Earlier this year, Sonia Simone wrote an awesome post over at Copyblogger, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging.” I’ve taken Sonia’s lessons from that post, tweaked them specifically to online writers, then packaged them neatly into verse.
The 7 Sins of Online Writing
There are 7 Sins of Writing which are wrapping up the Net,
Crimes committed, few permitted and most you should forget.
A hundred…thousand…million…billion – blog posts multiply,
The ringing repetition of the copy makes me cry.
There’s good news here – the glass half full – the content’s mostly cripple,
An ugly trollish one-eyed beast with an extra hairy nipple.
This means for us, the authors true, who care about our words
We’ll leave the average on the ground and fly high like the birds.
Build your platform as an author, reinforced and thick,
Slow and strong and steady; brick by sturdy brick.
Avoid these seven sins and see your audience grow strong.
With your hard work and diligence, you really can’t go wrong.
The first One’s don’t be selfish; ego out for number one,
Do this even once and years of work can be undone.
Here’s the deal – you may not like it – but dem’s right there’s the brakes,
There are no get rich magic beans. This is what it takes:
Give and give and give and give and give and give some more,
When you’re known for giving they will come knocking at your door.
If you subtract but never add, you will never multiply,
Yet if you sustain with value, then your limits are the sky.
Your words are invitations for a party at your site.
Tell the sort of stories that keep readers up all night.
Number Two, we’re talking sloth – the bed in which we lie,
When we don’t want to dig too deep and find it hard to try.
But hey, guess what? Life is work, don’t even try to ditch it,
You’ll be the one short-changing your bank balance of a digit.
Do the work, then do some more. Wash and rinse. Repeat,
Hard work pays, it always does. Real winners never cheat.
Refine your craft, craft it fine. Please put perfection to the page.
Your words must be dressed up before they head out on the stage.
Number Three’s impatience. I shake my head ashamed,
Of this one I’m more guilty then all the others that I’ve named.
I want it NOW, not tomorrow, why should I have to wait?
Because the truth is (this may hurt) no one is that great.
Pay your dues, your time will come. Sometimes I know it’s rough,
Slinging sentences for all these months and yeah you’ve had enough.
But authors of all types agree – as do many more,
Each day may be a battle, but your lifetime is the war.
Don’t be LAME – short and sweet – Number Four says be AMAZING,
Give your best, leave all the rest all stressed with your ink blazing.
People need a reason to add your seasoning to their lives,
Be FANTASTIC without fail and no doubt you shall arrive.
Fans will then be foaming for your new upcoming book,
A percentage gladly paying for the awesome that they took.
Identicality, that’s Number Five, and no, that’s not a word,
But it don’t matter none because you don’t follow the herd.
Have your mentors, emulate; model, mirror, match,
But more than anything it is yourself you should attach.
Be inspired, not a tired echo off in space,
Be the YOU, the only thing that no one can replace.
Why would you want to be another, unless I am mistaken,
Everyone else in this wide world is already taken.
Irrelevance; since I wrote Six I’m feeling kinda scared,
If my message isn’t pertinent, then will my future be impaired?
Pinpoint your talking points of course, but don’t be microscopic,
Unless, I guess, you don’t require readers for your topic.
Broccoli ice cream, coffee toothpaste, BetaMax repair,
You need to pick a subject where an audience will care.
If you don’t, then you won’t have the chance to be a leader,
And sad to say, but every day you, might just be your only reader.
The seventh sin, the final one, calls BOORISH to the mat,
Basically in toddler speak, “Please don’t be a brat!”
You can be rude, coarse, uncouth, with every other word a swear,
And you can get away with vulgar, but you should be aware.
Know your tribe – the vibe you scribe – now describe it in a phrase,
Do you feel proud of the crowd you’re talking to these days?
A reflection of your bearing is what’s probably bouncing back
If you don’t like it, tweak yourself, then it won’t be out of whack.
The 7 Sins of Writing, each of us has sure committed,
At least one or two of these, if we’re willing to admit it.
Hey, it’s cool, we make mistakes. Tomorrow’s a new day,
But don’t let the chance to change yourself slowly fade away.
You’re an author, you need readers, treat them with respect.
You will always sell more copies with an audience connect.