Producing great content for your blog is one of the essential elements of becoming a successful blogger, and this means that your writing must sound natural, conversational.
Write like yourself, as they say. This means you’ll be more productive, enjoy writing and editing more, and get your audience to engage more with your content.
I’ve been writing for over fourteen years, blogging for over seven, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some things that never fail to improve a piece of writing.
Below you will find five of them…
1. Delete unnecessary words.
How do you know which words are unnecessary?
A quick way is to look for all of the thats. You can delete most of them.
Then take a look at the fluff. Delete words that:
- Don’t add anything substantial.
- Won’t change the work’s meaning or tone.
Remember: You’re writing for others as much as — if not more than — you’re writing for yourself.
If you’d skip over a certain sentence or paragraph, you better believe someone else will, too.
2. Make it active.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely met a passive sentence I liked.
Action; this is what your readers want. They do not have the time or patience for anything else. Don’t disappoint them.
3. The road to hell is paved with good intentions… and adverbs.
Adverbs suck the soul out of nouns and adjectives. In fact, there’s nothing an adverb can do that the right noun or adjective can’t do better.
Before you publish your blog post, be sure to look for the words ending in –ly. It’s a safe bet they can go. You might even have to rewrite a few things.
4. Read it out loud. And backwards.
Gustave Flaubert, when writing his masterpiece, Madame Bovary, used to go out on the street and shout – yes, shout – his drafts.
The thing is that writing doesn’t always sound in your head the way it does when it’s spoken. What rings near perfect on the page sometimes doesn’t come across natural at all.
Because blogging is about conversations, our posts have to sound real, too.
Take a few minutes to read what you’ve written aloud.
Bonus: To better edit your posts, you can read them backwards. This will help you catch mistakes more easily, as you are not overlooking them in order to make paragraphs make sense.
5. Change things up a bit.
Changing the pace, gravity, and tone of your posts is often as simple as varying sentence and paragraph lengths
Each sentence should keep the reader, you know, reading.
If that means you get creative with the rules, bend some of them or even break others, then by all means…
The Art of Blogging demands that you do your best to translate what’s in your head and heart in such a way that your readers understand it and can relate to it.
And as long as you manage to do that, then you can use any tips, tricks, and techniques to improve your posts.