In this brave new world, digital, interconnected, fast, and packed with information, the advice shared by humanity’s finest authors still holds true, proving that great writing, no matter how it’s shared, has to obey the same rules and principle.
Here are 7 timeless tips that have helped me improve as a blogger.
1. Punch the damn keys.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”William Wordsworth
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to write with passion and conviction about the topics and ideas that set your soul on fire.
To write about the things that keep you from falling asleep at night, about the things that make you want to get out of bed as soon as possible in the morning, the things that can mend a broken heart.
Now, more than ever, as more and more people decide to blog, is the time to be passionate, to write with courage and faith about the things that you wish to see come true in the world.
2. Keep it simple.
“Vigorous writing is concise.”William Strunk Jr.
The more clear you are about what it is that you’re trying to blog about, why you’re blogging, who you’re blogging for, and what it is that you want your readers to do with the information you share, the more concise your writing becomes.
There’s no need to write for the sake of writing, or to write long posts because you read in some article that 2, 000 word blog posts perform best.
What “performs best” is being concise and clear about whatever it is you’re writing into existence.
3. Don’t focus on the money.
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.”Mark Twain
A lot of bloggers are obsessed with stats and earnings. The most obsessed among them are the ones who only blog about stats and earnings.
While blogging enables one to monetize their writing early on, the truth is that when you’re just starting out, you should blog about something that you’d be happy to write about even if you’d never get paid.
Because in the long run, this will prove to be the thing that keeps you going. When you lose motivation, when you run out of things to blog about, when your income plummets.
Money should never be your primary motivator, because, by definition, money isn’t a great motivator, yet we all try to act as if it is the answer to all of our problems. It’s not.
If you end up with a blog you hate, with an indifferent audience, and you can’t figure out what to write about next, it’s probably because you sold your soul for a few bucks, rather than writing your heart out to inspire others.
4. You need to show up at your desk. Every single day.
“The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything.”John Irving
The most difficult question you can ask a blogger.
Which one is more important? Why?
The truth is that quantity produce quality. The truth is that frequently publishing quality content builds an audience. The truth is that if you only blog when you feel inspired, or when you feel like it, or when there’s absolutely nothing else to do, you’re not going to be successful.
The more you punch those damn keys, the better you become. It’s as simple as that.
It’s the blogger who always shows up, no matter what, who writes thousands of words before lunch, who spends 6 out of 7 lonely nights editing one article after another.
5. Sometimes you have to learn the rules only to break them.
“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”G.K. Chesterton
Rules, tips and tricks, and frameworks tend to become a prison after a while. They form the box that contains what you call creativity, and the truth about the creative brain is that it does not enjoy being held in boxes for long.
The secret to writing brilliant posts is thinking outside the box.
You need to learn the rules, internalize them, and break them if you have to. Or maybe just bend them a bit to suit your own needs, style, and personality.
Those who follow the crowd can never travel to places that have yet to be discovered. The same principle applies to blogging. Sometimes, if you want to create something you can call your own, you need to stop following a map and decide to explore the infinite creative possibilities of a blank page.
6. Be authentic.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”Elmore Leonard
With half a billion blogs out there, most readers aren’t looking for information anymore. They want to read about those who are brave enough to be unapologetically themselves, those who have the guts to write in a human manner.
What I mean by this?
Write in such a way that it does not make you sound like a boring teacher. Write in such a way that your personality shines through. Write in such a way that it feels like listening to an old friend.
Your readers will thank you for it.
7. Forget about the numbers. Blog for your ideal reader.
“Write to please just one person.”Kurt Vonnegut
When it comes to blogging, we often become creatively bankrupt when trying to please as many people as possible.
Having an audience of thousands of readers means that we occupy our minds with how to be please them all, which in turn makes it almost impossible to come up with an idea.
But what about blogging for your ideal reader? For that one person who could most benefit from your words? That one person who’d read your words when they most need them? That one person you wish could be your friend?
This simplifies the blogging process. It gets rid of terms such as, “target audience, traffic, keywords,” and it allows you to write with one person in mind, to offer actionable advice, to inspire, to motivate, to fearlessly share your story, to write your truth into existence.
Blogging with just one person in mind is one of the most underrated aspects of blogging, because trying to please everyone is a sure-fire way to please no one.
Blogging is a simple process. It’s bloggers who often make it seem terrible and complicated.
No matter how we write the words, or how we share them with readers, the same basic principles have always applied.
And there’s a lot to learn from the masters of literature.
For more tips and tricks on blogging, check out The Art of Blogging E-book by clicking this link here.