I admit, until recently I was very uncomfortable about my writing voice. Each new blog post would be met with hesitation. I'd dread the process of organizing my thoughts onto paper/screen. The truth is many other bloggers feel the same way. You know your have to blog for your business or for your paycheck plus, you have great ideas to share, but sometimes you have trouble articulating what you want to say. This blog post is to share some tips for blogging, whether you like to write or not.
TIPS FOR BLOGGING:
1. Begin with an outline
Before I write each post, I create an outline. It need not be fancy or elaborate; most of the time it's merely bullet points with a quick sentence for each point describing what I might discuss. Once I get going, it helps since I already formed the bigger picture and the direction of the post, making the writing process feel much less daunting. Pieces of an outline for starters:
Begin with a title. This will help you develop the direction and allows you to stay on track.
Write the intro once you've finished the outline. The perfect intro can be a lot of pressure, so it's always easier to do it last, once your ideas have already been flowing. You can basically just condense what you've already written.
You can use a recorder/transcription software to get your thoughts out quickly. Sometimes it's just easier to talk it out, so use a recorder and transcription software or service to quickly record your thoughts. My go to is Speechpad for interviews.
Move around within your piece. It's easy to get sucked into the details in one part of writing and miss out on the bigger picture. Get away from this by moving around within the piece, developing and fleshing out all of the different areas to make it well-rounded.
2. Write About What You Know
Writing feels like work when you're writing about areas that you really don't care about. Words will flow more, the more you know about something and the less you're struggling to come up with information. If you just can't get into what you're writing on, it would be a good time to revisit the purpose and content of your blog post.
3. Use Different Formats
Sometimes writing can be monotonous, especially if the format of your pieces is always the same. Break this up by alternating the types of posts you publish. Make lists, tell a story, give instructions with step-by-step photos, create an infographic. Changing up the format of your posts is not only more exciting for you; it's also beneficial for your followers. Get creative.
4. Invite Guest Posts
Make it a little easier on yourself and find some bloggers that you enjoy reading to do a guest post. It gives exposure to the guest writers, but it also opens what you're doing to their audience when they share it via social media.
5. Podcasts or Vlogging
Blogging doesn't always require writing. There are many other alternatives such as vlogging and podcasts. These options also help drive a different type of traffic to your site.
There are 300 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and over 1 billion unique visitors watch over 6 billion hours of video each month (source). The number of viewers outranks the hours of content, meaning it's a great opportunity to have your content seen by others.
There is a prediction that 50% of new cars will have internet connectivity by 2025 (source), making podcasts more relevant than ever and the new version of the radio.
6. Make friends with other writers
They say the best way to become better at a sport is to play with someone better than you. The same rings true for writing. Before publishing any post, have a friend who excels at writing and grammar check for any errors or smooth out any kinks. Not only will it give you confidence when you hit the publish button, it will also help improve your writing. If this isn't an option, reading it aloud could also help you find errors and establish continuity.
The key to getting better at anything is repetition. You might not succeed with each post, but it will give you practice in finding your voice. The more you write, the more comfortable you'll get with your writing style and the better you're blogging will be!
If you need some more help with your organization's blog, contact our writers at ArcStone.