Welcome to the final Monday in April. My daughter has a dentist appointment and an orthodontist appointment coming up this week. I expect a lot of pre-teen rage and tears over the next few days. Maybe I should schedule something fun in the middle of those appointments – the tasty filling between two terrible buns. Who would make such a sandwich?
Random quote: You don’t get anywhere by not “wasting” time.
I hope you enjoy this week’s edition of The Editor’s Desk.
Three keys to regularly writing better blog posts and articles
I recall reading on Copyblogger that there is a gap between the ability to write well and what we want to write. In other words, it sounds great in our head but that great writing doesn’t make it to the page. One issue is that there is too much focus on creative perfectionism. We expect our writing to be perfect and end up writing nothing.
We should be OK with writing what we are able to write today and accept its flaws. Respect the amount of effort and care that goes into the writing. Be kind to yourself on how you wrote at a particular time, as writing is a learning process. You start somewhere and get better as you write more. Appreciate the writer that you were and the one that you have become.
To writer strong blogs and articles on a more consistent basis, focus on these three keys:
- Care about what you write, writing it well, and writing something useful for the reader. Your writing will improve when you care about the effort you put into it and the results you get. Put some passion and effort into your writing. Hone your skill. Care about the reader and what they will get out of your writing. Give them value.
- Give yourself time to write a great blog or article. Good writing takes time. You might be able to write quickly when there is a deadline, but you need to put in time to make the writing its best. Spend time on research. Do a careful edit. Time makes us better writers as talent requires aging and development. Don’t rush the process. Let the writing sit for a while.
- Develop and follow clear editorial standards for your writing. Create and follow your own rules, whatever they may be. Set guidelines for spelling, grammar, formatting, fact checking, writing style, structure, etc. Make decisions based on those guidelines to determine what is OK and what is not.
Note: For more blog and article writing strategies, please read the following published blog posts:
- Essential copywriting tips for freelance writers
- The building blocks of writing great content for articles, blog posts and websites
- Become a better writer – or speaker – by avoiding these mistakes
More from The Editor’s Desk
Here are a few articles and blog posts I found worth sharing.
- Too many writers try to sound intelligent by using “big-sounding” words. Using these types of words just interferes with the readability of your content – and annoys readers. Check out Keep it simple: How to use plain English to improve your writing from Craft Your Content for tips and strategies on making your writing stronger.
- Journalists are not the only types of writers who are always on the hunt for good sources to provide quotes and context. B2B writers also need good sources to interview for their articles, which can be difficult to do at times. Check out Help a B2B Writer to submit your requests when you need to find the right person for your next article.
- Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep personal pronouns consistent and fair when they involve a person’s gender. Check out Gender-neutral pronouns in creative writing from CMOS Shop Talk tips and strategies on staying on top of those pronouns when writing about non-binary people.
- I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “You are what you eat.” That can apply to what you read and consume to feed your brain. Check out How to improve your content diet in 2021 from The Profile to learn about how to be more selective in what you read.
- Have you been “planning” to write and publish an e-book for some time now? Maybe it’s time to just get it done. Check out Publish an e-book: 6 strong-arm secrets to get it done from Make a Living Writing for strategies on moving forward on writing and publishing your e-book. And if you need an editor, you know who to contact.
- Do you want your writing to be tighter and more concise? Drop the passive voice. Check out Your grade school teachers were right: Avoid using the passive voice from The Write Life to learn more about the passive voice and how to avoid using it.
- Whether you are a new freelancer or have years of experienced, you will benefit from learning best practices on freelancing. Check out 52 tips for freelancers from Home Working Club for advice on finances, sales and marketing, enjoying the freelance lifestyle, and more. If you find one useful tip that improves your business, it’s worth the read.
- I’ve written about how to be a faster writer before (for example, here and here). Check out How to write faster (for bloggers and writers) from All Freelance Writing for why you should write faster and tips on how to do it.
- You already know you shouldn’t multi-task. That includes editing and proofreading at the same time. Check out The best proofreading and editing tips from Content Marketing Institute on why you shouldn’t do both at the same time, and how you can do each well.
- You’re probably sitting a lot more than usual these days – it’s part of being a writer or editor. Maybe you should get some exercise. So should I. Check out The benefits of stretching from Ness Labs on why you should find ways to move more often and some tips on how to do it.
Thanks for reading. If you liked what I wrote or think someone else would enjoy it, then please share it. And if you want to reach out, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.