Effective writing: A skill that you absolutely need as a blogger
Effective writing is something I always used to long for as a blogger. When I started out, I used to admire those big blogs and the content they have.
And I say to myself, how effective those bloggers were at their writing?
And I must say that I’ve realized the importance of getting effective at writing a bit later – but I’ve caught up for sure!
So you want to grow your blog. You know you have to publish content consistently in order to gain traction.
You need to create landing pages and squeeze pages for getting sign ups.
Content for products and product sales pages is something you need to create as part of your business strategy.
Writing is involved in every bit of work you do as a blogger.
Don’t forget to add leaving comments and writing guest post to that list. Writing effective emails also count, if you handle relationship marketing and/or answering clients’ questions.
But your writing habits don’t go quite well with your writing requirements. You are not able to finish that e-book; that sales page is in draft mode for a few weeks now.
The guest post that you planned to write in January is still in progress in March. You were determined to leave meaningful comments in your favorite blogs – but before you could jump in, those blogs already got about 50 comments to start with.
So where is the problem? It is with your writing habit. You need to practice effective writing.
As a blogger, if you don’t improve your writing habit, you will suffer big time. This is no joke because your writing habit will directly impact your blog’s growth.
Without further delay let me put forth 9 effective writing habits that will help boost your blogging career.
#1 Write everyday to build an effective writing habit
If there’s only one advice that I can give you to drastically change your writing habits, it is this – Simply write everyday.
I know it is easily said than done. But it is not something that is impossible. All it takes is a bit of push and lots of discipline.
The discipline is what you need in the long run. But initially you need a little push to get it going.
It is not necessary that you have to publish everything you write. But it is absolutely necessary that you write everyday, even if it looks gibberish to you.
Over then time, you will train yourself to be more spontaneous.
Initially you will need the push to get started – to sit down and write that first (scary) sentence.
But once you stick to doing this uncomfortable thing, you will find that it becomes easier for you, over the time, to kick start your writing process.
And, yes discipline. It is easy to find an excuse to postpone writing.
It is easy to skip your writing schedule altogether by finding an excuse. But only if you are determined and disciplined you can do it consistently.
The initial few days will be highly challenging. But once things start to roll, you will get used to spontaneous writing.
Writing daily is nothing but exercising your writing muscles. Initially you will get muscle cramps and you will also get stuck over lack of ideas and flow of words.
But once you get used to it, your writing muscles will get a lot smoother and you won’t find the cramps anymore. And you will find your words to flow like running water.
How will this tip help you become a successful blogger? Well, blogging requires consistent publishing of content.
And your daily writing habit will help you avoid staring blank screens and skipping publishing for weeks together.
#2 Take writing seriously makes your writing effective (yes)
Writing is not something you do when you get the time. You have to make time for writing. As if it is an important appointment with your doctor that you cannot miss.
Given that blogging requires lots of writing, if you treat blogging as business (if you’re serious enough), you should also treat writing seriously.
Not just for blog posts, but you will need the work of your writing nerve for stuff like writing blog comments, sales pages, landing pages, product descriptions, social media updates, courses/e-books and much more.
Even if you are a blogger or a podcaster, you still need to write your scripts and write content for the landing pages.
In short, you cannot escape writing if you are a blogger. So you have to schedule writing time in your daily routine.
Don’t tell yourself that you’ll get to writing when you finish this and then that. You will never get the time, or if you do, it will be already an hour past YOUR bedtime.
I’ve said YOUR bedtime because, you might be a night owl – working long hours into the night after the family and friends have gone to bed. But if you get the time to write only after YOUR bedtime has reached, there is no use!
Schedule a specific amount of time exclusively for writing and stick to it (no excuses).
You should choose this time when your mind is fresh, and calm and when you can be more productive. Only you know that time of the day. So schedule accordingly.
#3 Practice various forms of writing
Writing one type of content continuously can lead to boredom. And when boredom occurs you can’t be productive with your writing!
Bored writing is hard to keep up. And bored writing usually ends up producing crappy content. Which is why you need variety.
When you have to write blog posts for most part, make sure you infuse variety in it.
You could write list posts, or rants, or regular standard content, or video with scripting, infographics and much more.
There’s also writing for your landing pages. You could write interactive type posts. And case studies, tutorials and the like.
As you can see, it is not all about writing blog post after blog post.
Oh and if you have a practice of writing a diary everyday that’d be so cool. It need not be your standard hard bound paper diary. There are various online diaries where you can record your everyday thoughts and achievements.
Whenever you are stuck and not in the mood to write, you can do brain dump. That’s nothing but opening up a plain document and writing whatever comes to your mind.
