I’m a big advocate for blogging the way you speak. I think that’s the easiest way for anyone to start writing is to just…start writing. Use pen & paper or keys on a keyboard to start a one-sided conversation with your target audience.
If you’re going to be blogging more seriously, though, it’s worth thinking about some of the theory of communication. We’ve all had those experiences, where we think we’ve made ourselves heard but either the message has gone astray, or the person receiving it heard something completely different to what we think we said. Miscommunication happens, but it’s something you want to avoid when you’re talking to your audience.
I first studied communication back when I did my BSc (Health & Social Care) and came across the Shannon & Weaver Linear Model of Communication. There are other models, but I come back to this one because it formed the way I think about writing. Here’s a dandy infographic to liven up the post a bit!
I think it’s helpful to try and keep some of this in mind when you write. For example, I live in York. If I were describing to another local how to get to my house, I would use the word snicket. But what we call a snicket in York, is a ginnel in Leeds and an alleyway in other parts of the country. I need to keep the experience of my reader in mind when I’m writing.
And the noise? Actually getting heard (read) is an art form in itself, and something better left to marketing and promotion experts. There is a lot of content out there, competing for attention. I think the best tactic is to say something useful, in an interesting way. I’ll be giving more tips on how you can do that in the coming weeks.
Ultimately, though, effective communication isn’t so much about what you want to say, as what you want the audience to hear. To do that, you have to know who you’re talking to. No prizes for guessing the subject of next week’s post!