Writing is hard, even for those who have to do it on a daily basis. A lot goes into creating really great writing, whether it’s copy for collateral pieces, a company-wide email or a blog, good writing takes time and effort. For this post, though, we’ll be focusing on writing blogs, because there is great value in a well-written, up-to-date blog site. A blog on blogs, how meta.
Blogging is particularly tricky because it’s content that you want people to read and share. Those things can’t happen if your blog is a hot mess. A blog has to be informative, interesting and well written – all qualities that take time. Here are seven tips to help you write a better blog, crush writer’s block and, in the long run, cut down on the time it takes to write your blog.
Map it out
When you know how you’re going to tackle a blog, the writing part becomes a little easier. Figure out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. It could be in your head, on your computer or on a piece of paper – your preference. Know the direction you’re going before you jump in, write down important points and the order they should go in.
Know your subject
Do your homework. Readers can immediately tell if a writer has no clue what they’re talking about. We’re not saying you have to be an expert, but know enough about your subject to make valid points and provide insight to your reader. Depending on how much you already know about the subject, your research time could end up being longer than the time it takes to write the blog.
Say It with Less
Don’t make things complicated. You don’t need to prove that you know how to use a dictionary or thesaurus. Bigger is not always better. If you’re a good writer, then readers will know you can use words effectively. We live in a short-attention-span culture, so if a reader is presented with a 300-word blog and a 1200-word blog, but can get the same information out of 300 words, they’re going to go with the shorter option. For context, industry standard is about 500-800 words per blog.
Make it digestible for the reader
If a reader sees a blog that is just a big chunk of text, they’ll get intimidated and skip over it. Break up your blog. You can use categories, sub-headers, bullet points and more to make the text simple. There’s a reason why “listicles” have become so popular. Lists are easy to read. Simplicity won’t make your blog go viral, though. You have to add in relatability into the blog in order to reach a wide, diverse audience. If your blog is not reader friendly, there’s no point in putting it out into the internet.
Write something valuable
Whenever you go to write a blog, always ask yourself “So what?” Think about whether or not the information is important to anyone other than yourself? If you can’t find a reason, don’t write it.
Self-edit your writing
You can avoid so much embarrassment if you just slow down and give your blog a quick edit before you post it. Bloggers are more likely to lose credibility if their readers see a number of typos and grammatical errors in a post. Take the extra 10 minutes to make sure things are done right.
You can’t publish a blog and expect the internet to work its magic. Send it out on as many social media channels as possible. Once you do that, send it to industry leaders in hopes that they will share it. You can’t expect your blog to do all the work on its own.
We told you writing a blog isn’t easy. But it’s worth it for yourself and for your readers if it is done well. It won’t always be this tough, either. Eventually, you’ll be able to get a process down and your blogs will take less time to research, organize and write.