Ernest Hemingway, the author of “The Old Man and the Sea” novel, famously quipped “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.”
He was right.
As a content writer, writing is the often the hardest part. Coming up with a new angle for content to engage your audience is nothing short of a Herculean task, even if we all know the basics of writing persuasive content.
Write short paragraphs, avoid unnecessary words, steer clear of repetition, and write in an active voice are all the principle rules of any competent content writer. But even with these rules, penning creative content is a grueling undertaking.
It doesn’t have to be, though. There are a few things you can do to improve your content writing process and publish blog posts that are engaging, fun to read, and informative.
If you’ve been looking endlessly for blog writing tips to improve your writing, help you gain a larger audience, and position you as an authority in your niche, you will not go wrong with these steps.
Tip #1: Make Your Content Tell a Story
Humans are natural storytellers according to Jonathan Gottschall, the author of “The Storytelling Animal.” We have told stories since our cave-living ancestors started painting on cave walls. In turn, people like being told stories.
Stories are a currency in themselves. There’s a story behind every successful product and movie. Presidents come into power because their stories attract, entice, and seduce the electorate.
Similarly, the currency of good blogs is the story they tell. The nature of the content writing assignment standing in front of you doesn’t matter. If you can tell a story and work your angle into the story, readers will come in droves. They will share your blogs on social media, forums, and other websites. In a short time, you will be an authority in your niche.
So what does it take to tell a good story? Here are a few tips that will give you storytelling superpowers.
Put More Time into Reading
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the tools to write. Stephen King – an accomplished author came to this conclusion after penning several bestsellers.
As a content writer or even a freelancer engaged in custom assignments writing services, reading often does wonders for your content writing skills. You quickly gain a wealth of tools and information to incorporate into your writing process. Do not confine yourself to reading when you are researching on your next writing project.
Reading frequently gives you a solid foundation on which to build any building you wish. It makes the content writing process go a lot faster because you have all the tools at your disposal.
All you need is researching on the specifics of your blog post to come up with compelling content. Also, reading gives you a sense of how to tell an effective story you can use while writing a blog post.
Tip #3: Learn from the Masters
The quickest way to master a skill is to emulate the best. If you come across a content writer with an appealing style and a large audience, learn and copy their style and mechanics.
It might seem unethical, and some may call this stealing, but as T.S Eliot elegantly said, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
Copying a successful content writer puts you in the fast track to becoming a better content writer. Successful writers know what it takes to engage an audience with their writing. Copying them can only guarantee success.
Shakespeare after all “borrowed” the plots, characters, and even theme “Othello” from Giovanni Battista Giraldi’s 1565 short story.
Tip #4: Know Your Audience
If you don’t know the people you’re writing for, chances are that your content will fare poorly with them. Just like a doctor cannot treat the patient before diagnosing him, you want to familiarize yourself with the audience.
Knowing them allows you to learn their fears, ambitions, and desires. You can use this information to write content that appeals to them. It’s only after knowing your audience that you can write posts that leave the reader wondering if the author knows them.
Tip #5: Edit Your Work
Mark Twain observed that the difference between the almost right word and the right word is quite significant. You can compare it with the difference between the lightning bug and lightning.
While Twain observation is hilarious, the author is dead right. Using the right words while writing a blog post can be the difference between your blog obscurity and your posts going viral.
If you look into most freelance writing websites, editors mercilessly hack content written by freelance writers until it fits the bill. They do this because the first draft is rarely any good.
Make sure you edit your content several times before publishing it. You find numerous errors and ways to improve the content during the editing process.
Jeff Blaylock is a freelance writer with a passion for storytelling. With a degree in psychology, Blaylock tries to uncover the human perception and psychological reaction to stories.
He uses his findings to help bloggers and website owners know their audience, write persuasive content, and grow their audience. Blaylock is based in Ottawa.