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When it comes to writing tips to help you write better blog posts, do you find yourself floundering?
Want to sharpen your skills and whip your brain into Writer’s Mode?
Read on to get the blog writing tips you need to capture your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Writing Tips to Help You Write Better Blog Posts
Writing is the worst…and also the best. (But rarely on the same day.)
Here are our top 7 writing tips to help you write better blog posts.
Or go outdoors. Stake out your favorite corner booth at an Arby’s- it really doesn’t matter. The important thing is to find a place where you do your best writing. And then you’ve got to respect that space and the value of your work. Pencil yourself in, and hold yourself to that date. Your opus ain’t gonna write itself in between segments of Jeopardy. Nor will your muse hang on a sec while you hose off your children. A lack of child-hygiene and an overfull TiVo won’t hurt anyone. Go write.
During your first draft- be it a blog post, a chapter, or a sonnet- just let it ride. Don’t self-edit, and definitely don’t over-think it. The worst thing writers can do when trying to get out that first burst of a story is to second-guess. There are no wrong choices in a first draft. None. Even that nine page description of the babbling brook. Keep it. It’s all awesome. Best thing anyone’s ever read. Go write.
That said, there are absolutely, positively wrong choices in a second draft. Re-read, and edit as ruthlessly as you would your Fall wardrobe. Better yet, edit it like you would a friend’s Fall wardrobe; you know, that friend who only wears pastels and shirts way too big for her? The one who constantly wishes someone would come in and tell her what to keep and what to donate? Your second draft is her closet floor, and your job is to make those tunic tops line up and hang nicely. (Your job for this draft is also to cut that ode to the babbling brook. Because it’s the equivalent of a nine page-long pile of sweater vests. Throw ‘em out.) Clean some literary house. And then go write.
Make a list of people whose style you dig. That’s not to say you should copy; but for unblocking your brain, it’s great to step outside of your own hand. Ever tried to write verse like Shakespeare? How about a good ol’ fashioned haiku? Rest assured, you’re gonna be awful at it. And it’s gonna feel ridiculously freeing. Play around, come back to your [wonderfully unique] style…and go write.
All the time. Anything. Everything. Novels, blogs, newspapers, memoirs, and bathroom wall graffiti. Every single bit of it was written by someone who is not you, and every single piece of it will make you react in some new way. Read all the words in the world, filter them through your writer’s brain, and then put it all to use. Go write.
Cultivate a small- and very, very select- group of trusted peeps who a) know their stuff, writing-wise, b) know your stuff, writing-wise, and c) know when to back off and let you keep going with your spark. This trifecta of skills is crucial. One friend could be a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist three times over, but if she doesn’t have the right way of looking at your work and encouraging you to keep up with that scathing babbling brook exposé, then she’s not the right editor for you. Listen to your crew (but keep in mind that their edits aren’t the end all be all, either) and then go write some more.
1. Show Up
This is the biggest writer’s “secret” of all. Even when the words just aren’t coming, and even when you don’t much feel like it, you need to train your body to physically get to that place (desk/field/Arby’s) where you know you need to write. Just keep arriving. Some days, you’ll have a Microsoft Word doc full of inventive curse words and a spot where the letter ‘a’ was held down for twenty minutes. But then you’ll have days so good that you’ll want to wear a badge proclaiming you to be the world’s most awesome writer. So show up. Find those days. As Stephen King so eloquently wrote in his amazing memoir On Writing,
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
So get to work and start thinking about how you can put these writing tips to use. And go write.
What do you find to be your biggest challenge when it comes to following these writing tips?
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Oh my god aha well said, love your last point!! “A lack of child hygiene won’t hurt” hahaha! Great read overall, you did a super job
Utsav Srinet says
Great post! Thank you so much. I really need these tips, I have been writing in a almost essay format and my posts have become quite lengthy. Seeing how you write was very inspiring.
Really great tips! So much of writing requires discipline, and involves finding a personal nook that makes us feel inspired. Thanks so much for sharing this, and have a great weekend! Also LOVE that quote 🙂
Great article…….very helpful too. A SAHM without a car…….my quiet place is at night when everyone is asleep. I guess no more second guessing myself on my articles.
Great post! I always struggle trying to come up with a topic to write about. I feel like maybe my voice isn’t coming through my work. I am so glad I found you! What an encouragement! Thanks
What about replying? I never know if someone is going to make their way back to the post to see my reply
My two challenges are writing consistently and editing myself. I need to be more critical. I don’t want to get sloppy.
What was something you struggled with the most in the beginning?
Fantastic list! #3 is something I need to work on-I definitely don’t read enough and it can spark so many ideas. Also struggle with #6-I got into a bad habit of just trying to make the first draft stick, doesn’t work that way!
