Improvement is an art. Here’s how to become an artist.
Do you want to improve your game as a blogger?
I know, silly question.
Well, in that case, there’s some good news. Well, about 39 of them.
Thirty-nine ways that will help you become a better blogger.
1. Set a schedule for release. Keep in mind that it has to be realistic. If you only post once a week, fantastic. Once every other week, brilliant. Whatever you do, keep this promise. Consistency matters. A lot.
2. Write every day. You don’t have to publish every single day, but make sure to write.
3. Use a time-based goal, rather than a word-count goal. Aim to spend, let’s say, one hour writing every day, rather than forcing yourself to write 1,000 words or even 5,000. This way, you can more easily track your progress, and you get a real sense of how much your productivity increases.
4. If you’re struggling to write, don’t quit. Rather, do some other type of work (editing, rewriting, formatting).
5. Read every day. Set a goal for this as well. If you don’t read, you don’t acquire the tools you need to better yourself, and you are oblivious to the conversation that goes on in the community. If you set a goal to read 10 articles every day, be sure to read 5 about your niche and 5 that aren’t related to your niche.
6. Comment on those articles you read every day. Make sure to budget your time accordingly.
7. Learn a new word every day. Because it’s fun. It’s also useful.
On Content Creation
8. Wait 24–48 hours after you finish writing your first draft. Then read, edit, read, edit, until you have something you’re proud of.
9. Before you publish your article, ask yourself these questions. If you feel that there’s more you could do, then put your article aside and wait a few more days. Do a bit more research, write something else, watch TV, get your heart broken. You will return to your article and be able to do much more with it.
10. Ask fellow bloggers for feedback. It will taste bitter at times, but it’s the medicine you need. You can’t improve without help.
11. Be bold. Literally, by highlighting the most important insights and notions within your articles, and figuratively, by being bold enough to write about your truth, the truth that matters, the way you want to write it.
12. Be open, curious, present, and engaged. Experiment and have fun. Write about the topics that excite you, that inspire you. Write a poem once in a while, or a short story. Try your hand at a lengthy essay on a topic that inspires you.
13. Punch the damn keys!
14. When you write, turn off the Internet. And the TV. If that doesn’t work, throw your phone out the window and lock yourself in the bathroom. Write on a piece of toilet paper, if you have to. Yeah, I meant to say that you should limit distractions. That’s the idea.
15. Inspiration only finds you in the shower or when you place your head against the pillow. Otherwise, do the work, no matter what.
16. See how your article looks like if you delete your first paragraph. If it’s better, ask yourself if you can delete the next paragraph as well. Do this until you come up with the best introduction to your article.
17. Write down all your ideas. All of them.
18. Read your stuff aloud to anyone who can stand it — including the cat. Sometimes it helps to read it backwards. In any case, it helps when you read your work out loud. Does it sound like you? Does it resemble the way you talk? If not, adjust accordingly.
19. Take care of your paragraphs. As a rule of thumb, anything longer than 5 sentences is a bit of a problem.
20. Take extra care of your sentences. Use simple sentences, avoid passive voice, limit your use of adjectives and adverbs. When it doubt, cut it out. If it doesn’t make sense anymore, put it back in.
21. Work on your headlines. Write at least 3–4 different variations for the same article, decide on which one sounds best. The one you like most? That’s probably the clickbait. Discard it. Choose from your remaining headlines. If you have to choose between curiosity and benefit, choose to state the benefit more clearly. Curiosity often leads to clickbait headlines.
22. Take the time to muse and mind-map. Outline some of your articles, develop a framework, think about space travel. It helps. Especially the space travel stuff.
23. Write on the scene. If you want to write about a beach, get a picnic rug and go write by the sea.
24. Listen to how people talk. Listen to what they talk about. There’s a lot of content I write as the by-product of conversations I overhear.
25. Read your old articles and acknowledge how far you’ve come. Give yourself fifteen minutes to feel good about yourself, then choose the best ideas and the best paragraphs and rewrite everything.
26. Do stuff. I’m serious. Try new things, develop new hobbies and passions. Learn a new skill. Or a new language. Or even invent your own language. The more you actively and creatively step outside your comfort zone, the more inspired you will feel.
27. Exercise. I can’t stress just how much of an impact it has. The endorphin rush, the serotonin, all of that will help boost your focus. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise, just get moving.
28. Consume art. All kinds of art. It doesn’t matter. The idea is to feed your brain. A lot of my articles were inspired by song lyrics, TV shows, or even paintings.
29. Never underestimate the value of one. Don’t chase followers, focus on making friends. Don’t try to please everyone, but rather just one reader. Write and network as if you are looking for a best friend.
30. Overnight success does not exist. You have to show up and keep showing up for a long time. Otherwise, even if your first article goes viral, it won’t matter. Inner fortitude is developed by doing the work consistently for a long, long time.
31. Do not be afraid. Of failure, of success, of what people think, of what they’ll say to you in a comment.
32. Know your why. A strong enough why can overcome any how.
33. Do not fear perfection. It does not exist. Forget this fairytale you tell yourself about the perfect article and focus on the 1% daily improvement.
34. The only way to win is to keep punching the keys when you want to give up. That’s when everyone else gives up. Do you want to be successful or do you want to be like all the others who gave up?
35. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to break some rules. The act of writing a blog post is a creative one. Do not be afraid to sometimes think outside the box.
36. Remind yourself that you can only write an article one word at a time. Be patient. It takes time to become a top blogger.
On the Things That Truly Matter
37. It’s better to have fun doing work that matters than it is to suffer in order to make money. Don’t write about topics you couldn’t care less just to earn a bit of money. It won’t be much, and it won’t be worth it. Write about the stuff that sets your soul on fire.
38. They don’t care how much you know. They want to know how much you care. The best advice when it comes to getting readers, keeping readers, and making readers fall in love with you.
39. The goal is to write. There’s no other goal besides that. The goal is to punch those keys. When you feel like it’s not worth it, remind yourself that. The goal is to write, to just place one word after another and hope that for someone they’re the right words in the right order at the right time.
I hope that one or more of these suggestions has inspired you. There’s an art to improvement, and it all has to do with the courage to pursue deliberate steps towards improvement.
That is all.
If you want to improve, you’ll find a way to become a better blogger. Or you’ll make one.