“Proof-read for typos and grammatical errors.” — “Create original content. ” — “Write short and lively posts.”
In this article, I’ll be discussing three writing tips you may have never thought about before.
I kept a blog while attending college. In it I almost daily recorded my trials and triumphs as a college student. The blog gained an impressive audience during the two years I authored it, and I believe it was due in part to the “rules” I made for myself when creating blog posts.
The “rules” that I kept secret throughout my first blog’s existence worked well for me, so I’m revealing them now as the following “tips” below:
Tip #1 – Never Mention Your Posting Frequency (or Infrequency)
“Sorry I haven’t updated my site in a while.” — “It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on here.” — “I know I haven’t been giving this blog much attention lately.”
Do you know what all of these phrases have in common? They are all bad ways to open a blog post. Regardless of this, I frequently read blogs that make a habit of opening a post in this manner.
When you open a blog post with an apology about or reference to your recent lack of new material, you are not earning the sympathy of your readers. What you’re really doing is:
- Placing emphasis on how your blog is not updated regularly.
- Pointing out how you lack interesting things to write about.
- Failing to capture the interest of your readers immediately.
In other words, you’re wasting your readers’ time.
How To Break This Habit: Open every blog post as if the reader has never visited your site before. Every blog post should be able to be read as a single, timeless, and complete story that makes a valuable point. In the event that a blog post is a part of a series, then open the post identifying it as such with links to the previous parts.
Tip #2 – Never Copy Another Blog’s Content
Not only because it’s impolite, but because it won’t accomplish what you think it will. You may believe that you can easily disguise someone else’s content as your own, or that a popular post from someone else’s website will achieve similar success on yours — but the reality is:
- The site that originally created the content will always be ranked highest since it was indexed first.
- Search engines like Google will lower your site’s ranking when it detects the duplicate content.
You’re Only Hurting Yourself: If you’re desperate to add content to your site, don’t resort to copying someone else’s. Each time you use something someone else has created, you’re losing out on an opportunity to enhance your own writing skills. Creating consistent, original, quality content is the key to creating a successful blog — you’re best off writing things of your own.
Tip #3 – Never Post Without Something Meaningful To Say
It’s good to get in the habit of writing every day, just for the sake of writing. It is not good, however, to publish a post that contains nothing meaningful.
When you force yourself to write something just so you have new content to publish, it will likely sound forced. Don’t lower the quality of your writing just to increase your post quantity.
Ask Yourself: What response would you rather receive from your readers? They visit your site, and are disappointed you haven’t written a new post — or they read your latest post, and are disappointed it was a waste of their time. In every instance, I would rather have the former, because the latter may cause a reader to leave your site with no intention of returning.
Once you’re aware of which writing trends can cause readers to lose interest in your posts, you stand a much better chance of avoiding these bad blogging habits. When you know how to recognize a bad blog post, you can choose not to publish it. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer, it just means you’re saving space on your blog for when you’ll write something better.
Remember that every writer has his or her own style. This article is not meant to be a “cheap shot” at all bloggers that do the things I recommend against. I mean only to offer some constructive criticism — and if you find that you are having trouble maintaining a persistent audience, perhaps the tips outlined in this article will help you change that.
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