Posted on February 25, 2015

6 writing tips for bloggers: the basics

blog tips

writing tips for bloggers

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve always loved writing. Words have a special place in my heart and being able to find the exact words to match emotions or experiences is a wonderful skill, in my opinion.

I always thought I had an excellent grasp of the English language and was able to articulate my thoughts and feelings in an accurate, mature and smooth way. I never imagined blogging would improve my writing skills like it has.

Through writing daily and reading hundreds of blogs a month, I quickly found the way in which I wrote blog posts change and develop. There were some skills I learnt from others and some were naturally occurring.

I feel like I’ve changed from a scatty, erratic blogger to one that can put clear ideas forward in an organised way, while still letting that silly side of me shine through.

I’d like to share with you the first things few rules I discovered.

The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway

1. Keep it short.

If you can say it in less words, do it.

Writing a blog post isn’t the same as writing a school report, you may be tempted to bulk up the word count by adding fancy words and descriptions – RESIST, MY FRIEND!

The tip with blog posts is to say as much as you can with the least amount of words possible.

This is because people browsing online generally have a short attention span and want information fast.

2. Keep it simple.

Just as the tip above, there is no need to use posh, complicated words!

You want your readers to find it easy to read your blog, not be put off by hard to understand words! You don’t want to come across as pretentious.

Example: If you can use ‘use‘, don’t use ‘utilise‘. Or use ‘helpful‘ in place of ‘advantageous‘.

3. Stick to the same perspective and tense.

Ensure you’re consistent throughout the post, whether that’s talking in the first person or not.

We, you, I, me, they – don’t get muddled up and change throughout!

This goes for tense too, it can be easy to switch between past and present without realising.

4. Talk as if you’re writing to a friend.

Finding your own writing style can be hard. I’ve heard that most writers go through three phases of finding their own style:

  1. Imitation of someone’s writing style.
  2. Mastery of their own.
  3. Innovation.

Let your personality shine through and don’t be afraid to sound informal. Add jokes in when appropriate. And just be you.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – there are thousands of blogs out there all reviewing the same things, doing the same tags, aspiring to be like the same big bloggers – the only thing making your blog different is: there is only one you. Don’t stifle yourself in an attempt to be like others, or to fit a mould of what you think other people would like.

Sometimes I find myself writing in a way that feels lifeless. It doesn’t feel like my usual writing and if I’m not in the right frame of mind, then I find it difficult. But you have to put your running shoes on and run like fuck until you can catch that inspiration, rather than sit and wait for it to happen.

5. Read it out loud.

Reading your post out loud can give you a real sense of how well it flows. I’ve rearranged many sentences because once said aloud, it sounds awkward!

This also helps to discover any spelling or grammar mistakes. If you find you’re still missing them, try reading your post backwards. That way, you focus on each word separately and are less likely to miss a pesky mistake.

6. Stay clear of useless words.

There are some words that you just don’t need to use. Like just, for example. I could have taken the word out and the sentence would not have lost any meaning.

Some other words I avoid are very, which and really.

There are others to steer away from which I’ll write about in the future, but the above is a good starting point.

Are there any writing rules that you live by?

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37 Comments

  • Reply krithi February 25, 2015 at 9:01 am

    keeping it short is one of my rule too
    i never read any posts which is lenghthy so Im sure others wont read too
    Good post gal
    krithi recently posted…Victoria Secret| Love Spell Deep-softening Body Butter ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply M February 25, 2015 at 9:11 am

    All your tips are definitely helpful. For me, I reckon my one main tip is to keep it conversational, like you’re talking to them, or they’re having a peek into your mind. I’m loving that quote by the way, and being able to covey your thoughts in words is an epic skill.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me
    M recently posted…A Bundle of Questions, Answers and FactsMy Profile

  • Reply Abby February 25, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I’m a bugger for using ‘really’ and ‘just’, it’s a habit I need to shake off. I think personal writing is the best way; I much prefer reading blogs that write in an informal, friendly tone rather than the same regurgitated crap from every other blog! Great tips. xx

    Abby | Eärendil

  • Reply jackie harrison February 25, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Helpful writing suggestion I’m big in short but to the point no need to write a book to make a three word point. Great post.

