Blogging can be difficult. There are so many things that go into a successful blog. There’s the look of the blog itself, topics, traffic generation. And my favorite part actually writing blog posts. For many the writing process is the most difficult part of running a blog. So in the spirit of sharing I’m going to give you five tips to improve YOUR writing process.
Before I get started I have two caveats. First, these are things I’ve personally used to improve my writing process. And second to improve you will need to collect a little data. So let’s dive in…
Tip #1 find your happy place!
Think about where you are going to do a majority of your writing. Is it a room in your home, a coffee shop, maybe the local park under a tree? For me I like to do most of my writing at the local Starbucks. The main reason is because at home I have way too many distractions. My bed is the biggest distraction (haha). Often times I think “hey let’s get comfy under the covers and work from home…” (big mistake). Working from home almost always results in an unexpected nap. Other distractions for me include the TV, food, chores, video games, and social media. I cut out all those distractions by coming to Starbucks (yes, I’m here as I write this). All I bring with me is my tablet or laptop, my phone, headphones, and NO chargers! My headphones allow me to listen to music and tune out all the background noise. Being charger-less keeps me off of Facebook because I don’t want to kill my battery right away. And while I’m at Starbucks I don’t connect to the WiFi so I won’t get any notifications while I write.
Tip #2 get in a routine.
One of the main challenges to creating a blog is consistent content creation. Forget the content itself for a second; It’s hard as shit just to stay consistent week after week. One thing I do is I set a time to blog every week. I am sure to stick to my schedule barring extenuating circumstances. The easiest way to make a schedule is to plan an entire week out ahead of time. Sunday night is a perfect night for planning (Fridays for me due to my work schedule). My bare bones schedule looks like this:
Obviously, my schedule doesn’t work out that perfectly. The main benefit to all this is that I have a routine to stick to. This allows me to spend less time thinking about what I should do and more time doing it. It also makes it easier to stay on top of a content creation schedule because, no matter what, each week I spend 2-3 days actually writing. I’ve noticed that anytime I don’t follow these guidelines (ie: writing off hours) whatever I’m working on suffers!
Tip #3 game plan ahead of time.
When it comes to the content itself, don’t wait until the day you plan to write to think of a topic. I keep a running list of topics to write about on my phone. I add to my topic list whenever something sparks my creativity. Sometimes I jot down a topic on cardboard while I’m working and don’t have my phone. The point here is to always have options. My list ALWAYS has 10-15 topics for consideration. Furthermore, don’t start writing without knowing where your writing is going to take you. Once a topic stands out to me I like to to take 5-10 mins and scribble out a basic outline of what I’ll be writing. It’s not a huge outline either. I use a few 3″ by 5″ index cards to figure out the beginning, middle, and end of a post as well as details that have to be included. It’s much easier to create connections for the reader if you lay out the dots ahead of time.
Tip #4 just fucking write!
Look there’s a reason why we do rough drafts, now isn’t the time to worry about syntax and grammar. Let your auto-correct catch what it can (if you have one) and worry about the rest later. You’ll be able to write a lot more in a short period of time if you don’t make corrections as you go. You don’t want to run out of time to write half-way through a topic and have to pick it up another day. You’re mindset is different every time you sit down to write and it can be difficult to harness the energy you had the first time around. Just get it done!
Tip #5 save the
worst best for last, WAY last.
When it comes to my editing process I like to wait at least 24 hours before I edit a blog. Reason being is that gives me enough time to forget what I’ve written just enough to actually read what is on the page. If you try to edit right after you write most times you miss edits. This is because you aren’t reading the words on the screen instead you’re reciting the thoughts in your head. That’s the easiest way to miss simple mistakes like spelling “if” as “of.” Trust me getting away from your work for a while will give you a fresh set of eyes to do a good revision. I tend to do 3 revisions before I approve a topic to post. First, I reread through the next day to catch the most obvious mistakes. Second, I use the Hemingway app online to catch run-on and complex sentences (use it it’s free). Third, I do one more read through to make sure everything makes sense.
Pretty simple right?
Since implementing these tips I’ve been able to maintain a writing speed of about 1200 words per hour, sometimes more. But writing wont always pan out so smoothly. Be sure to factor in breaks and minor interruptions but generally these 5 tips WILL keep you on point!
So what do you think? Try it out and come back to let me know your results. See you soon!
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