Do you feel insecure about your blog writing abilities? Check out the tips below to quickly improve your writing skills.
You probably started your blog because you love your topic, not necessarily because you love to write. People who want to learn more about fashion or DIY projects don’t care if you use proper grammar or if your posts are engaging, right?
You’re going to have a typo here and there and it’s likely that most people won’t know if you use a dangling modifier (a whaaaat?).
But being a good writer isn’t about being a grammar snob. It’s about captivating your audience. It’s about sending a message that will be heard (or read, in this case). It’s about finding your people.
When you become a better writer, you can write gripping content that captivates your audience. You can write in a way that entices an audience to come back for more.
Becoming a better writer takes work and practice, but it doesn’t have to take years of college classes. Here are a few tips that you can quickly and easily implement to improve your blog posts:
1. Tell More with Less
One of my writing professors in college recommended starting a story as close to the ending as possible. This advice applies to blog writing too, except it would be, “Start a post as close to the ending as possible.”
Of course you want to add all the helpful information your target audience needs and also include some entertaining anecdotes, but ask yourself whether your content is relevant to the purpose of your post.
Some blog posts have a lot more fluff than they need to. For example, I’ve noticed on some blog posts with recipes, the blogger starts with a lengthy description of the photo shoot or why they decided to share this particular recipe today instead of tomorrow.
I’ve also noticed some bloggers tell a story that has nothing to do with the recipe, then say something like, “Anyway, here’s a new recipe I’ve been working on.”
For this particular example, you could think of a story that goes along with this recipe. If you don’t have one, don’t tell one. Rave about the recipe, then share it. Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman, always manages to do this just right. Check out this post for an example.
I know you may not blog about food, but consider how this can apply to your niche.
In the effort to make posts helpful, is there anything you could cut out to make your blog post more meaningful and intriguing to your readers?
2. Be Yourself
There are thousands, maybe even millions of bloggers (I’m not counting, just guessing). Being authentic is one of the only things that sets you apart from all of the other people blogging about your topic.
When you’re writing, try to write like you would speak (using good grammar, of course). If you’re the type of person who explains a little too much or adds unnecessary details, maybe try to tone it down, but still let your personality shine through!
Don’t just try to be like all the other bloggers in your niche because you think there’s a certain way people like things. BE YOURSELF. You’ll find the people who love you for it.
Everybody gravitates toward a different type of person. I gravitate toward fun and entertaining bloggers or influencers, but I know lots of people who love more serious types. Whatever type you are, you can find the people who enjoy your personality.
Check out @funcheaporfree, @pinchofyum, @thepioneerwoman, and @busytoddler on Instagram for examples of how these bloggers let their personalities shine through. I personally believe that their success has a lot to do with their authenticity.
3. LEARN GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION BASICS
First and foremost, grammar snobs are obnoxious. Don’t be a grammar snob, but don’t resist learning about it because you think it’s annoying—don’t confuse grammar with the snob!
Here are all the ways that improving your grammar can help your writing:
- Proper grammar and punctuation can help your writing flow. Writing filled with errors is like a speaker peppering “um” in a speech, using a monotone voice, or looking down at a paper during an entire speech. When you nail your grammar and punctuation, your readers don’t have to be interrupted every few words or try to decipher what you’re trying to say.
- Feeling confident in your grammar skills can help you feel less vulnerable. Sharing what you have to say with the world can be scary, but when you say it well, you can feel even a teensy bit more at ease.
- You’ll appear to have more authority on your topic when you use proper grammar. What I’m about to say may make me sound like a grammar snob, but I’m going to say it anyway. If I’m reading an article or blog and run into careless grammar mistakes, a lot of times I’m just done with it. I often feel like the site isn’t legitimate if they didn’t take the time to check their work. I understand mistakes and typos happens, but when there are too many that it gets distracting, it’s a problem.
One of the best parts about learning grammar is that you’ll know which rules you can break. 😉 You DO NOT have to sound stiff when using proper grammar.
I’ve seen a number of blogs that say you don’t have to worry about grammar for blog writing, but that’s not true. Grammar is key to writing well. I imagine what they really meant to say is that you don’t have to make your blog writing sound like an encyclopedia.
I also love the book Woe is I by Patricia T. O’Conner. O’Conner takes a humorous approach to teach grammar which makes it FUN. Yes, I said fun. Even though I already love grammar, I bet she could make you love it (or at least like it) too.
Check out my post for more ideas on how to improve your grammar!
4. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
You’re probably writing about your topic because you love it or you want to help people in some way. If you want to reach people, you have to consider them as you write.
Tell stories that inspire, entertain, or help them in some way, and provide tips that do the same. Don’t publish a blog post just to get it out there. Make sure that what you write has a purpose.
Consider how much your audience knows about your topic. If your blog provides information to beginners, are you explaining it in a way they’ll understand? How much do they already know about the topic? You may need to write using much more basic language than you think.
As you write, try to keep in mind how you want your readers to respond to your post. How do you want them to feel? Do you want to help them? Keep these questions in mind to try to stay focused.
When I edit a blog post, I ask myself if it is either inspiring, entertaining, or helpful. If something doesn’t contribute to my overall purpose, I cut it out.
5. PROOFREAD BEFORE YOU PUBLISH.
JUST. DO. IT.
I get it—you’ve taken hours writing something, and you just want to publish it. I used to be the person who would submit something without proofreading first, but I realized this was a huge mistake.
Even the best writers need to proofread, and even the most amateur writers can catch mistakes.
Maybe you don’t feel confident about your writing skills, but even a quick look-through can be beneficial. It doesn’t take a bachelor’s degree to notice repeated words, typos, or writing that is less than engaging.
You can also use Grammarly to help catch the basics. They have a free service that catches simple grammar and punctuation issues, but the paid service dives into wordiness, repetition, and so much more. I personally love have the premium service because of the stylistic edits they provide.
If you do use Grammarly, just know the edits are not ALWAYS accurate. Sometimes the software doesn’t catch the context of what you’re saying. Don’t let this stop you though. It’s definitely super helpful. (P.S. I’m not affiliated with them at this point; I just really like their service).
If you can, send your posts to a friend or family member who has a good grasp on grammar. Having a second pair of eyes check out your writing is invaluable.
You don’t have to be a professional writer to produce well-written blog content. You just have to work hard. These tips will help improve your writing, but if you feel overwhelmed, just focus on one thing at a time.
What are some questions you have about improving your blog? I’d love to help! Comment below.
Also, check out my Facebook page for writing tips and inspiration!