Write Like Yourself

Let’s face it: most people can’t write their way out of a paper bag. Further, most bloggers are boring, most journalists are so heavily edited that any personality they’ve added to a story has long since been weaned out by the editorial process.

I want to let you in on a secret, though: it’s not really that people are boring, but that too many have been taught that you shouldn’t write the same way you talk. I blame our educational system, actually, with those 5th grade teachers who drilled us on adverbs, pronouns and the minutia of grammar, coupled with too many boring, tedious academic books that we all suffered through while in college.

Instead, I suggest to you that the best way to write clear, coherent, engaging and enjoyable content is to write the way you speak, to recognize your spoken voice and pour it out onto the virtual page of your computer screen and weblog. Continue reading “Write Like Yourself”

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The Truth about Blog Post Length

Some bloggers suffer from what I like to call verbal narcissism. Only it’s in writing. Anyway…

To avoid this awful fate, you probably try to keep your posts short, sometimes writing series of blog posts. After all, you don’t want to scare away readers by dumping too much information on them all at once, right?

Makes sense, but what’s weird is it doesn’t work that way.

Many popular posts here are around 1,000 words. But other times, short posts pack the most punch. It’s almost as if the length of a post matters not when it comes to how successful a post becomes.

But how could that be?

Continue reading “The Truth about Blog Post Length”

The (Very Short) Ultimate Guide to Blogging

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of writing guides out there. But in my opinion, none surpass the simple, direct advice of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White.

This classic serves up much good advice, especially in the last 20 pages in a section titled “An Approach to Style.” Nowhere have I seen more helpful advice in so few words and with such precision.

If (for shame) you don’t already have this reference in your library, I will leave it to you to explore it in depth. But I would like to provide you with eight important writing tips as they apply to blogging. Continue reading “The (Very Short) Ultimate Guide to Blogging”

How to Blog in English Even If It’s Not Your First Language

Considering the fact that I am not a native English speaker, I thought I should write about one of those topics almost no one writes about: does it matter if English is not your first language, and you still decide to blog in this language?

How do poor language skills affect your ability to share remarkable content with your readers?

Grammatical errors, misspelled words, and poorly structured sentences can make your content difficult to read.

If you also think of the fact that we have thousands of blogs on every topic imaginable, you begin to understand that the quality of your blog posts can mean the difference between a popular blog and one that does not get even a single comment.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not telling you that you should display superb writing skills in order to be a successful blogger. No.

But you must work on three basic aspects that make a big, big difference in the way your readers, especially native speakers, react to your content. Continue reading “How to Blog in English Even If It’s Not Your First Language”

50 Ways to Become a Better Blogger

Do you want to become a better blogger? Silly question, eh.

In that case, I’ve got some great news. The best way to become a better blogger is to blog. And to keep blogging.

If this blogging thing is difficult and frustrating, then you must force yourself to do it, and do it, and do it, until you get better at it.

As bloggers, we have to produce words daily – even when we don’t feel like it. Even replying to comments or e-mails is a good way to enhance one’s creativity.

Then there are a number of thing we can do to become better at this blogging thing. Quite a few of them… Continue reading “50 Ways to Become a Better Blogger”

Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?

Correct me if I’m wrong: you know you should write a blog post. After all, it’s been a while since you last hit that publish button. Yet, somehow, without you realizing it, you spend hours on Twitter and Facebook “working,” only to wonder later what happened…

You comment on other blogs, telling yourself you’re “networking,” never mind that none of those comments actually lead to anything.

You have a growing collection of books and courses promising to teach you all the secrets in the universe, but they have been labeled “to be read” indefinitely.

In the back of your mind, you know you can do better. Technically, you even know what to do.

But something inside you refuses to let you, and every day you struggle with whether or not you should just give up or find some other shortcut.

You know how I know this?

Because I’m just like you. Continue reading “Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?”

How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?

Ever since blogging became mainstream people have been debating about a blog post’s perfect length. A lot of bloggers may read one or two articles about this, and try to follow the rules – never revisiting the issue for as long as they blog. This can be a mistake.

For a definitive answer, the following are three things to consider when you’re trying to decide how long your blog posts should be. Continue reading “How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?”

Check Yourself for These 7 Symptoms of the Blogger’s Curse

Are you burdened by the blogger’s curse?

Many a blogger is hindered with a trait that damages productivity and constrains their ultimate potential.

See if you recognize any of these seven symptoms in yourself:

  1. You start writing, stop half way and hit delete
  2. You often feel like you are your own worst critic
  3. You never feel like you’ve done the best you could
  4. You second-guess your ideas, even when you know better
  5. Other bloggers make you feel inadequate
  6. There’s always something more to learn
  7. Writing would be so much more enjoyable if you could just relax

Thankfully, if you do recognize any of the above symptoms, you are definitely not alone. In fact, I would say each and every blogger I’ve met has felt the same at least once (and likely more often then they’d like to admit).

So relax, this curse doesn’t have to be permanent and is simple to treat. It even has a name.

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Five Super Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog Posts

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…

Continue reading “Five Super Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog Posts”