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Why Great Writing Does Matter Online

Apparently, good writing doesn’t matter online:

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.

There’s been an increasing trend among web users to try and consume the most amount of information in the least amount of time. And a whole web culture has been created around catering to these people. There are blogs teaching you how to make your blog posts shorter, more skimable, and more succinct. Regurgitate content and SEO the life out of it. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

We’ve spent so much time reading blogs telling us how to blog, that the novelty of writing something beautiful and appealing is gone. We’ve been tricked into believing that blogging is more than just writing good content. That people don’t have the time to actually read every word of a blog post because it isn’t convenient and doesn’t fit into their schedule—and they’ll tell you so. I disagree. In the words of Rands: “If I’m interested, I’ll make time.”

In seems that The Net has lowered our standards of writing. Forget about writing something engaging and captivating. Don’t go into detail, don’t be comprehensive, and for goodness sake, don’t have an opinion, personality, or voice. Cause people don’t care about how well you write. They just want facts.

That’s not how I feel about blogs. The blogs I read are written by brilliant people, and I long to read more of their words. Yes, I love reading their novel ideas, but I want to read their words more than anything else. I love words. I love writing them and reading them, and most of all, aspiring one day to write wonderfully crafted words that other people long to read.

When I reach the bottom of a post, I stop and think. I re-read the footer and the copyright statement. Sometimes, I even Google the author’s name to find out if there is something—anything—else that they have written online. And that’s not because of their great ideas or the length of the post or how easy is was for me to skim through the subheadings.

No, that’s because of great writing.

A great idea without great communication is worthless. And great communication without a great idea is senseless. There needs to be both. In this day and age, ideas are a dime a dozen. But being able to communicate a brilliant idea with excellent writing—now that’s priceless.