I used to write for magazines you know the kind, made of paper that you held in your hand? Now I write for the internet and it is a very different proposition. Old school encouraged flashy titles to attract attention and you never, ever wrote in the first person. The internet has changed all that.
Writing for the internet is considerably more personal that it ever was in print. Instead of being the experienced observer, the internet writer needs to be the experienced participator. Readers want to know your personal experience; they want to know a real person is behind the writing. So now it is perfectly acceptable to write “I saw…” “ I did …” “in my opinion…” rather than, “sources report that…” “research suggests…”
Take the example of my recent Purple Star winning (yes I AM bragging!) lens http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-cure-motion-sickness – I could have done that in two ways. As a health care professional I could have written it from the perspective of a professional with all the medical jargon at my disposal. If I had been writing it for a health magazine that is the approach I would have taken. Instead, knowing my audience, I chose to write it from my own perspective and it turned out well. People still get the same sort of information and advice but in a much more palatable way.
One part of me, the professionally trained part, still has some difficulty in letting go of the old style of writing, I suppose there is still a bit of the academic in me and I do indulge her from time to time. But, however, notwithstanding and all of those redundant phrases set aside, I love the freedom allowed by this free-writing style that is so welcomed on the internet. Writing from your own point of view loosens the inner editor, throws off the chains and allows writing to flow.
If you are new to writing for the web, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Content sites like Squidoo thrive on the personal viewpoint. Your lenses on Squidoo will be richer and more successful if you can put yourself in the picture.