February 9, 2016
Blogging is a lot of fun. It offers a creative outlet for your business or just for yourself. But even though they’re meant to offer entertainment, there are still a few guidelines that, should you choose to follow them, will improve your writing and help you build an audience. Here are some strategies to get you started.
1. Keep It Simple
Don’t use 20 words when you only need 10. Don’t say, “It was an absolutely great evening.” Say, “The night rocked!” Keeping things brief frees you up to say what you mean and be expressive (and not boring).
2. Keep It in Perspective
Are you writing in the first-person in one paragraph and in the third-person in all the others? Don’t do that. Pick one and stick with it. To check for it, go through each paragraph individually.
3. Spellcheck as You Write
Obviously, you need to spellcheck your work. But rather than waiting until you have finished writing the post to check it, learn which mistakes you make consistently, and take extra care when writing those words.
4. Avoid Txt Talk
“Lol”, “JK”, and “TTYL” are fine when you’re chatting with your best friend or your brother. They have no place in your professional (or even personal) blog. Keep that kind of talk to the cell phone.
5. Proofread the Post a Few Days After You Publish
Even though you think it’s perfect, it’s a good idea to review the post a few days after you publish it. Your fresh eyes will catch the typos quickly.
6. Check for Contradictions
Did you mention something in the first paragraph and then say something very different in the third paragraph? Fix it before you face a lot of embarrassment.
7. Go One Line at a Time
Read one sentence at a time, slowly, to find mistakes. Do they make sense? Pay close attention.
8. Stick to What You Know (And Love)
When you write about things you’re passionate about, the writing comes easily and sounds conversational.
9. Use Spelling and Grammar Check
There is no substitute for your own eyes and brain. But you can still gain a bit from using a spellcheck and grammar check as a last resort.
10. Break Your Writing Up to Edit it
One trick when editing is to read your sentences backwards. This is a great way to catch typos and spelling mistakes because your mind doesn’t skip words and fill in the blanks. You can also edit paragraphs out of order.
Tools to Help You Succeed
- BuzzSumo – Before you take the time to write a blog post or post something to Twitter, find out how that kind of material usually performs. BuzzSumo lets you compare share rates for your topic across Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.
- Content Idea Generator – If you write frequently about the same topic, it can be a challenge to come up with consistently awesome material. Portent’s idea generator pops out possible headlines for your topic. Keep trying until you get one you love.
- Egg Timer – Sometimes motivation isn’t enough. You need a little structure. Egg Timer lets you time your writing sessions. You might not want to sit down for an hour-long writing session, but surely, you can handle 15 minutes.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most out of your content and blog writing. Do you have any other suggestions not listed here? Leave them in the comments section.
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