How to write good. A comical look at potential blog writing skills.

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team

When I was taking a real estate class recently, I had a conversation about blog writing with the instructor. The next day he handed me an amusing article by Frank L. Visco. I get a good chuckle whenever I look at it. The truth is that if you follow this advice, it might nake you a better blog writer. For me, I'm not sure there is really help, but maybe for you there might be. 

How to write good by Frank L. Visco

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:

  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. 
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren't necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  13. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions?
Right. I know I am guilty of several of these (particularly ending in a preposition and writing parenthetical comments. Case in point.) Still, I found it quite humorous and thought you might too.
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 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).



Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Marie Graham 07/17/2012 01:33 PM
  2. Rachel Tipton 07/18/2012 03:05 AM
  3. Tammy Emineth 07/18/2012 09:41 AM
  4. Bob Miller 07/19/2012 03:00 AM
  5. Kathy Schowe 07/19/2012 03:46 AM
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Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Melissa,

Some English major sure had fun with this list. Very funny!

Jul 19, 2012 01:36 AM #63
Joy Baker
RE/MAX Insight - Salem, NH
So NH RE & Short Sale Specialist

Young Lady #1:  "Where's your party at?"

Young Lady #2:  "You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition."

Young Lady #1:  "Where's your party at, b*tch?"


Sorry, I couldn't resist.  As Bliz (#13) says, "It's my blog and I'll do what I want to."

Jul 19, 2012 01:44 AM #64
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Funny post.  I especially like the title because I am always trying to write "good."  Feathers on a snake.  I have never hear that analogy.

Jul 19, 2012 02:21 AM #65
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Melissa, we loved it and just had to re-blog.  Thanks for the chuckle and the lesson.

Jul 19, 2012 03:01 AM #66
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the tips Melissa, I am always looking for more advice on how to write a blog post, and enjoyed your humorous way of teaching it.

Jul 19, 2012 04:40 AM #67
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Sorry for the late comments.  Saving this one as I definitely wanted to see what I should or should not be doing.  Looks like I need to review!  Thanks for sharing!

Jul 19, 2012 05:28 AM #68
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

aaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha> I've seen that before, but good things are like butter in'a biscuit (if'n ya know what I mean, Vern)!!!

Jul 19, 2012 05:29 AM #69
Shannon Lewis
Beringer Realty - Champaign, IL
Realtor, Broker - Champaign-Urbana, IL

Very cute. My husband, a Ph.D. student, has been known to be a rather harsh critic of my writing. But I remind him that he and I have very different audiences. I try to write in a conversational style and if I break a few of these rules in the process, I'm okay with that :-)

Jul 19, 2012 07:09 AM #70
Linda DeRusha
Coldwell Banker Advantage - Garner, NC
Broker/Realtor, ABR,ASP,CDPE


Thank you for this amusing article. We all say things like this.

I needed a good laugh!


Jul 19, 2012 07:42 AM #71
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging
Hahaha Joy! That was great!
Jul 19, 2012 07:47 AM #72
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Melissa - Very funny!  I have to admit that I use a lot of parentheses too (but ALWAYS when necessary, of course).  ;)

Jul 19, 2012 07:48 AM #73
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad

I'm not smart enough to understand half of what was written.  Not sure if I'm guilty on any points but I'll keep going until I learn to do it write. :)

Jul 19, 2012 07:49 AM #74
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging
Thank you again everyone for the comments & the re-blogs! I have loved reading everyone's comments. It sounds like most of you (like me) prefer to have fun than follow the rules.
Jul 19, 2012 07:50 AM #75
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

Ah, yes...take all the flavor out of writing and give us blogs that taste like tofu!

Sorry, can't not, won't not, ain't not gonna write that way!

You can scribble like a #4 pencil on cardboard if you like (i.e. invisible - because a hard pencil lead and soft surface don't mix), but my writing will be like the car alarm at the mall that everyone hears, ya hear me!?!

I'm gonna write like show marquees in VEGAS, baby!!!

Jul 19, 2012 10:16 AM #76
Beth Paterson
Reverse Mortgages SIDAC, NMLS #173899 - Saint Paul, MN
CRMP, NMLS #342859

I think if we tried to follow the rules we would never get a blog written. :-)  Better to write for our audience and make it appealing than get too picky.

Jul 19, 2012 01:57 PM #77
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging
I hope everyone understands that I wrote this because I thought it was humorous. Thanks again for commenting!
Jul 19, 2012 02:02 PM #78
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Very cute and a good way to make a point.  (I love putting stuff in parenthesis).

Jul 19, 2012 03:06 PM #79
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Bummer - I love Rhetorical questions. . . C'est la vie (Should we use foreign languages?). . . rhetorial questions, foreign languages, parenthesis. . . what is the world coming too?

Thanks for the post - it was fun!

Jul 20, 2012 11:18 PM #80
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Amusing and clever, thanks for sharing Melissa.

Jul 21, 2012 04:23 AM #81
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

oh wow can you believe how many rules I can violate in just one post!

Nov 07, 2012 09:13 AM #82
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Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging
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