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So You Want to be an Amazing Blog Writer – Here’s How You Do That!
A college English professor once told me that I had the “science” of writing perfectly mastered. What I lacked, he said, was the “art” – that spark or pizazz that keeps a reader interested in what I had to say. It was fine, he said, if I wanted to be an academic writer, but not so fine if I wanted to follow my dreams of journalism and fiction writing. It was then that I set upon a journey to find the “art” of writing. It has taken several years, but a successful writing career is now mine, and a huge part of that career is blogpost writing. If you love to write, and you love the independence of working on your own, you may be perfectly suited for this career. Here is how you get there!
Before You Ever Submit a Blog Post Anywhere!
- Blog posts are not like writing your essays for school coursework. You need to develop a casual, conversational writing style that is still grammatically correct. Think about writing a letter to a good friend giving him/her advice on something about which you know a lot. This is the tone and style of good posts.
- Blog posts must have engaging titles and great openings. What may work for you, as you develop this more creative side, is reading inspirational books. They are usually in a more conversational style, and the authors generally have “catchy” creative ways of expressing themselves.
- Get online and read posts on popular blogs. You can find great ones in areas that interest you, and you will get a better feel for style and tone.
- Practice a lot. And then, practice some more. Begin with topics about which you have good knowledge and understanding and write about them – shoot for 1000 words. You may have to spend as much time thinking about your title as you have writing a post. Remember, you must “hook” the reader immediately.
- Choose a topic about which you know next to nothing. If, for example, you do not understand the mortgage lending business, get online and do some self-study. Take notes, decide on a topic, and write a blog post for someone else who does not understand it. See if you can explain it simply. Have a friend read it and give an opinion. So much of blogging will involve research, because you never know what assignment you may get from a client. And, at least in the beginning, you cannot be picky – you have to write for anyone on any topic until you have so much work that you can actually turn gigs down. Professional blogging is truly a matter of becoming a bit of an expert on most any topic, and fortunately you can find the resources online.
Now that you have fine-tuned your writing style, it is time to get out there and sell yourself. You have a two ways to go on this, and should try both.
- There are freelance writing clearinghouse sites all over the web. Their job is to match clients and writers, so register with as many as you can. Avoid those that require a registration fee, if possible. Many will require an English grammar/writing test, but you are skilled, so no worries! A lot of Internet entrepreneurs do not have the skills or the time to keep up their own business blogs, and you can do this for them. Once you find a solid long-term client you can always ask for references!
- Find popular blogs that pay for posts. Check out their guidelines, write a few, and submit them! You have nothing to lose, and, even if rejected, if you think they are good, submit them somewhere else. And don’t get discouraged. Once a blog owner likes what you write, you will be able to submit regularly.
Content Writing is Evolving
There are different types of blogging, and you should be aware that the phenomenon itself is in a state of change just like everything else that is technology-based. While short blog posts were once acceptable, you will now find yourself creating viral longposts. Don’t let the term throw you off. Here is how this works:
- E-commerce websites will have blogs for a specific reason – to provide great content that is related to their businesses but that does not directly sell their products or services on those blogs. These posts are meant to entertain, to teach, and to inform. The goal is to have these posts shared by lots of readers, so that the company owner is seen as an expert and so that the site blog is seen as a great place to go for good information.
- Research now shows that longer posts (1000+ words) are actually more effective if, of course, the text is broken up into headings, sub-headings, lists, photos, etc. and if the content itself is compelling, written to hold reader interest, and provides really valuable information or entertainment.
- When people read a great blog, they immediately want to share it with their friends, who then share it with theirs, creating a ripple effect of the post. This is what is meant by “viral” – a blog post that continues to be shared and thus promotes the company, its owner, and the “brand.”
Bloggin can be great fun! You will learn a lot, make good money, and have a job in a niche you really love!