Writers and bloggers alike are often overwhelmed by deadlines. The typical blogger is not a full-time, staff writer but more often a business owner or industry expert with less time to devote to writing. They juggle a lot of other responsibilities and find themselves pressured by the need to produce good content. There are a few things that you can do to produce better content and become a better writer overall.
The first two tips are what you will find in any book about creative writing, and they are very simple suggestions.
1. Read and read often.
2. When you aren’t reading, write.
Writing can be as simple as writing in a journal. Try it the “old fashioned” way with pen and paper. It can be less formal and less intimidating than a computer. Not sure what to write about? Write fiction or about a topic that’s interesting. Just write. The key isn’t necessarily about the quality of writing, it’s about practicing and writing often. Using these in tandem will help you learn what it is that makes writing good or bad, as well as helping you refine your style and finding your voice.
“Read, read, read. Read everything–trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.” (William Faulkner)
3. Figure out your process for writing a blog.
A lot of time goes into building the foundation of what will be written before pen ever meets paper (or before finger meets key). You will need to work out a system for the research, creating an outline, choosing a voice, finding examples of similar writing, linkage, telling the story and so on. As designers and constant blog content editors, we find that a well-defined research process for creating content is imperative. A good blog is just as dependent on writing skills as it is quality research.
4. Be inspired to write original content.
Good blog writers are the ones that offer a new opinion or a deeper look at a subject. You might not always be exactly right or offer every angle of a topic, but you are putting it out there to spur more dialogue, offer a unique perspective or just further develop the research.
The tips could go on and on, but really, what is most important is that you are passionate about trying and being okay with the idea of constructive criticism that comes from blogging. It wouldn’t hurt to enjoy it either— so “write as if no one is reading it”.
Don’t let the desire to write the perfect blog keep you from beginning and finishing one. Just write…and keep on writing.