Monday, September 16, 2019

How to Write a Helpful Article in 5 Steps

Writing a helpful article can be a real frustration at times.  What seems like such a simple task can turn into nothing short of  a nightmare.

Even with all the good intentions in the world, having notes written down can quickly become a muddled mess of thoughts.

Even for the most seasoned blogger writing an article can seem really difficult.

So I want to share with you five clear steps people will definitely want to read:

How to Write an Article in 5 Steps Summary:

1. Plan your blog post.

2. Create a catchy headline.

3. Start writing the draft of your blog post.

4. Use eye catching images to complement your blog post.

5. Proofread and edit your finished blog post.

Step One - Plan Your Blog Post

A good blog post can take anywhere from one hour to a week to write depending on its length subject matter.  Before you get started writing, or typing make sure you have all of the information and tools in front of you that you are going to use.  By thinking ahead and doing your homework early you'll be able to cut down stress further down the line.

Find Something Interesting to Talk About

If you don't find your chosen subject interesting no one else will.  Any feelings of boredom or lack of interest will show in your writing.  So make sure you like what you write!

Some things can be easier to write about than others, but that's just par for the course.  Part of writing is making the mundane facts of life more interesting.

Write Your Opening Paragraph

This is your blog post outline, it will also show the reader what you're covering in your blog post and what they can expect to read.

Have Your Research at Hand

Without research your dead in the water.  You need to know what other people have written about and what you're writing about.  Spending time beforehand and keep simple notes on your chosen subject this will save you time during the writing process.

Try thinking like a journalist when you start writing your draft.  Pick authoritative websites and industry experts in your field who have done case studies on your chosen subject.

Related: How to Research Your Writing Really Well

Step Two - Writing a Good Headline

There are different schools of thought on headline writing, be really vague or really specific which does work for some bloggers.

If you haven't written a blog post yet and you're not sure how to write your headline, you have a couple of choices:

1. You can write a headline first and write around that.
2. You can decide on your final headline when your blog post is complete.

One way of crafting your headline is to work-in words from your article.

Step Three - Start Writing the Draft of Your Blog Post

You've collected your research, found an eye-grabbing headline, now it's time to write your blog post.

So just like in the previous step there are two ways to write your blog:

1. You can write a draft straight off the ba.
2. Tackle it gradually overtime in sizeable chunks.

If you're writing a particularly long article then the latter of those would be your best bet.  This way you can take your time over an article that could be well over a 1,000 words.  Either way get as much done as you can in one sitting this will make your job a lot easier.

Don't make your blog post too long, you may end up with an article that doesn't resemble anything you originally had in mind.

However with all that said the more you write the easier, and more proficient a writer you'll become.  You'll be typing up killer blog posts regularly in no time.

Step Four - Use Eye Catching Images to Complement Your Blog Post

Keeping your readers attention is an art in itself, and one of the ways of doing this is by creating an eye catching image for your blog post.  There are various platforms and tools to create your own blog images.

Related: 3 Great Reasons to Use Fotor for Your Blog

Step Five - Proofread and Edit Your Finished Blog Post

If you thought writing your blog post was hard, proofreading and editing your post is even more challenging.

Spell checking your work should be a given when you're writing a blog post, here are 5 simple self-editing tips you can use to fine tune your writing:

1. Dodge Repetition

To avoid this habit read over your work and replace repeated words or phrases.

2. Read Your Article Out Loud

You can prevent contrived sentences, and wordy bottlenecks by reading your writing out loud to yourself.

3. Let Someone Else Read Your Work

Use family, friends or colleagues to read over your work, they can see things you might have missed.  Often it's not the typos that you want changing, its the flow of the article, and how it sounds.  This should be made clear when you let someone else read your work.

4. Paragraphs and Sentences Should be Short and Snappy

To avoid being long winded keep your writing short and to the point.  Nothing irritates a reader more than having to read huge walls of text.

Stick to your topic and keep your sentences short and pithy.

5. Acknowledge that You'll Never Write a Perfect Blog Post

The perfect blog post doesn't exist not even the most popular bloggers can attain this one.

There's nothing wrong with updating and editing your old blog posts to breathe new life into them.  Use the knowledge that you have and create the best blog posts you can.

