4 Must-Know Writing Tips You Aren’t Using
I get it. No, really. I do.
We’ve all been at that point where you work super hard at putting out each and every blog post … but even when it goes live, you don’t see any real results from it. So you look over your blog post once again, looking for mistakes you think you might have missed in the first rounds of editing.
But there are none to be found … or so you think. The simple truth is that each and every piece of writing – no matter the quality, length, or current success – can be made better. There is always room for improvement. The sooner you realize that, the better.
To help you maximize that potential for growth, here are 4 must-know writing tips you should definitely add to your arsenal.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Break “Conventional” Writing Rules
The neat thing about blogging is that it’s all about innovation and creativity. The very idea of a “web-log” is, when you think about it, revolutionary. It only came about because of outside-the-box thinking.
You’ll never be a great blogger if you’re always trying to conform to all the different rules that have been thought up. True – there is a set of simple best practices of which some are good to adhere to, but creativity should definitely take preeminence in your posts.
2. Write More Authoritatively
If you’re a typically timid person, then this mistake will be harder to pick up for you (particularly if you’ve wrote before for print publications that demanded more objective, “crowd-pleasing” writing with no real voice). Authoritative writing beats lethargic, weak writing any and every day.
Whenever you state what you believe to be a fact, state it strongly. State everything strongly. You’re the expert in your niche, which is why people are reading your blog. So start acting, writing, and talking like an expert! Be ready and willing to stand by everything you say.
Write succinctly, use statistics, facts, and figures wherever they will add most value to the post, and write in a self-assured manner.
3. Stay True to Your Audience’s Reading Level
One of the biggest mistakes in writing is using language that doesn’t fit the reading level of your target audience. Under one set of circumstances, that could mean using language that’s simply too high for your audience. Anybody who reads your blog post has to labor through ten dollar words and five syllable jumbo-terms.
In another case, that could also mean using language that is too babyish for your average reader. Particularly if your blog is meant to appeal to a more professional audience (e.g. one that has been college-educated and is on its way to getting a Ph.D.), then you have to make sure that your blog post reads right for them.
Research shows that the typical blog should target a writing level suited to a 7th-8th grade educated audience. Again, much of this will depend on your particular blog and the niche it’s in, but if you’re unsure what you should be aiming for, 7th-8th grade is the norm.
4. Edit a Day Later
We’ve all heard of this tip before, but I doubt that most of us really take advantage of it.
After you write your first draft of a blog post, try setting it aside for a day and then coming back to it the next day with fresh eyes and a red pen, ready to edit it into a masterpiece.
If you choose the alternate route and edit your blog post right after you finish writing it, bad things can happen (not that they always do happen, but they can).
When you’ve just written the first draft of something, your mind is probably still spinning from everything you’ve just put down on that paper. And since everything is still so fresh in your mind, you won’t be able to pick out the minor mistakes and intricate inaccuracies that you would if you came back to it a day later.
Check out 11 Actionable Writing Tips [+Examples] for more information.
Which of these writing tips do you feel is most relevant to your blogging? Comment below and let us know!
Ah, yes… great rules. Ones that I know- but still put me on edge. Having “traditional grammar” rules drilled into my head (and my knuckles, I might add) for decades, I still find it hard when I stray and deliberately break those rules for my post.
But, I campaign my writing- so it can lie fallow for a week or three, and then review each post the night before- and the morning of- each post. That gestation period makes me more able to recognize that the ‘bon mots’ I thought I was uttering were utterly ridiculous. So, I can leave the final version of the post in the best condition I am able.
Great advice, Mr. John…
Glad you liked the post! 1-3 weeks is a little longer than I can afford to keep my drafts, but it’s good to know it works for you!
This one is very helpful actually. “Breaking the Convention” sounds very encouraging. I have been trying to follow the rules and regulations of regular compositions all the time. But to my surprise, what I find out eventually is that, the most successful writers rely on fluency and clarity alone. Not on strict grammar rules or syntax.
I really appreciate the great tips. I am a beginning blogger and am getting just overwhelmed with information. This series is just breaking everything down for me in laymans terms. I can definitely relate especially to this one because I tend to speak in big words. I hope you don’t mind if I pin this and use this as a resource. I think my blog will be about my journey to becoming a blogger. What do you think? Are there too many blogs on this subject? I would like to steer beginners like me to sites like yours that are comprehensive and like a one stop shop for any kind of information they need.
Why not, Sylvia. We’ll be happy if you share this information with more people. But don’t forget to credit us and link to our webpage.
Hi Jonathan! Really informative article. Your headline is also very intriguing.