We all could spend a little more time reflecting on our writing and which areas we want to improve upon. No matter how perfect we think we are, there is at least one writing weakness that could be worked on.
- Keep it simple.
It’s been studied that long form content tends to perform better than short form content. The exception to that, however, is long form content that seems never-ending thanks to the use of too many words and “fluff” content.
When writing blog posts, the point is to get to the point.
If you have enough value-packed information to generate a 1,000-word post, then go for it, but if only 300 to 500 words are relevant to what you are trying to convey, show some restraint and limit your post to an appropriate word count. This will not only make your blog post pop more, it will appease your readers when it comes to knowing they can count on you to tell them what they wanted to know, without the incessant rambling about things that have nothing to do with the original article. With blog posts, it’s not about word count…it’s about content quality.
- Proofread, then proofread again, and then proofread even more.
This cannot be stressed enough. No matter how good you think your grammar and spelling are, your first draft is always a rough draft. Even some of the greats like Clive Cussler, James Patterson, and even Tim Baker, should go back and re-read time and time again (okay, well maybe the first two have big publishing agencies to do that for them, but I know for a fact that last guy does it repeatedly on his own).
Whenever you finish a post, get up and take a quick mental break. Take your eyes off the computer screen and go focus on something else, then when you’ve allowed your mind to clear, you can revisit the post to proofread it. This will improve your editing abilities tremendously – or at least one can only hope. It’s not easy for us to catch our own mistakes, but would you rather post something you spent a little time on revising and editing to make better, or would you rather post an article with a bunch of misspelled words and grammatical errors?
Contrary to popular belief, spellcheck doesn’t catch everything. Be your own spellchecker. Now, please feel free to rip apart this post for any grammatical errors.
- Eliminate distractions.
Even as I write this, I’m trying to keep my 8-month-old corralled. I get it, it’s not easy to eliminate every distraction, but you can shut off the television and live without Facebook or Twitter for half an hour (trust me, your internet “friends” aren’t going to miss you that much. You have to ask yourself what’s more important – putting out quality content to share with your readers, or checking Facebook every three minutes to see what nonsensical garbage is being posted that has no bearing on your life whatsoever.
Do a mental turnoff of everything for just a short time. Your writing will be better as a result, and your readers will reap the benefits of the thoughtfulness put into the article.
- Try to read more.
I’m guilty of not following this one more, but I do try to read blog posts and books more and more. It helps to not only become informed about other topics, but it also keeps your mind fresh and alert. I don’t believe a writer who doesn’t read can’t be a good writer, but I do believe a writer who reads is able to expand their wealth of knowledge by visualizing the world from the point of view of others.
Your vocabulary will expand and you may even become more fluent with your own grammatical content after seeing the way others use it. More importantly, you’ll learn how not to use grammar and spelling as well. Reading also allows you to get new inspiration and ideas that you may never even have thought about in the first place. Read blogs and books that are in the genre that you like, but also try to venture into new realms in order to keep your own mind learning continuously.
There are no two ways to write that work for everyone. Take the bits and pieces of advice from this article (or any others you read) and use them to your advantage. If some of the tips don’t work for you, then don’t use them. One thing is for sure, though…if you don’t at least try to improve your writing, you’ll never have to worry about reaching a larger reading audience, because they simply won’t be there to begin with.
As always, thank for stopping by and Happy Reading!