Blogs are not magazines. They don't need to be written perfectly - in fact, part of their appeal is the fact that they're written by normal people just trying to share their passions with the world.
However, it could still be worth brushing up on your writing skills. If your blog is well written, it will make you look more professional, people will enjoy your posts more and companies will be more likely to want to work with you (if that's what you're looking for).
So here are seven things I believe will help you improve your writing. These can be applied to anything you want to write, whether it's a blog, job application letter or the next great novel.
To be a good writer, you need to read. Most (if not all) writers read A LOT. Read everything you can - books, newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, fiction, non-fiction...even the back of the cereal box. Reading other people's work (especially when it's well written) will give you a feel for how to structure sentences and paragraphs and write in a clear and coherent way. When you read something, try to analyse that person's writing style and pick out things you like and don't like about it. This will help you with your own writing.
2. Write often
It should go without saying, but if you want to be a good writer, you need to write. Even when you don't feel like it or you don't think you have anything to write about, sometimes the best thing to do is just sit down and start writing. Don't sit around waiting for that elusive muse to show up, because it often doesn't. Just get started. The more you write, the more you will want to write and the easier it'll become.
You don't have to write blog posts all the time though - you could try keeping a diary (which teaches you discipline as well as writing skills, as you have to keep it updated - that's the whole point of a diary, after all), writing letters to friends and family or even short stories, if you want to try your hand at creative writing. All these things will give you good writing practice.
3. Learn basic spelling and grammar rules
You don't have to be the next Shakespeare, but your writing should at least be readable. A post littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can be quite off-putting to read. Learn the difference between your/you're, it's/its, and there/their/they're (a lot of bloggers also seem to have problems with stationery/stationary, so check that you're using the right version). While I would love to sit here and explain how to use all these words correctly like the Grammar Nazi that I am, this post is not the place to do so as I know it'd start to get very boring, very quickly for a lot of people, so I'll just suggest getting yourself a book on English grammar to brush up on your knowledge. Or you could just Google it!
4. Find your writing voice
Most writers have a style of writing which is unique to them - this is almost impossible to force and should start to appear naturally the more you write. Blogging is a great way to develop your 'voice'. Personal blogs don't need to be written in formal language and read like magazine articles - most readers prefer an informal, conversational tone where it feels like the blogger is having a chat with a friend.
5. Let your creativity flow
When you're writing a post, try not to edit it as you go along. This could stifle your creativity and make you lose your 'flow'. Focus firstly on getting the words onto the page, then you can go back and change as much as you want.
6. Proofread, spell check and edit
Once you've written your post you can start to edit it. Firstly, re-read the post quickly, correcting any obvious mistakes. Then use spell check to catch anything you might have missed. Then read the post again in its entirety, slower this time, methodically cutting out any unnecessary words, phrases or paragraphs (I've noticed I use the word 'actually' a lot in my first drafts, which is actually completely pointless and doesn't actually add anything to my message. By the time the post is actually ready to publish, however, I've usually managed to get it down to one 'actually' - and maybe even none, actually).
Make sure that the writing has paragraphs and is not one massive chunk of text. The paragraphs, as well as the sentences, should vary in length - this makes them a lot easier and more interesting to read.
7. Finally, be passionate about your subject
Write about something you really love and your passion will shine through. If you're excited about a certain subject, you're more likely to be able to get your readers excited about it. People will forgive the odd typo if they genuinely enjoy reading what you have to say. If your posts can entertain, interest, help or teach people something, they'll be more likely to stick around.
Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list, but I hope it's given you at least a few tips on how to improve your writing for your blog. As always, if you have anything to add, let me know in the comments!
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