Have you ever wondered what writing advise, if any, you could ignore? There are a lot of myths that circulate the internet. How do we cull fact from fiction? I sought out freelance writers, editors, and bloggers for their advice. From one writer to another, what advice would they give for you to learn how to write better, faster, and stronger blog content?
How to Write Better, Faster, and Stronger Blog Content
The question: What is the ONE thing that you did to improve your writing to create better, faster and/or stronger blog content?
Writing Every Day
Multiple respondents agreed that writing every day is as important and accurate of writing advice as any advice available. This isn’t to say writing a lot every day is necessary, just writing often is necessary. It can take 28 days or more to establish a new habit. Writing is your ticket to freedom. Make writing a priority, develop the discipline, and work through the inevitable resistance.
Ms. Polka Dot of Polka Dot Bride says, “I wrote and wrote. Even in the days I didn’t want to. Even in the days my head was not there, I sat down and did it. There is a lot to be said for forming a habit of being able to write no matter what circumstances are.”
“A 31-day word challenge. This got me into the habit of writing daily and increased the speed, accuracy, and level of content I delivered” says Judy MacGregor, the Mamma Bear behind Fun Mamma SA.
However, don’t expect every writing session to create masterpieces that would move a reader to tears. During this process, you will learn to fail. Some days you will only write utter garbage. Other days you may find that you don’t recognize the writing style at all. Become familiar with enough failure to comfortably build upon that experience.
Kevin J O’Conner behind Ordinary Average Thoughts shares, “I write and post something to my blog every day—long or short, good, bad, or ugly.”
Know Your Readers
If you try to help everyone, you will help no one. Identifying your ideal target customer attracts the correct readers and rejects the wrong ones. Therefore, the target identifies where your customer spends their time, what problems they face, and how you can provide the solution. Your message isn’t watered down. You can speak more clearly and provide greater value with a well-defined target market.
Sara Lane behind b.Well identified her key to better writing was “understanding my target audience. My doing a deep dive into who I really wanted to work with and what they needed help with, I was able to be more passionate about what I was writing as well as serve my clientele in a more effective way.”
Jelena Radovanovic at Deer Woman takes the “persona approach. I go very deep when creating and studying the reader persona, and get practically unlimited top-notch topic ideas from there.
When I get to writing, I already have the points A (where they are at this point) and B ( what I want them to learn/understand by the end of the article) in place, and from there it’s only a matter of mapping out how to get them from one point to another. The initial research (mostly interviews and brainstorming with the client) is tedious, but afterward, it’s relatively easy.”
Charlsye Miller says, “I got super duper clear on WHO I was talking to and figured out what it was I could help them solve.”
Detailed information with actionable directions or an engaging story is more fulfilling and entertaining to the reader. General and abstract language may be necessary, but specific, concrete alternatives should take preference. Minor differences can make a major impact on your writing. Concrete words engage the readers’ five senses. Remember, include specificity in your writing for more engaged readers.
Freida Kilmari, who writes at Penmanship Editing, says writing can be improved by “understanding that readers prefer detailed, relatable writing that isn’t too long or too short. It should be written in an easy and concise way to it’s readily digestible.”
“As a new blogger who was experiencing trouble, I learned to scale down topics, get really specific. Too broad and writing is all over the place” says Alice Miriam Andreat with Fabulous with Alice.
Sneha of Eshan Write Ups says she “started focussing on a single niche to improve [herself].”
Asking for critical feedback opens us up for hard feedback. How do we respond? Whether the initial response is to punch a wall in frustration, cry uncontrollably, or rationalize, wait to react due to the emotional reactions. We cannot act on the feedback until we truly understand the perception behind it.
Hannah Samlall from Samlall Creative says, “rather than going to the same person for feedback over and over, I always asked someone different! This way, I felt that my writing would appeal to a wider audience. This also helped me to separate constructive feedback from personal preference. When you’re writing, you can’t accept every suggestion you get otherwise you’ll lose the ‘you’ in your writing!”
Denzil Otieno says, “I took the negative feedbacks positively to create room for improvement.”
According to a UC Irvine study, refocusing after one interruption can take up to 23 minutes. The same study found workers switch tasks, on average, every three minutes. The likelihood of distraction is directly related to the pull on our attention and indirectly on the interest in the task at hand. When we are completely engrossed in what we are doing, we will shut everything else out.
Jessica Collins, the writer at Flash Fit Trainer, advises us to “set a timer. Seriously, if you give me all day to write a 500-word blog post, I will probably take it. But, if I set a timer, I can have that same post done in under an hour. With time limits set around my work time, based on how much I want to make per hour, I can write a lot faster without sacrificing quality.”
Jennifer de Jesus says, “focus on a single task at a time. This means staying away from social media, no multitasking (like writing an article or story while checking your email inbox), and no little disruptions (like testing or taking calls). Focus on just one thing — writing and getting the words out — for at least 30 minutes.
Just write (do not edit yet) and words will effortlessly flow when you’re not overly concerned whether you’re writing the good stuff or not. After a series of those short 30-minute focused writing sessions, edit ruthlessly.”
The Haute House Flower’s Jordan Landes-Brenman says she “created an editorial calendar and STUCK TO IT. It makes writing so much easier, and is one of the best remedies for combating writer’s block.”
Apply New Knowledge
Students inability to apply knowledge to new situations is a well-known issue stemming from one or multiple causes. As a writer, we are lifelong learners acquiring new knowledge frequently. Apply the new knowledge for continuously improved writing.
Gill Pavey, the writer behind Wordhouse Writing Services, says she “successfully completed a copywriting course — The Copywriting Apprentice — with distinction.”
Azu Lopez of She Digital Nomad credits “learning to apply storytelling in [her] posts” to her improved writing.
Jenna Tracy “started including outside research” in her writing for better results.
It Takes More Than One Strategy To Create Better, Faster, and Stronger Blog Content
The difference between poor, good, and great writing isn’t in which strategies you use, but in how many you implement.
The Positivity Powerhouse’s Kriss Judd summarised this idea wonderfully. She says, “ONLY ONE?!?! Gah!!! Now I feel stifled. I could tell you about the one where I brainstorm topic ideas under my three main content points on my whiteboard for a couple hours a month.
Or I could tell you about the one where I read Google Alerts to get ideas in my field.
I could talk about just free writing, no editing, for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 7 days a week.
Or the one where when I write, I only write — I don’t edit at all while I’m editing, not even typos.
Or the one where I write in a more conversational tone; when you read my blog, it sounds like I’m saying it to you.
But I think it’ll be the one where I don’t just put oregano in my spaghetti sauce. I use garlic, onion, red bell pepper, ground chuck, parmesan, rosemary, black pepper, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of sugar too. Because it’s not ONE thing that improves my writing. It’s a little of everything all in one pot.”
Now that we learned a few of the strategies how to write better, faster, and stronger blog content, which new habit will you add to your writing routine? Let me know in the comments below.