We’ve been featuring a lot of strategies recently in this blog post series on Great Blog Content and I realized that most of them are on the systems of blog content for better traffic and better engagement and not so much on the actual writing itself.
The point is that you could know all the “tricks” in writing great blog content and still be a terrible writer and have all of it go to terrible waste! We must all continue to master our skill of writing constantly!
Now, let it be known plainly that I am not the world’s best writer – in fact, I’m actually a pretty poor writer, especially when it comes to grammar, prose, positioning, narrative, and all those other technical features of “proper” writing style and etiquette. I’m constantly reminded by my wife (who is a real writer) that I my art form is like that of chalk drawings on a sidewalk!
Luckily I don’t mind it very much! But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not working on my craft and honing my skills as best as I possibly can!
Here are some tips that I’ve collected from my wife over the many years that might push you to become an even better writer and blogger yourself:
1. Seriously, Listen!
I’m not a very good listener. I am very good at hearing stuff but there’s a difference between hearing something and actively listening to someone.
I need to work on the latter! I have found that good writers are those that have an ability to also listen well – When was the last time you actively listened to someone else other than yourself?
2. Get Up Lazy Pants!
I spend hours upon hours sitting in my chair and I have often found that simply getting out of my chair can “release” my thoughts so that I can continue my efforts in writing.
My wife has always suggested that I get up and go do something else (or at least get out of the chair) if I’m stuck and it’s worked almost every single time. I think there’s a strong correlation between your physical activity and your ability to write well and consistently.
I have no scientific proof of this but my wife says it’s true so I believe it.
3. Stop Writing and Go Read Something!
This is something that I’ve naturally been inclined to do ever since I was a child – I loved to read. At some point I lost that since I became too busy in work and other such business-related things.
I’ve recently come back to this and have seen a significant increase of productivity and output in my writing. My wife has always said that I need to get back into reading and she was right.
She’s always right.
4. Practice Makes Perfect!
My wife knew from Day 1 that I don’t really like to practice anything because I make the excuse that my simply “doing” things is practice in and of itself. I know this isn’t true but I like to lie to myself just as much as the next person.
Actively practicing your writing skills is not the same thing as just writing or blogging every day. I have found that practicing my writing skills requires a lot of intentionality, reading articles and books on effective writing, and writing physically on paper.
These activities don’t produce any blog content but I feel that they are impacting my ability to process information better and think more effectively in translating thoughts into words. Call me crazy but I think practicing your writing makes you a better writer!
5. Say It Aloud!
I remember one of the first dates I took with my wife I was trying to “help” my wife with one of her papers in college. She spent a great deal of it reading aloud which somewhat annoyed me since I just wanted to read it, fix it, and then hand it back to her.
She knew that reading the paper aloud was an effective strategy for helping her to find the flow of the article and “hear it make sense”. I now spend more time reading my blog posts aloud before I publish and it has made a world of difference (although she’d say it’s still not enough!).
[This is part of the Developing Great Blog Content Series. Check out the other posts!]