Archive for On Writing Better

Tips on Writing a Great Blog Post:
Give it a Rest

Bird BandageIt’s the rainy season here in Mexico – a great time to do a lot of reading, writing and recovery – at least, that’s what I told myself when I scheduled my shoulder surgery.  But I’m having trouble with my blog writing.  And now I’m stuck. I’ve got Blogger’s Block.  (Yes, even experienced bloggers can get stuck from time to time.)

So I pull out my bag of great blog post tricks, and determine where I’m stuck in the process.  And that’s it.  I had altered my writing process.  But that shouldn’t matter… should it? Read More→

The 4 Step Creative Process for Writing Blogs:
(& Happy Birthday to WOW Blog)

Writing-BlogsDo you struggle with the creative process of writing blogs? Do you cringe when you need to find a topic for your blog? You’re not alone.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve written a ton of information about writing great blog posts and newsletters, as well as e-books, white papers and articles to increase your visibility. Sometimes it feels like I’ve already written as much as I have to say. There’s nothing new, it’s been done before.

But then I remember that people forget and new people come to visit all the time. It’s motivation to keep my blog posts fresh and interesting.

So how do you choose a topic for writing blogs that will be most relevant to your readers, and hasn’t been said 1,000 times before? Trust the process and get busy.

Almost 100 years ago, Graham Wallas observed that creative solutions appear sequentially:

Preparation => Incubation => Illumination => Implementation

The same is true for writing quality content – blog posts are written by following a creative process. Read More→

How Authentic is Your Blog Writing?… And,
How Do You Write Authentically?

AuthenticAll the data shows that people prefer doing business with authentic brands and authentic professionals. But how authentic is your blog writing? Do you sound authentic? And, how do you write authentically, anyway?

In my last blog post, I shared 5-steps for a good bio/marketing message for an e-newsletter:

  • Tell them who you are and what you can do to help solve their challenges.
  • Let them know what kinds of people you work with, and how long you’ve been helping them.
  • Don’t try to sound too good. People have antennae for hyperbole.
  • Read your bio out loud to see if it sounds authentic.

The problem is that when you try to write authentically, it’s difficult to know what exactly to do. What makes blog writing sound real, sound authentic? Read More→

Best Kept Secret of an Email Newsletter Bio

Email-NewsletterWhat’s the best kept secret of a newsletter bio? As I mentioned in my last post, your bio on your blog or website About page should be current and tell a story, rather than be a resume written in the third person. The same is true for an email newsletter bio.

Unfortunately, I see many coaches and consultants use their resumes for their sidebar bio. (“Dr. Smith has 20 years experience in strategic planning and holds an MBA from Harvard, etc.”)

Then there are those who go to the other extreme: They tell too much about their achievements and come across like an ego-maniac.

While everyone wants to know about who you are as the author of an email newsletter, mostly they want to know “what’s in it for me.” (WIIFM) Read More→

5 Key Elements for Your “About” Page:
How to Tell Your Story

About-Page-My-StoryWhen’s the last time you updated your bio on your About page on your blog or website?

Smart bloggers know that this is one of the most visited pages: People want to know who’s behind a business. Personalities count. Yet many blogs and sites have a standard resume written in the third person, boring as all get-out.

Certainly client lists are important. But so are you. An About page is an important content marketing opportunity. Tell your story, your real story. If you are the sole author of your blog, write it in the first person. Read More→

2 Sure-Fire Ways to Inspire Your Blog Writing

Business-blog-writingA few years ago I polled readers and asked what their biggest blogging challenge is. Turns out, it’s not lack of time, it’s lack of inspiration. Does your blog writing lack inspiration? Is it hard to get really fired up when starting to write a post?

I get that.  When I was just starting out as a blogger (was that really over 15 years ago?!) I could just feel that screen staring right back at me.  What can a blogger blog about to other bloggers?

Lack of inspiration comes from not being sure you’re doing it right, or doing it well, and lack of confidence that it will be worth it… in other words, fear and doubt.

Fear and doubt go away when you know what you’re doing, and have a system that will allow you to move forward confidently.

Here are two ways you can side-step fear and doubt, and write frequent, consistent quality posts and develop a blogging habit that will grow your abilities over time. Nobody starts out writing well. Yet, everybody’s got a piece of genius within them, so it’s a question of finding it and putting it on paper, quickly, before any demons get in the way. Read More→

The Biggest Mistake Business Bloggers Make (and how to avoid it!)

Oops!The biggest mistake business bloggers make is that they are frequently ego-centric. This isn’t necessarily all bad, it simply doesn’t bring the blogging results that smart professionals expect.

Bloggers are so passionate about their message and their expertise, they preach. They shout. They proclaim. They implore. They explain. They document and support their logic.

But they forget about that old background tune that repeats in the head of all readers: “What’s in it for me?” Bloggers assume that their readers are like them and interested in the same things.

How to Avoid Bad Blogging

If you want good advice, refer to the classics. There’s no better style writing advice than The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White. Here are 10 tips that adapt Strunk and White’s advice to blog writing (the first 8 are from Dean Rieck over on Copyblogger and is titled The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide): Read More→

How to Write Great Blog Posts Every Time

Successful Blog Posts - EverytimeHow do you create quality content that attracts online readers and yet works to promote the growth of your business?

Creating great content for your business blog is a what and how issue, as in what constitutes “good” content, and how does one produce that content so that it brings in the readers that a business blogger wants. Quality content stimulates reader/customer engagement.

Here’s what quality web content looks like: It’s short, sweet, smart, and funny: Read More→

A Quiz: Test Your Content Marketing and Blog Writing Knowledge

A Quiz: Test Your Blog Writing KnowledgeQuality blog posts are key to your business getting found on the Web. While that may sound obvious – (“Of course, why would I write something ho-hum boring?”) it’s harder than you might think. Not everyone agrees on what quality content is.

Quality content scores high with readers, your target clients, and with search engines. If you want to get found, get known and get clients online, you need to write and publish quality blog posts that resonate with your readers.

Two weeks ago I posed the question, “what makes you mad?” This can be a great first step in uncovering a hidden drive – what motivates you. It can also help identify what drives your readers; what content resonates with them. Read More→

The ABC’s of Business Blogging:
Create Shareable Content – Don’t Be a Bore

Create Shareable ContentIn the world of business blogging and content marketing, there’s nothing worse than a bore.

I know we’ve all seen bad content marketing – blogs that are irrelevant, outdated, full of incorrect information, typos, rambling rants and silly drivel. But what I find to be the worst is mediocrity. Read More→