A lot of writing.
And that can be tricky for people who never thought of themselves as writers before.
Honestly, I always hated writing. I have terrible, chicken scratch handwriting and did terrible with written assignments in school. But the thing is, I had things I wanted to say, it was just the physical aspect of writing that made me dislike it so much.
Because I disliked it, I didn’t practice very much at it, so any talent I might have had lay dormant for a long time.
But then, along came word processors and computers and the internet! Before long, I could get a thought out and written down almost as fast as I could think it. No more tiresome, tedious writing things out by hand in handwriting I couldn’t even read myself!
Before long, I started to love having a platform to share my stories with people. And I started to love writing. In fact, rarely a day goes by that I don’t write 2000 words or more.
So, what do you do if you’re one of those people like me who never really learned to write? Maybe English and communications were your least favorite classes, and you despise having to think about verbs and adjectives and whether or not you can end a sentence with a preposition, or just how bad is it to split an infinitive??
It’s your time to rejoice, then – because most of that stuff really doesn’t matter much when it comes to writing blog posts. Writing for your readers isn’t that hard to do; if you can talk about something with a little bit of intelligence, then you can write a blog post about it.
I’ve got 5 things I do that have helped make writing easier for me. I’ve been blogging over a decade, so I’m better at it now than I was when I first started – and these are the things I’ve picked up that have helped me be able to write so much, so easily, on such a consistent basis.
1) Create a Space
You need to have a writing space that’s all yours. A place that’s quiet, comfortable, and without distractions, so you can focus on the task at hand. Hunched over your laptop in your bed or sitting on the couch in front of the TV aren’t really viable options. I hear you arguing with me right now, saying that’s how you’ve been doing it. Well, if you were happy with how you’ve been doing it, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. Listen to me on this one – it really makes a difference.
See, the thing is that you probably have a limited amount of time to spend on writing. If you’ve only got a 30 minute window, then it needs to be spent somewhere comfortable and uninterrupted by kids, TV, and social media. I know that seems way easier said than done when you have little kids in the house, but try to work out a schedule where you can write while they nap, or in the evening after they go to bed. Forget about multitasking. Your writing will be so much better if you cut out the distractions.
2) Brainstorm Ideas in Advance
Writing for your blog gets way easier if you figure out what you want to write about before you sit down to write. Take a day each month to brainstorm topics; you can do keyword research, or mind mapping, or whatever style helps you best come up with ideas. Keep a running list of the ideas you come up with, and then put them into your calendar.
When you find several similar ideas, you can actually work them into a series, or even skip putting them on your blog and turn them into a short report. Best of all, when you sit down to write, you’ll already know what you’re going to write about, so you won’t be wasting half of your available writing time trying to find a topic.
3) Write How You Talk
I’ve talked about this before, but it’s really so important! Don’t try to be what you aren’t, don’t try to copy some other blogger’s style. Just write like you talk! I usually say a sentence out loud, and then write exactly what I said. You don’t need to have perfect grammar – in fact, perfect grammar can start sounding a little stodgy and old fashioned when it comes to blogging. You want people to be able to get your personality and feel like they actually know you through the words that you’re writing.
I love it when I see a video from a blogger I’ve been reading a while and realize they sound EXACTLY like I thought they would.
In fact, if you have voice to text software (I’m pretty sure most computers do these days), you might want to try just saying your blog post. Pretend you’re talking to a friend, and tell them what you want to say.
4) Be Different
Let me repeat what I said just a second ago – Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t copy another blogger. It’s awesome to read other bloggers and find things that you like about them and use it as inspiration– but don’t just copy someone else. That person is already doing a great job of being who they are, so if you try to be them, you’re going to come off looking like a poor imitation.
There are so many bloggers out there blogging about every single topic, every single niche – the only thing you can really do that’s going to stand out from the crowd is be yourself.
If you’re a religious person, don’t be afraid to show that in your posts. On the other hand, if you swear like a sailor, go on and cuss! Don’t hide who you are – own it!
Because in the words of Ricky Nelson, “You can’t please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself.” And when you do that, you will be so freaking authentic, that the people who do dig what you’re doing are going to LOVE you. It’s only by being yourself that you can get real, true fans.
5) Write a Lot. I mean, A LOT.
When you suck at something and you want to get better, you practice. The more you practice, the better you get.
Writing is a skill, and the more you do it, the better you will get – I promise you. You need to do it every single day, and it’ll start to be like flipping a switch; when you sit down in your space, at your writing time, your brain’s gonna respond like one of Pavlov’s dogs; but instead of drooling for a steak, it’ll start flowing with creative juices because it knows it’s time to start with the good stuff. Writing will get easier and easier for you.
Start writing – start taking action 🙂