There are about 150 million blogs on the internet. No matter which topic you write about, you’re going to have some competition. If you want to attract and keep readers, it’s important that you publish high quality content on a regular basis.
One of the easiest ways to improve your blog and to separate yourself from the competition is to work on improving your writing skills. The stronger your writing skills, the more compelling your posts will be.
Here are 7 simple things you can do to become a better writer.
1. Focus on finding your voice—Have you ever been in a loud, crowded room and been able to clearly hear a friend or family member’s voice above all the rest? That’s because you’re familiar with their unique voice. That’s how it should be with your blog. Your content should stand out from all the other blogs in your niche. Readers should instantly be able to know a post is written by you. Your voice is the thing that readers can connect with and that will separate you from the other 150 million blogs.
How can you find your voice as a blogger? The easiest advice is to write like you talk. Don’t use vocabulary you don’t use in every day conversations with your friends. Here’s a tip: Record your ideas for blog posts on a tape recorder. Then, transcribe the things you said. This will help capture your true voice.
2. Write often—Michael Jordan didn’t become an amazing basketball player by shooting hoops once every few weeks. He worked his butt off day in and day out. As a writer, you need to do the same thing if you want to improve your skills. Even when you don’t feel like writing, try to write a little each day. Focus on one aspect of your writing that you want to improve, and work on that for a few days.
3. Read voraciously—Many of the best writers are also avid readers. Reading regularly allows you to see the methods other writers use to effectively communicate with their audience. You can incorporate these strategies into your own writing, helping you to become a more well-rounded blogger. Try reading different styles of books (non-fiction, fiction, comedy, etc.) to round out your education.
4. Be willing to break the rules—In my early days as a blogger, I struggled with the informal nature of blogging. I was used to writing formal documents that demanded perfect grammar and an impersonal style. But that style of writing doesn’t work in the blogosphere. I quickly learned that blogging doesn’t always need to adhere to every grammar rule. If you throw in a fragment here or some slang there, it’s okay…as long as it makes the post better.
5. Outline your posts—Online readers tend to have short attention spans. They’re in a hurry, and there are plenty of other things online vying for their attention. That’s why you can’t waste a second of their time. Outlining your posts helps to keep you on track so you can avoid rambling on about random things no one cares about.
6. Write now. Edit later—Make no mistake. Editing and proofreading is vital to the success of your blog. But there’s a time and a place for it. Don’t let your desire to be perfect disrupt your writing flow. Writing a sentence, editing it, rewriting it, and then moving onto the next sentence isn’t a natural way to write. It causes you to lose your natural voice, taking the personality out of your blog. Write first. Edit and proofread later.
7. Read every post out loud before publishing—It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works. Read your posts out loud before publishing them. This makes it easy to identify any confusing wording or flow problems that might be present. It also helps you find the perfect conversational tone for your writing.
What do you do to improve your writing skills? Leave a comment with your best tip!