Writing: it’s not all keyword-stuffing and strategic hyperlinking. While writing a blog should have a goal and a plan to achieve that goal, the purpose of a blog is ultimately to be read.
Quality writing is invaluable here.
If you, or whoever writes your blog, struggles to produce interesting pieces or just doesn’t enjoy blogging, be honest with yourself. Hiring a content writer may be the best move you ever make for your online marketing initiatives.
When choosing a writer, it is important to note that there is a difference between someone who can write well, and someone who can write for SEO. While an SEO expert approaches content from a methodical and tactical perspective, a writer will be able to inject your blog posts with personality and creativity. One may get you great search engine rankings, but the other gets you loyal readers, and both elements are equally important.
Having a writer and an SEO editor could be a fantastic solution if you’re looking to increase your online visibility and gain readers for your blog – you get the best of both worlds!
However if you’re dedicated to writing your own blog but aren’t a strong writer or struggle with creativity there’s a few easy ways that you can improve.
To improve your writing skills:
- Vocabulary: I cannot tell you how valuable a thesaurus is for a writer, and there’s plenty available online. If you find yourself repeating the same word, Google “synonym _[insert your word here]_ and plenty of options will come up. Even for experienced writers, a thesaurus can help spice up your content by expanding the language you use. 10/10 would recommend.
- Grammar and spelling: make sure that when you write you do so in a program that has both a grammar checker and spellcheck, and always use it.
- Editing: before posting a draft, always make sure that you’ve read it out loud to see whether it sounds natural – trust me, you’ll catch things that sounded differently when read in your mind versus read aloud.
- Get another perspective: you’d be surprised how many people would be willing to read your blog posts before you post them! I’m not referring to a professional writer or editor, the reaction of a friend or co-worker will offer ample insight into how your post is perceived by a reader, allowing you to make final tweaks if necessary before launching it into cyberspace.
- Learn basic SEO: it’s unavoidable if you’re writing for a blog. SEO will get you better results, so make sure to be mindful of SEO basics when creating your posts.
To improve your content and creativity:
- Read! Whenever I travel I write a blog called An Ocean Away, and each trip I go on I choose a new author to read. On my last trip I chose Ernest Hemingway, and the trip before that was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. While those two authors write very differently and have very different backgrounds, both are award-winning and well respected writers. The influence of their work is evident my own writing, and that’s because when you read you learn to write; your brain takes subconscious notes of what it likes, and those subtleties come out later in your own work.
- Out-of-the-box topics: when you can’t bear to write another blog post because the work seems too tedious, find a topic that is both relevant to your blog but a huge departure from your past content. Trying something new will keep you more engaged in your writing as it becomes a process of exploration, which will defeat the feeling of repetition.
- Find inspiration: switch from blog-writer to blog-reader for a little bit, and spend some time searching for other blog posts that interest you. Take note of what you like about them and compare them to your own work to see how you can improve. Checking out quotes or images can also be a great way to give yourself a mental break while finding inspiration for a new post – after all, who says a blog post can’t be centred around an image or a quote?!
Remember, your blog is not a sales pitch. A couple compelling posts will be more valuable to your readers than a dozen dull ones.