Wondering how to write a better blog? Not what to write, but how to write it.
Here are four things that I’ve learnt about writing a blog over the decade that I’ve been keeping this one. I hope they’ll be of use to you.
I’ve written about this before, but intimacy is the key to good blogging. I’m not talking about revealing every detail of your life (though feel free to do this if you so desire). More to strip back your writing ‘voice’ to its bare basics.
The easiest way to do this, I find, is to try stream-of-consciousness blogging. Write it all down exactly as it first appears in your mind. Every word.
Don’t try to edit it as you go – you can do that later. Don’t try to make it sound ‘writerly’. What you’re looking for is the essence of you. Blog the way you talk. It’s that simple.
Go closer again
The biggest mistake that many bloggers make, from my perspective, is trying to tell the whole story. Nobody needs the whole story. What they need is the one moment that tells the whole story.
The angle is important.
If you find that your posts are rambling (and, really, short is usually better on a blog), hone in on the best bits. Just tell those.
Think about your audience
While most bloggers say they blog for themselves, the truth is that there is a contract in place in a blog – you write, someone (hopefully) reads. If that weren’t the case, you’d be writing in a diary with a combination lock on the front.
With that in mind, you need to allow room for those readers. Leave some space in your posts to allow your readers to find the universal heart of what you’re writing and to share their experiences.
Proofread your work
I know the temptation is strong to simply put the full stop on that last sentence and hit Publish. But try to resist.
Check the spelling. Make sure the last sentence has a full stop. Ensure you have no extraneous words (as I often do) where you’ve changed your mind halfway through a sentence and haven’t quite deleted the earlier version.
A good blog is a clean blog. It really does matter.
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Or check out So You Want To Be A Writer (the book), where my co-author Valerie Khoo and I have distilled the best tips from hundreds of author and industry expert interviews. Find out more and buy it here.