I can convince you to allay your fears. Good writing, clever writing, beautiful writing — all of these things are unnecessary in the creation of great web content. In this medium, writing is just a vehicle for entertaining ideas, useful ideas, novel ideas and practical ideas. All great web writing must do is communicate great ideas without getting in their way.

I had mixed feelings while I was reading this for the first time. On the one hand, I felt that there was some truth to it. On the other hand, I firmly believe that bloggers must write well. Then I realized that indeed, one does not really need to master the Elements of Style in order to have a successful blog. One does not need to be as clever with words as a Pulitzer Prize winning author in order to have wide readership. It all boils down to great content which is presented well – something that an average writer (like most of us, probably) can do. I feel like my eyes have been opened…

Originally posted on March 21, 2008 @ 2:15 pm