  • Reply Claire February 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I struggle with keeping my sentences short. I’ve really got to work on that! I also read my blog posts aloud, which helps with the editing process. Thanks so much for sharing these tips!
    Claire recently posted…One Happy Change: Meditation EditionMy Profile

  • Reply Kelsey&Kenecha February 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Such a great help! We try and keep ours short and sweet sometimes we can’t help but ramble on about pointless stuff haha 😛

    http://floralsandsmiles.blogspot.ca/
    twitter.com/floralandsmiles

  • Reply Lorraine - John, It's Only Makeup! February 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    My blog writing is word vomit! I like keeping it casual.Also, I keep the posts to around 300 words. I think that’s a solid amount to optimise keyword density and all that techy stuff.

    I’ve got a plugin for my blog that measures how easy it is to read (really!!). If I’ve got run-on sentences or jargon, it’ll let me know.
    Lorraine – John, It’s Only Makeup! recently posted…Hrrng! YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat UV Foundation Review in B10My Profile

  • Reply LauraDaisyChain February 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Perfect post lady! x

  • Reply cvetybaby February 25, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Aw i really hate the long text in the posts.. Great tips, thanks for sharing!
    xx
    cvetybaby.com
    cvetybaby recently posted…How to Order Healthy FoodMy Profile

  • Reply Rowena @ rolala loves February 25, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I agree with all of these. I also swear by editing diligently and making sure there is a point to what I’m trying to say.
    Rowena @ rolala loves recently posted…InstaNatural Products ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply Joanna February 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I love your tip about writing as if you’re talking to a friend! It’s so fun to read a post with a little personality!

    lovejoanna.com

  • Reply Anca February 25, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    The 5 tip is so good. I don’t read a post loud, but I will try it.
    Anca recently posted…China – Taste the WorldMy Profile

  • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    As always Corinne, an insightful look into the world of blogging. I know I can always come to your blog and pick up a good tip or two. Cheers
    Erin recently posted…Brighton Beach and a Birthday || The Brighton Side of LifeMy Profile

  • Reply June February 25, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Great tips as usual Corrine!!
    xx
    http://www.junewantsitall.com
    June recently posted…Schwarzkopf – My Hair HeroesMy Profile

  • Reply Tyana February 25, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    haha I love that quote, Ive never heard it before

    Check out my newest post
    xx
    Tyana
    theluxedition.blogspot.com
    Tyana recently posted…OOTD | | | Razor BladesMy Profile

  • Reply Oksana February 25, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing Corinne! It’s really useful!

    http://fairyland111.blogspot.com/
    Oksana recently posted…Отзыв: Глубоко очищающее масло – ASPASIA Makeup Remover Deep Cleansing Oil.My Profile

  • Reply Rosie Awcock February 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Love this!
    I do an English Literature degree and so I love writing, but writing blog posts is so different to anything I’ve written before.
    I’m loving it so far.
    Please check out my blog, I’d really appreciate it!

    http://www.rosieawcock.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Claudia Lilybeth February 26, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Thak you for sharing 🙂 This is really helpful and interesting 🙂

    -Claudia

    http://theextemporanews.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Reply Denise February 26, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Perfect tips! Keeping it simple can sometimes prove too difficult. I always try to find that perfect balance of not too much and not too little. Love the idea of reading it aloud, which I seriously need to work on!

    Denise
    http://www.fashionloveletters.com
    Denise recently posted…Homemade Birthday Cake OreosMy Profile

  • Reply Miriam February 26, 2015 at 3:25 am

    I love your writing styles, so seeing your tips was really nice. I never read my writing out loud, which I suppose I’ll start doing. Thanks for the tips 🙂
    It’sMyLife

  • Reply Alissa February 26, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Great tips Corinne! I am usually guilty of not proofreading my blog posts that when I read it out loud, it just sounds wrong.
    Alissa recently posted…My Daily Makeup RoutineMy Profile

  • Reply Melanie February 26, 2015 at 4:18 am

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com
    Melanie recently posted…Pasar MayestikMy Profile

  • Reply libys11 February 26, 2015 at 4:29 am

    nice tips!! i try to sound as “conversational” as possible with my posts too!