The Finished Article

Blogging sounds like a piece of cake until you have sit down and write a blog post.  Give it time and you'll have readers flocking to your blog.

Share this post with your friends!

Monday, September 09, 2019

Self-Care for Writers

When you're working for yourself it's like any other job, you need to stay healthy and create healthier working habits to get your creative juices flowing.

A lot of the time you can get caught up in a writing project and forget to eat, exercise and get fresh air.  You need a balanced life where by you can fit in your me time and keep you in great shape.

Here are 9 tips to bring back balance to your writing life:

1. Reduce Your Sitting Time

It's so easy to sit for hours on end at your keyboard, check out this article about sitting too long.

You could consider an ergonomic chair and desk which will help with your posture.

Monday, September 02, 2019

10 Things That Readers Really Don't Like About Your Blog

Is Your Blog Haemorrhaging Readers?

For many people the list below is obvious, but for those that really don't know, it's good to be reminded about what the public hates about blogs and websites.

Sorry if this is a little too close to home, it's nothing personal, and you're not the only one guilty of these things.

So let's get started.

Here are 10 things that readers really don't like about your blog:

1. Pop Ups

Not surprising that this one is at the top of the list, loved by many bloggers for bringing in subs, but hated by millions of readers everywhere.  Just make sure you keep these under control, or at a minimum on your blog.

Monday, August 26, 2019

How to Write Powerful Headlines

Blog post updated 26/08/2019.

Being able to draw your readers in just by the title can be a challenge in itself. Whatever you put out there it, it's always going to be connected to you.

To be a successful writer, understanding the importance of a good headline is paramount, and taking shortcuts in this particular area of writing, doesn't apply.

Monday, August 19, 2019

How to Keep Your Blog Fresh, and Handle Old Content

Blog post updated 19/08/2019.

Managing your blog is a job in its self, its like cleaning out your closets.  It's always there for you to do, but something else always pops up that requires more attention.  Often leaving you with dry stagnant blog posts, and very little traffic.  

Here are 5 reasons why you should keep your blog fresh by revitalizing old content:

Old Blog Content Should Be Managed Regularly

A poorly managed blog might end up costing you a lot more than you think, especially with outdated information.

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Simple Guide to Self-Publishing

Blog post updated 12/08/2019.

Defintion of Self-Publishing

To publish independently at one's own expense.

These days you can easily publish your own work on platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords and Kobo.

    A Brief History of the E-Book

    With the rise of e-books in today's market a self publisher can take up 30-35% of all books sold in the US market today with 60% or more of all US book sales (both print and digital) going through online retailer Amazon.

    Monday, August 05, 2019

    How to Generate Blog Post Ideas

    How Long Does It Take to Form a Blog Post Idea?

    Often ideas can just pop into your head and you don't get the chance to write your thoughts down properly.

    Follow these 8 simple points to generate blog post ideas:

    1. Make Notes

    Have a notebook and pen close by, especially when you're out and about.  I've mentioned this is in a couple of other blog posts.  Scribble down ideas that pop into your head. 

    Monday, July 29, 2019

    Why Confidence is an Important Part of Writing

    Unfortunately there's a belief floating out there that you have to be a seasoned writer, with years of experience, for anyone to take notice of what you're writing.

    This is true, to a point. But this eats away at anyone wanting to make their way in the world as a writer.

    If this sounds quite harsh, fear not, I have good news.

    Monday, July 22, 2019

    Why Social Media is Essential for Writers

    Blog post updated 22/07/2019.

    Social media has gone from being a simple "friend finder" to a full-time "pastime" for many, both old and young. 

    Currently used by over 2.6 billion people worldwide, social media platforms have become a part of everyday life.  With many people glued to their screens by the daily activities of friends, family, and followers.

    Way back in 2005, this wasn't always the case, the world hadn't caught on to the social media bug.

    Taking  a deeper look into the turbulent history of social media will help us better understand how the world has drastically changed, and is still changing around us. And why social media has become an integral part of most writer's lives.

    Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Writers Guide to Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate Marketing What's It All About?

    With the ever widening innovations of the internet, and technology with cookie trackers capable of predicting which products you're likely to purchase, and interactive web pages.  It's know wonder that people have been taking advantage of this important technology.  With advertisements popping up, showing products you're looking for.