There’s a fine line between blogging and online article writing. Your editor doesn’t want you to cross it. Yet, that same editor wants you to inject a bit of personal experience into your article. How are you supposed to do that without sounding like a blogger?
Make personal observations short and sweet.
Rather than going on and on, make your point briefly. Personal experience that highlights your point should accentuate your article, not take it over. You can lose your reader as they try to follow your train of thought through a long, drawn out story. Share your experience briefly, then move on.
Here is your Aunt Ida at the train station. She was there to do so and so, you see. But, what happened instead was…. Then she couldn’t find her…. Then, Uncle Ned showed up and he…. Save long stories like this for your blog. If your story doesn’t have an easily recognizable point, leave it out.
Save your agendas for your blog too.
Bloggers are expected to be opinionated. They traditionally interject more of their own beliefs than an article writer does. When article writers express their opinions, they do it in easy to swallow pieces backed up with factual information. I once had an editor reject my opinionated article for too closely resembling a blog. Rather than being informative and helpful, it was more of a long, drawn out rant, separated into paragraphs. Not good.
Don’t put personal experience in every single paragraph.
Just toss it in where it’s needed to spice up the article or illustrate a point. When an editor asks for your personal experience, they aren’t expecting the entire article to be nothing but your story. Try throwing in someone else’s story too. Add some links to related information. Make some of your paragraphs purely factual.
Write the article without the personal experience first. Then add in a few brief stories that fit the theme of the article.
Consider your credibility.
Bloggers are story-tellers. It’s fine to go ahead and tell Aunt Ida’s whole story in a blog. That’s what blog readers are looking for. On the other hand, inserting too much personal experience in a serious online article can make you sound egotistical. If you want your personal experience article to be blog-like, write a blog and publish it as one. Otherwise, stick to mainly the facts, Jack.
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