This is a guest post by Jesse Langley who is a freelance editor and blogger operating from the Midwest. Langley is writing on behalf of Colorado Technical University.
Blogging is serious business—at least it can be. There are people who use their blogs as online portfolios to showcase their work, people who use blogs as tools for political activism and people who use the blogs as a way to make a living.
However you use your blog, it’s important that your content is engaging, thought-provoking and above all, well-written.
The best blogs have great content, and great content should be your top priority. Finding the strengths and weaknesses in your writing can be tough. It’s hard to be objective about your own writing, and it can be even harder to find flaws in pieces that you’re passionate about.
Still, even the best writers hone their craft and find ways to improve their writing. With a few simple exercises, you can improve your blog’s content by improving your writing.
Know The Rules
One of the most liberating things about blogging is that you can write about whatever you want, however you want. Most bloggers don’t adhere to a style guide or follow strict grammar rules. But having a basic knowledge of writing guidelines will give you a strong foundation on which to build your own writing style.
If you’re not comfortable with your personal style—and even if you are—brushing up on your skills can help you build confidence. There are various books on writing, including the classic ‘The Elements of Style’ and other titles that give introductory lessons on writing. You can also pursue the Internet for writing communities, join a local writers’ circle or take a few classes online or at a local university.
Study Your Favorite Blogs
This is not an invitation to steal! Instead, study your favorite blogs and find what makes them your favorites. Find some of your favorite posts, and figure out what makes them great:
- Is it the blogger’s voice?
- Is it her ability to turn a phrase or her sense of humor?
- Is it her ability to communicate with her readers easily?
Make a list of your favorite blog qualities, and find a way to work those qualities into your own blog.
Value Your Audience
Writing isn’t just about your grammar and skills; it’s also about knowing how to give your readers what they want. Without your readers, you’d be just another person with a website, posting random stuff. Engage with them, answer their e-mails to you, and do what you can to make your blog an interactive experience.
You can also add links to your social media accounts, like Twitter and Facebook, to give your readers more ways to share your content and to attract new readers.
Practice, Practice, Practice…
A surefire way to become a better writer is to write as much as you can. Keeping a journal, online or off, can help you organize your thoughts and prepare for each new blog post. Just committing to writing every day can give you the motivation to work on your blog on a regular basis.
Also, every writer can benefit from a second set of eyes to look over their work. Proofreading should be a regular part of your writing process, but a friend or partner who’s willing to give you unbiased feedback is valuable.
Improving your writing skills will do more than improve your blog—you’ll use your writing skills at work and in your interactions with friends and colleagues. Commit to making your blog a priority, and you’ll be able to see benefits online and elsewhere.
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