My biggest problem right now is I have a spot where I write best. Unfortunately its the dining room. That’s great when the kids are in school but when they are not, its a very loud area!
NEEDED this list BAD! I really really need to work on being more focused and “just do it”. I’m far too critical and sometimes give up before even trying. But Step 1: Find that cocoon!
Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama says
Love all of these tips, especially just to show up! Not every post is going to be your best work, but the more you write, the more you’ll settle into your unique style & voice.
Ali Sue says
Thank you for the tips! I am new at this and I think I need to find my booth at Arby’s!
[email protected] Mom says
Love that Stephen King quote – I am guilty of waiting for inspiration, waiting for the “right” moment. I need to remember this – and just get down to it.
Rounak Baral says
Finding a quite and silent place for writting is the most challenging thing for me 😀
And how. It’s a constant struggle. But oh-so rewarding!
Julia Jasmine Sta Romana says
This came just in time. Going through a bit of writer’s block =( I definitely needed advice #1 and #7
I’m so glad you’ve found it to be helpful!!
Carissa Dunphy says
Excellent break down. I’ve found that the “sharing” element is the one that is most overlooked, but oh so important. How will people find you if you don’t share!
Sharing is clutch. Good friends to help you share are even better!
LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! So true, the first step is just to sit down and do it.
Thank you, I needed the reminder today.
So glad you dug it! And the simplest step can also be the hardest, right?
[email protected] says
Thanks for this post! Cocooning is my favorite (which is to say, the most important item) from this list. I hardly ever isolate myself and focus just on writing, but I want to so badly.
Also love that Stephen King quote, you’ve reminded me to pull my copy of “On Writing” off the shelf 🙂
It’s a great book, isn’t it?
Kristen Daukas says
Great tips.. I’ve definitely gotten better at #6 and my posts show it.
That’s so awesome!
Great list! I second guess myself all the time when I write. I need to learn not to worry about offending or hurting someone else’s feelings if what I am saying is my honest truth or my sense of humor.
Self-censorship definitely belongs in the no-nos for the first draft rule!
just JENNIFER says
Just when I think I’m not ready to write a blog post, or I can’t think of anything to say about a certain topic, I’ll sit down at my computer and just start typing. Next thing I know, I’ve written a post! Then I fine tune, look for an image and there I go! If it doesn’t happen that way, then I think it wasn’t meant to be.
Blogging IS very fateful, I agree. 😉
My biggest challenge is what I get blogger’s block and don’t take the time to try writing somewhere else. I always just walk away and hope an idea comes to me. I always see other writers talk about choosing a different place to write helping, but have yet to try it for myself.
Try it and report back! I’d love to know if it works for you as well.
All very true and effective writing tips, many I’ve been using for years already.
When it comes to reading I slacked off big time for quite awhile and saw my writing suffer as a result. Blogs and news articles online are helpful with the mojo but reading actual books has helped even more. I’m at five books this year and in the past month I’ve seen my writing improve a bit. Definitely a nice feeling and it’s also helping me turn out more blog posts. Win!
Absolutely nothing in the world beats actual books!
These are awesome tips!
The two things I do that does work – free writing (#6) and just show up (#1).
Honestly, showing up is the hardest one for me…
I love this post, one of the more user friendly ways on how to write I have seen.
Appreciate it! That was my aim. 🙂
Babes about Town says
Lovely post and super helpful. I especially love the tip about ‘editing like you would a friend’s wardrobe’… so key! I’m a TV screenwriter as well as a blogger and there’s nothing more important than getting that second (or multiple) drafts right before you hit send!
I’ve written a post about beating writer’s block, should go up on my ‘other’ blog Mothers & Shakers soon — for more writing, blogging tips etc do check out http://www.mothersandshakers.net x
Preach it. These rules go double for folks writing scripts of any sort. 😉
Kimberly Amici says
Good tips. WIth my kids home this summer I am working on just getting to #7 Cocoon. Getting myself to that one place I like to write. Just showing up has been a task with each week bringing a different schedule for our family. I found that separating the flow and edit process does wonders!
One hundred percent true! It’s almost like we’re two different people during that process. (And that’s awesome!)
Great points! My biggest problem is second guessing my own writing and over thinking on my first draft! Due to this reason, I quickly get fed up and lose heart and inevitably, stop writing. I just have to learn to let it go! Thanks for putting this list together 🙂
The “over-thinking” thing gets me, too…
Great list!!! I gotta say I have trouble with #7. Finding that quiet place where I can focus on writing is hard for me, I always seem to have something else going. Need to improve that!
Steph B. says
That is my hardest one too! I try and write a post, on the Phone (thank you WordPress app!) throughout the day. Then kinda focus after kids are in bed, but I mean, it’s hard to write knowing Jensen Ackles is waiting for me on Netflix.
It’s so clutch. Keep workin’!