Internet Marketing Tips from George Orwell to Help Grow Your Business

May 20, 2014 / by Paige Gilbert

portable typewriter resized 600Okay, so the title of this blog post might be a tad misleading, I mean George Orwell has been gone for quite some time now and would have known nothing about the future of marketing, let alone internet marketing. However, a good writer leaves his stamp on history somehow whether it be through their books, essays, speeches, or blogs. The fact that the following essay excerpt from George Orwell can be applied to internet marketing to help grow your business is indeed admirable and evidence of a timeless writer.

 

In one of his most famous essays, “Politics and the English Language,” Orwell writes that “the following rules will cover most cases:” (I first read these tips on Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project blog also worth checking out).

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. 

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

 

So here’s how YOU can apply George Orwell’s tips to your internet marketing blog (in most cases!):

 

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which are used to seeing in print.

Metaphors and similes should be used only if they work! More often than not, people try to make their blog posts all fancy shmancy by using metaphors and most times they just don’t quite apply. Just be straightforward about the topic you’re writing about. People want to read and learn, not have to try to figure out what you’re saying. That’s a surefire way to get them to hit the “back” button.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

This is a great tip for blogging because it’s supposed to be conversational. We usually don’t use long words in general conversation. Why say, “thaumaturge” when you can just say “magician?”

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

A general blogging tip in the internet marketing world is that a blog should be as long as it needs to. The sweet spot is usually anywhere from 400-800 words. A better way of saying this is don’t add fluff just to add it. Just say what you need to say.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

The active voice again is more conversational, pleasing, and gets your point across. The passive voice can be confusing and readers have to guess at what you are trying to say. It’s the subtle difference between “Why was the road crossed by the chicken?” and “Why did the chicken cross the road?” This can make you seem less credible and not helpful at all – blogs are supposed to be helpful, clear, and interesting.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

This is important! If you use industry jargon in your blog writing, not only will people not understand what you’re saying, they will feel stupid, which is the complete opposite of what you want them to think and feel. Your goal is to educate them. In internet marketing we might say “getting found online” instead of “search engine optimization.” Orwell’s example: use “snapdragon,” not “antirrhinum.”

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

What would be considered “outright barbarous” when it comes to an internet marketing blog? Well, the short answer is to not blog! If you want to grow your business and get found online you have to be writing a blog – everyday if you can, but nothing less than twice a week to start.

 

These are just a few internet marketing tips from George Orwell. You can learn more about blogging by reading these articles:

How an Internet Marketing Blogging Strategy Works

Why Blog? Or Better Yet---Why NOT Blog?

 

OR simply download our free eBook below and let us help supercharge your business starting with a blog.

Topics: Internet marketing, Blogging

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