Back in middle school, we all had to take those courses in English and writing that were… How can I put this delicately… A little dry. Right? We learned how to make proper paragraphs and what a semi-colon was actually for, and the purpose of an introduction and conclusion. We still use many of these “basics” in our day-to-day writing, maybe on our blog posts, too.
Blogging has given us all a new way to think about writing, and a new way to approach it. We don't need rules, we don't have to have conclusions or really even use full sentences. The freedom is wonderful, but there are some classic, tried-and-true writing tricks and techniques that can actually add a lot of life and personality to your posts.
To spice up your storytelling and reinvigorate your reviews, here are 4 classic writing methods to consider for your next post:
An analogy is a figure of language that compares similarities between two things which are otherwise unlike, with the goal of showing how the two things are alike. Analogies are useful in introducing a topic your readers may be new to, or to make them laugh or think differently about a topic. As this article put it, an analogy more of a tool for thinking than it is a form of writing.
For example, you might say:
“A little black dress is like an Audrey Hepburn film; an eternal classic that's destined to outlast every flashy new trend.”
To get started – think of a thing, a person, or an experience, and ask yourself, “What is it like?” In an IFB post I wrote in March, I relate pitching a brand to dating; the entire post is an extended analogy. (Similar, but not to be confused with a metaphor – see below.)
An anecdote is a brief story that has a specific point, usually to make your readers laugh or ponder over a certain topic, and in the case of blogging, most likely that topic will be found in the headline of your post.
For example, if you were to write a post about your favorite fall sweaters, you might lead off your post with a short, personal story about your last experience shopping for sweaters, or a recent occasion you found yourself lacking the perfect knit. The idea is to entertain your readers, while at the same time making them think about the topic of your post, and perhaps evoke similar emotions.
Using classification in a blog post has huge potential to entertain or educate your readers. This writing technique is all about identifying and illustrating different types, varieties, or methods of a certain thing.
There are so many different ways you can use classification in a fashion blog post, whether it's giving a historical look at high-heeled pumps or the types of vintage shopping hubs in your hometown, or explaining six fun ways to tie a scarf. Maybe you can explain to your readers how different types of plaids and tartans originated, if you think it will interest them.
You can also employ classification in a more humorous way, to illustrate lifestyle or beauty topics, or even a how-to post.
A metaphor is a figure of speech, that uses an implied comparison to draw a similarity from two unlike things. Metaphors explain the unfamiliar (called “the tenor”) in terms of the familiar (called “the vehicle”). We use metaphors frequently in our everyday speech, and so often that we may not even recognize it. (Just think about music!)
“Life is a journey…”
“Love is a battlefield.”
When employing a metaphor, one thing is not like the other, it is the other. We use them to create vivid mental imagery of sights, sounds, smells, etc. for our readers, to better draw them in and help them feel what we are feeling.
“Cashmere sweaters are my kryptonite, I'm helpless before them.”
*Metaphors are closely related to similes, but they are different. Read more here.
At first it might take some getting used to, but using these techniques in your copy can add so much depth, personality and pizazz to your fashion blog posts. That's how you build a close, personal relationship with your readers, one that inspires loyalty and invites conversation. And you know what else, they can be just plain fun. Get started by creating a running list of metaphors, analogies, or classification topics that you could use in the future. This exercise may just inspire a whole bank of inspirations for those major “writer's block” days.