    Animated Confessions
    libys11 recently posted…262My Profile

  • Reply Mica February 26, 2015 at 11:20 am

    These are good tips! I know that I need to put #1 into practice more! Personal, professional or blog related correspondence I always go on faaar too much. I think that’s why I don’t like twitter, I can never condense things down enough, for a single tweet, ha! being concise is something I’m constantly trying to work on.

    Plus I like to go off on tangents all.the.time. My friends pull me up on it but I haven’t figured out a way to stop it yet! I try 🙂
    Mica recently posted…JORD Watch Giveaway! Plus Stay at Home Mum Outfits and BloggingMy Profile

  • Reply Elizabeth Rebecca February 26, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I think my other tip is make sure you have at least passable spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    Lizzie Dripping

  • Reply Sarah February 26, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I struggle to keep it short. I’m trying, though it might not look like it, I really am! I know I waffle, I’m doing it right now – I’m more of a epic novel series writer than a short story writer that’s for sure!

    I also try and avoid writing about what everyone else on my bloglovin feed is currently writing about. If I have the same product lined up to review, I’ll delay the post and try not to be too ‘on the bandwagon’.

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…Mamma Mia at The Liverpool EmpireMy Profile

  • Reply Olivia February 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Great tips! My favorite type of writing for my blog posts are telling a story. I feel like I can really truly capture my voice when I write stories. But sometimes, I really can’t write them and associate them back to the outfit. So if that’s the case, I’ll try to keep it super short and simple!
    Olivia | Her Name Was Celebration
    Olivia recently posted…We Ditch The Whole Scene And End Up DreamingMy Profile

  • Reply Lucy February 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    All great tips, I find writing in the first person and correct tense difficult especially when I have had a hard day at work and I am tired. I need to try and be more conversational and share my personality Lucy x
    Lucy recently posted…Banana, Walnut and Almond BreadMy Profile

  • Reply The Friday Five: Blogger Love v.4 | orangeowldiaries February 27, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    […] 6 Writing Tips for Bloggers by Corrine of Skinned Car Tree.  I know I feel like I could use these once in a while, but this is especially for new bloggers who are uncertain of how they should write their posts.  I’m not saying these are rules for writing blog posts, but they are definitely helpful suggestions to at least get started. […]

  • Reply Flora Kate February 27, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    After years of trying to bulk out my word count by adding ‘just’s and ‘very’s to essays, it’s difficult to break the habit, but I definitely need to try! Great advice.

  • Reply Victoria February 27, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    I definitely fall down at the keeping short thing. I just love to talk!
    Victoria xx
    thedaisyjaynes.com
    Victoria recently posted…Weightloss Wednesdays 8 – 14lb lost!My Profile

  • Reply Hana March 1, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I totally agree with all of these rules/tips! Keeping it short and sweet is key 🙂 x

    Hana
    rimmelsmudge.blogspot.co.uk
    bloglovin.com/blogs/rimmelsmudge-12176399
    Hana recently posted…ORLY Nail PolishMy Profile

  • Reply Nicola March 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    These are great tips, thanks!

    http://www.nicolabhamra.com
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  • Reply Dannie March 3, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Oh maaaan, I always use which, very, really 🙁 I bet you’ve been plotting my demise…

    Dannie x
    http://www.famousinjapan.co.uk

  • Reply Kimberly Fairchild January 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve always thought that blog posts should be longer & I didn’t even think about the fact that I would rather read shorter blog posts as well! These are great tips. 🙂

    xo, Kimberly
    http://www.blogsfordays.com
    Kimberly Fairchild recently posted…2015: A Year in ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply Raquel January 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    I agree with most, though I would say for the “keep it short”… it depends on the type of blog. For most, yes, I agree, but then… I hate visiting a travel blog and seeing three paragraphs. Dude! I can’t go to Casablanca anytime soon! Tell me MORE things about Casablanca! But I guess that is the exception 🙂

    xo

  • Reply Ami January 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I think I’m guilt of using really, it’s a good point, it doesn’t add much to the sentence, ill have to go through and edit some of my posts!

    I’m still finding my writing style, at first I started off with travel posts so they pretty much gave info but now I prefer to write similar to how I would talk.

    Great post once again 🙂

    Ami x
    http://www.cranberryandapricot.com
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