Becoming a better blog writer: Five short easy steps
For years I wanted to be an author; a creative writer – a story-teller. I wrote in a journal daily and toiled with pen over paper for hours. It was an enjoyable experience, it occupied my time and it helped me become a better writer. Unfortunately the dream of writing that best-selling novel has not yet happened. Maybe next year!
But here is what I have taken away from my writing experiences…
Apply these steps to your blog writing and you can become a better blog writer too.
- Practise regularly.
- Write for purpose.
- Choose an audience.
- Write with style.
To become a better writer you need to practise. Regularly. Write as often as you can. Draft everything and then re-visit it a little later. Don’t ever go with your first draft. Often you will revisit what you have written and discover you could have written it more descriptively or explained it differently. Practising writing regularly will also help you with grammar, tone and punctuation.
Write for purpose
Pick something to write about and stick to it. Even if it’s writing about the day you had, make it specific. Write about the day, don’t ramble into thoughts on yesterday or tomorrow. A rookie mistake of writing is not sticking to the purpose of the article. My quick tip is to list out the points you want to make and then write a paragraph on each point. Just like I have done in this article.
Choose an audience
Even if you are only writing for yourself, it pays to picture an audience. For example if you were writing an article about flower arrangements (random topic for me) you might imagine you are writing for a florist. Or you might write the article targeting Bride’s to Be. You would write differently for someone who knows a lot about flowers versus someone who wants pretty flowers for her wedding. Each of these audiences has a different requirement. The florist as an audience can be more technical, whereas the Bride-to-be as an audience would be less technical.
Write with style
Writing requires a style guide. It never occurred to me to use a style guide for writing until I stumbled across this little gem. Purchase yourself a copy of Elements of Style. This little book is a godsend for English language writers world wide. It is a bestseller that will explain to you the basics of plain English writing with style and it is well written and in plain English. Surprise, surprise!
Proofread. Then do it again. Get someone else to read over it, collect their thoughts, re-edit, restructure and rewrite if necessary. My proofreading plan goes like this:
- Check your structure, do I have all the necessary elements for my article. Do I have an Introduction? Does each paragraph only highlight one point? Do I have a summary or conclusion?
- Check your punctuation, is everything spelled correctly. Is that full stop in the correct place? Do I need that comma? Does this sentence need a question mark or an exclamation point?
- Check your grammar.
Following the steps outlined above will help you to become a better writer and will help you with your blog writing, immensely. Remember these steps, practice, purpose, audience, style and proofread. I look forward to hearing of the great articles you are writing and if you have any other suggestions to help others become better blog writers, please comment below.
Wayne van Elsen
Founder at Newport DigitalThinker. Creator. Unapologetic internet geek. Coffee enthusiast. Entrepreneur. Falls down a lot. But gets back up. Wayne van Elsen is an experienced entrepreneur, online business coach and WordPress wizard.