Next Level Writing: How to Improve Your Writing
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We talk about writing “killer” content and “quality” content like it’s the answer to all our problems. If we could just write the perfect blog post we’d instantly become one of those A-list bloggers, right? But the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success. Every blog – and every blogger – is different. Instead of focusing on perfection – which is never gonna happen – focus on taking your writing to the next level. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Take Something Away From Your Favorite Blogs
I have a variety of blogs I visit every week and a lot of them have nothing at all to do with the blogging niche. I visit celebrity blogs, political blogs, sports blogs, and some humorous blogs. At first I just followed these blogs because I found them entertaining or informative. But when I started my own blog and was struggling with my writing I realized that I followed all of these blogs because I enjoyed their “voices.”
You probably have a few unrelated blogs that you visit, too. There’s no such thing as an undiscovered niche anymore, so what is it that makes you follow one blog over the dozens of other blogs in that same niche? Usually, it’s because you like the writing.
Start paying closer attention to the writing style on the blogs you enjoy, and start implementing some of those techniques in your own writing. And don’t worry about right or wrong, because there really is no right or wrong. For example, I’ve read hundreds of writing tips articles and they all say you should keep your sentences short and sweet. But one of my favorite bloggers writes the most incredible run-on sentences and I love it – that’s how I talk, too.
I know I’ve said this in other posts but I can’t stress it enough – just be yourself when you write. My favorite author is Stephen King and he’s one of the most prolific writers of all time. I’ve heard the man speak a couple of times and he speaks just like he writes. Stephen King doesn’t try to write like Shakespeare or a college professor. He writes like Stephen King.
The popular advice is that you should write at an 8th grade level but if you’re a nuclear physicist and you’re blogging for other nuclear physicists then that doesn’t make much sense, does it? Again, there’s no right or wrong because each blog – and each blogger – is different.
It’s also impossible to please everyone so don’t even try, you’ll just wear yourself out. Think about what happens when you walk into a group of people you’ve never met. By the end of the day some of those people will like you and some of them won’t. If you try changing your behavior, then you’re still going to have some who like you and some who don’t. You’ll also be exhausted from the effort of trying to be someone you’re not.
Believe In Yourself
Have a little faith in yourself. Quit listening to all the “shoulds” and “should nots” and believe in your ability to engage your audience. If you have that ability to meet new people and make new friends and carry on conversations when you’re out in public then you’re probably a very engaging person, which means you’re probably also a very engaging blogging. Or you could be – if you’d only have a little faith in yourself.
As bloggers we spend so much time focusing on the mechanics that we forget we’re all still unique human beings and it’s our uniqueness that makes us attractive to other human beings. Worry about the basics, like SEO, and then trust in your own ability to communicate and engage with other human beings. You do it out in the real world, you can do it on your blog.
Improve Your Vocabulary
Bookmark the thesaurus or get yourself one of those Word-a-Day calendars and start learning some new words to add color, texture and emotion to your writing. Yes, online readers like you to keep it short and sweet but that doesn’t mean it has to be dull and boring.
Ignore The Rules And Just Start Writing
Personally, I think the best way to take your writing to the next level is just to ignore all those rules you’ve read and just start writing. What would you say if you could say anything you wanted? How would you say it? If you ignore all the rules, chances are you’ll have a lot more fun writing, and your visitors will probably have a lot more fun reading your blog.