Blogging is all the rage in our futuristic web 2.0 technology-induced world. Although the term blogging holds connotations as almost simplistic and unprofessional, it doesn’t mean anything different than writing for the web.
As digital writers sometimes tend to glorify the trade, the job may seem cushy and even quite fun. Bloggers understand the web just a little better than most and can provide their knowledge to others in a positive fashion. The profession does offer a great means for practice writing and endows a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
I’ll be going over a few popular techniques for faster blogging. Whether just getting started or a seasoned pro, there is always room to improve in writing. Process some of the ideas below and feel encouraged to add your suggestions or questions in the comments section.
Step 1: Just Get Started!
The biggest hurdle I see with new bloggers is the procrastination from writing. If you are not a fan of writing or haven’t performed the task for extended periods of time it will become tiring very quickly.
It’s important to keep your cool and don’t push yourself too far. Often new writers may only spend ~30 minutes in front of the computer before calling it a day. The amount of time you find for writing will gradually increase as you fit into a groove and find the most interesting topics to blog about.
There will be days where you will hold nothing but resentment for opening a blank document to write on. It’s important to consciously recognize these days and maybe take a break from writing so as to avoid over-working yourself. However there is a very fine line between rest and laziness.
Even if it feels forced just keep yourself writing. It doesn’t matter what topic or what format the words come out, as long as you’re writing something it’s taking steps forward.
If you are struggling to find interest blogging about anything try first sketching outlines about major topics and post bullets for possible talking points. This will get your brain processing information related to writing without requiring the physical act of taking down the words from your mind.
The second-hand benefit from this activity is how structured articles can be written with such a reference sheet around. By including 5-7 major talking points you can look back a week or even a few months later and still have a good idea about how to start a blog entry. It is also very useful to leave small notes on post-its or in the margins of scrap paper.
However you decide to structure your outlines be sure they are consistent and useful to you. After all, these notes aren’t for anybody else to read. Do some research through Google about blogs related to your topic. See what their categories are and what you like/dislike about their content strategy.
Read before Writing
As a blogger you are known by the digital world as an author of the new age. Writing for the Internet is no different than writing for a book or magazine and as such requires that you read similar publications.
By reading over your competitors blogs you can formulate a platform regarding how to structure your own articles. Through analyzing what others have written you may pick up on new techniques for intro paragraphs, transitions, or headings.
Even still, reading is a great way to expand your thought process and bring your mind “outside the box”. By keeping up with similar niche blogs you can gather ideas for future articles or create a few mashups.
Add Breathing Room
Additional room between paragraphs and key points will improve the user experience tenfold. There are hundreds of millions of blogs online today and many of them boast the same template with little-to-no additional features. These are often poor examples of failed blogs and should represent everything you oppose.
Writing blog articles in short yet concise paragraphs helps to deliver your point without too many words. Visitors today often skim articles looking for the juicy section so it’s no surprise shorter paragraphs perform well.
Include Relatable Imagery
Images are a great way to break up long posts. After blogging for a while you may begin to notice how boring blocks of paragraph text can be. Readers are expecting to see at least a few graphics or stock imagery.
Although not recommended, you could go for a straight clean look trimmed of most graphics. This isn’t the best strategy regarding an entire blog layout, although it does work well for mobile devices. In cases where visitors are using a much smaller screen it’s likely they would rather drop the images for text blocks.
Although aside from software screenshots or photographs it’s difficult to find much else. There are many talented artists offering graphics under Creative Commons licence from a few popular websites. To list a few you could view 1x.com, Flickr, or Deviant Art.
Find the Right Programs
Software is everything when it comes to blogging. Writers can be persnickety about their interface so it’s important to experiment and get it right. Previously writing was commonly done in a document processor such as Microsoft Word.
In the new age WordPress has truly revolutionized this process offering bloggers the option to write straight into their database. Google Docs also offers an MS Word clone for free, with all content stored in the cloud into your Google account. This is possibly the most flexible option since you are able to access all your documents from any computer with an Internet connection.
You may also want to check out desktop software designed specifically for blogging. There have been many software firms developing both free and paid programs for blogging. You can check out our list of Mac and Windows desktop blogging apps for more inspiration.
The real lessons to learn for smarter blogging come from repetition and practice. With every new piece written you are gaining key experience into blogging, and writing in general.
Recognize the lessons learned and over time you should apply these new techniques to your articles. As you become more proficient in the art of blogging your comfort zone should expand into deeper areas of the web. Always follow your intuition and never lose the passion for writing that drives and encourages you to press onward.