The end product will not be useful but the whole process helps you open up, break the ice and get into the momentum of glorious writing.
#4 Keep yourself motivated to get in the writing game
Writing can become a chore if you are not motivated enough. You need to keep your motivation up all the time.
Being upset or not being in the mood can easily become excuses to bypass your writing schedule.
It is your responsibility to keep your spirit high. Do whatever is needed to accomplish that. I cannot advice you on that because what motivates you is unique to you.
You could keep this post bookmarked and get your daily dose of motivation.
Subscribing to websites that send you daily motivational quotes is something that would help for sure.
You should also have motivational posters pasted in your vision board, if you have one.
#5 Effective writing sprouts from keen observation
Observing helps a lot with improving your writing. What to observe? Well there is literally no limit – you have to set the limit.
You can observe and learn a lot of things from just about anything that is around you and that happens around you.
When you learn to stay calm and observe, you can learn a lot of things. Those “things” usually act as inspiration to your writing. They can also help you to come up with ideas to creating your content.
You can relate random things; doubt that? Here are some crazy examples!
Only if you have the attitude to observe, learn, and relate, you can do this. And this practice will improve your writing skill in a fun-filled way.
#6 Train yourself to hone your effective writing skills
As you might already know writing might not be a pleasurable thing if you don’t enjoy it. Or if you are not prepared or trained for it.
Can you just start running a marathon if you are absolutely not a runner? You will fall flat and you will certainly damage your muscles and ligaments. You won’t have the stamina and you will give up much faster!
Which is why you need the training. You have to train yourself slowly and consistently over the time to prepare yourself for that event.
Writing daily is a good start to train yourself for consistent blogging.When your writing muscles get fluent with writing, you won’t feel writing be a painful thing anymore.
If you train yourself properly you can write at any time, even if you’re not in the mood.
#7 Do not combine writing and editing
This one is a crucial advice if you want to speed up your writing process. Writing and editing simultaneously will pull you backwards.
When you treat writing and editing as two different, completely independent tasks, you will find your writing speed skyrocket.
Well I understand that it is tempting to correct that typo, or format that paragraph. But you have to realise that your brain functions in two completely different modes when you are writing and editing.
When you write, you are in a producing mode. When you edit you are in a polishing mode.
When you are in a producing mode, you just need to let yourself to go with the flow. You should not interrupt your flow by correcting that typo or thinking about a better word to replace that mediocre word.
Writing is when you produce a draft. You are certainly not going to publish that draft. So don’t worry about editing at this stage.
Now all you need to do is get your idea out on that draft. You can edit it later.
#8 Go distraction free while writing
How often have you started that blog post only to leave it abandoned (as a first draft) for browsing cute cat videos on Youtube? Or for doing the infinite scrolling on Facebook? Or participate in pointless chats?
Distractions are everywhere, especially online. If you are not disciplined enough, you will never get to serious writing.
There are various online tools to restrict yourself from accessing distracting websites like Facebook while you are doing some serious writing. Cold Turkey is one such browser extension.
I use Scrivener in full-screen mode and have the word count (the target for the day already set) by the side. So I literally see my own progress which is really motivating.
You could totally cut off the internet which is a much better option!
#9 Use tools and systems to assist you in the process
We live in the age of tools. There is no shortage for tools! There are software, apps and systems for just about anything, literally.
If you don’t use those tools for your writing advantage you are missing out.
For instance, I use Evernote to collect all my blog post ideas (read in ONE PLACE) so I don’t have my ideas scattered all over my house; I also don’t lose any idea!
Since I have Evernote in my Mac, and in my Phone I always have it handy. I can fire up the app in one click and record my idea, no matter where it occurs.
For writing I use Scrivener. It helps me stick to my schedule. I have all my writing in one place. I will write a dedicated tutorial on how I use Scrivener for writing.
Of course you might have to invest on the tools. There are also lots of free tools that are available.
For instance Evernote operates on a freemium model – I find the free version to be enough for me.
On the other hand, I have invested (twice, once for my PC and then for my Mac) on Scrivener.
I am typing this very blog post on Scrivener and I can say that my money is well spent.
Without the right tools, you will be wasting your time in lots of other things.
How are you going to build your effective writing habits?
Congratulations, you have made it to the end of the post.
If you’re still reading it I can understand how important it is for you to practice effective wiring so you can use it in your day to day blogging tasks – right from creating content for your blog to writing effective emails.
Writing is something that you cannot bypass if you are in the blogging business. The tips I’ve shared here will help you develop effective writing habits.
Let me know which one is your favorite and why. And do let me know which one of these effective writing habits are you going to put to immediate practice!