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:
- Imitation of someone’s writing style.
- Mastery of their own.
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?
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
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.
The Life of Little Me
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
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.
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!
Such a great help! We try and keep ours short and sweet sometimes we can’t help but ramble on about pointless stuff haha 😛
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.
Perfect post lady! x
Aw i really hate the long text in the posts.. Great tips, thanks for sharing!
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.
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!
The 5 tip is so good. I don’t read a post loud, but I will try it.
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
Great tips as usual Corrine!!
haha I love that quote, Ive never heard it before
Check out my newest post
Thanks for sharing Corinne! It’s really useful!
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!
Thak you for sharing 🙂 This is really helpful and interesting 🙂
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!
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 🙂
Great tips Corinne! I am usually guilty of not proofreading my blog posts that when I read it out loud, it just sounds wrong.
These are great tips! Thanks for sharing!
nice tips!! i try to sound as “conversational” as possible with my posts too!
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 🙂
I think my other tip is make sure you have at least passable spelling, grammar and punctuation.
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’.
Saloca in Wonderland
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!
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
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.
I definitely fall down at the keeping short thing. I just love to talk!
I totally agree with all of these rules/tips! Keeping it short and sweet is key 🙂 x
These are great tips, thanks!
Oh maaaan, I always use which, very, really 🙁 I bet you’ve been plotting my demise…
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. 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂
What a great tips for beginner bloggers! I’m hundred percent sure that you tips will help me make my blog much more successful. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. Looking forward your new articles.