How To Write So It Matters

by Ruud Hein June 30th, 2011 

We – you and I – often talk about how to write, how to blog. Especially when you want to make the best impression.

Here's what we came up with:

Write me a letter. A short letter from the heart, one meant to really help me.

Write To A Friend

she-explains

Picture someone you like or love.

She has started a business. She relies on you to give her real advice.

There's no faking it this time. No fluff.

You're writing to her: this needs to be for real.

Whether she makes money and earns a living or loses everything … depends on you.

This time, you're playing with lives.

Write As If It's The Last Time

Write as if this is your only chance to help your friend.

You can't convey all your marketing knowledge, SEO strategies, caveats, what if's, and cool tool tricks in this short time.

Don't try to tell it all: anything important will drown in a sea of information.

Make it matter. Make your words matter. Make your message matter.

Write What You Know

Write what you know about things you know. Don't fake it.

Remember the last time you heard someone fake it on something you know all about?

Don't be that douche.

Pick One Thing

Focus on one single thing within one single topic.

Don't stray.

Find the heart of your post and stick to it.

Take what doesn't belong away and use it for another post.

One post: one idea.

Keep It Simple & Short

Hey, my mom wont let me swear so thats what I say KISS stands for — and Im sticking to it ;)

Your friend isn't a professional; you are.

Talk straight. Say what you have to say as cleanly and simple as you can.

If you can say what you have to say without the need to define words, then you know you're done.

Tell Me How To Do

Make what you write actionable.

Everybody says make a business plan but how do I do that? How do I make my business fantasy a business plan?

Don't tell me what to do; tell me how to do it.

Every douche can say market on Twitter or get a Facebook page. Only you can say how to do what so that it really happens.

Don't Make Me Look Stupid

I'm learning, just like you.

Don't write how astounded you are at how many people don't get it. That's me you're talking about. Your wife. Your husband. Your friend.

The reader isn't stupid: she's your manager.

Don't Set To Impress

Forget about impressing other professionals: it doesn't happen.

Don't worry. It's not you; it's them.

Forget about rockstar fame: it's fake.

Keep writing and you will impress. With a post you thought least likely to do so.

Question: what's your guiding principle to make it matter? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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12 Responses to “How To Write So It Matters”

  1. Ruud you are right, passion always beats perfection when you are writing prose. With so many blogs we need to always maintain a unique angle and be open to stay visible.

  2. Hi, Ruud.

    I love this exercise. When I find a newbie like me during my blog hopping forays, I will write this letter.

    I agree with you. We only have to be honest about what we know and let our passion shine through for people to know that we are being true to them. We don't have to fake it to impress. We can still make an impression by being ourselves because as I told Griddy, we can escape mediocrity even if we are just simple as long as we are being simple extraordinarily.

    Thanks for this, Ruud. :) Enjoy your weekend!

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Kim, you're one of the inspirations behind the post. The way you're out and about communicating is inspiring.

      It's funny but give someone a keyboard and tell them what they write will be published and all of a sudden we all turn into journalists, writing dry and difficult.

      You gotta have voice :)

  3. Anne Reese says:

    Write with your own unique voice and perspective and pepper them with wit and passion, that is, I think, how you become a good, of not great, blogger.

  4. Katie Saxon says:

    Excellent advice Ruud, these things are so easy to forget. At the heart of what I write is one thought: "make every word matter". It might not always work, but I try!

  5. Yomar Lopez says:

    I'm in awe that you were able to touch all the key factors behind remarkable content in such a concise manner, Ruud!

    While I usually follow all these rules, I find the "Pick One Thing" can be tough but it is so crucial. While I've been writing for several years and blogging since around 2001, when social networks were still in their infancy, it's sometimes hard to not stray a little bit, especially when you touch upon something that you feel needs a little more elaboration.

    That said, my advice to our fellow creatives out there is to consider repurposing extensive content to launch series and content via different mediums. That way, you know ahead of time that you'll give those important aspects you touch upon the proper attention they require without going off in too many directions (hey, it happens, I know).

    Don't make your audience look stupid.

    That's so true. Sometimes you may write a piece without the intention of discrediting people but the tone conveys just that. Certainly, that ties into the matter of trying to impress people. I think some people over-do the social proof bit. It's great to see the ideas in action but, if your message is THAT good, I really will take your word for it.. Besides, not everyone will get the same results from so-called proven methods so you have to give it a try anyway, right?

    Last but not least, the fakers, posers, and pretenders.. That's always fun. It's tempting to jump on a hot trend and blogging can be great for self-discovery and mutual learning.. But be authentic about how you present your message. That's very important.

    For me, it's easier to help clients put my advice to action. I get them the results they seek.. but sometimes I do slack on my own pet projects and I make no pretense about it. I really just like helping people and there never seems to be enough time in the day to materialize our ideas, no matter how passionate we may be about them!

    Anyway, I think this would be one of those great things to print out and hang up, maybe even frame it, in our creative workspaces. Thanks again for sharing, Ruud!

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Thanks for the kind comment, Yomar. Appreciate it.

      Taking what's "too much" in a post and making series or additional content from it is a great idea.

  6. There is a lot of great advice in this article, Rudd. There have been many instances where I find that there's very little content in someone's content. Following the principles you laid out in such a concise manner, I think can make all the difference between having something well-written and just having a lot of words across the screen. I for one, hold the don't tell me what to do, but HOW to do it close to heart. And it is very true how you never know what particular piece of writing will have the most impact. It can be the one you never suspected.