Creating Content for the Web

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I have written about Web Writing before, but it is a very broad topic, and an important one as well. Those writer’s interested in writing good web content have the potential of being very successful with the right knowledge and tools.

Writing for the web is very different from writing a novel, article, poem or school paper. Very rarely do readers on the web read a page word for word, instead they spend most of their time ‘scanning‘ a page in search of information, or something that catches their eye. It is this ‘scanning‘ instinct that makes web writing an often complex avenue for writers to navigate and succeed in on the large-scale. With a little effort and some basic knowledge you can achieve success writing for the web. Many writers have found satisfying careers online and have even created reputable names for themselves as web writers.

Online audiences are generally in search of specific information, and quite often they are doing so on a limited time schedule, because of this web readers have a tendency to ‘scancontent. If you want to attract readers to your content it is important that you make your site ‘scan-able‘, this can be done in many ways…

How to Create Scan-able Content:

  • Use Highlighted Keywords. This can be done simply by using a bold font, or with a different typeface or color. You want to draw attention to the keywords so readers can quickly and efficiently find the information they are looking for without added time or in-depth reading.
  • Use Clear Headings, and even clearer sub-headings. Headings and sub-headings help to break-up your content and allow readers to quickly find what they are looking for. Don’t aim to be clever, as you would with a newspaper or book title, instead ensure that your headings explain what the content is about in as much detail and as few words as possible. Using content specific titles and headlines will make your content easier to locate through search engines, and more reader-friendly for web-based audiences wanting to quickly located the information the need.
  • Utilize the bulleted list option. Lists are far easier to read then lengthy paragraphs, and they naturally draw the reader’s eye to the information they provide. Use lists and bullets to highlight important information that you want your readers to see more clearly.
  • Be clear from the start. Being clever and catchy is important, but being clear is the key to successful writing on the web. Begin your post by clearly stating what you are writing about or your run the risk of losing your readers right out of the gate. Start with a clear outline of your content and work from there. Ensure that you are putting the most important information at the beginning of your post, and the less important content towards the end. Don’t forget to sum up everything you have written in closing as well, this helps readers to retain what they have read and allows them to see if they have missed anything while scanning the content.
  • Short and Sweet. A general rule of web writing is to keep it short and sweet. This applies to your paragraphs, which should only house one thought per paragraph, as well as your word count, where less is always more. Web readers live busy lives and often have a thousand other sites to visit along with yours, keeping your content to a minimum will keep your readers happy and actually encourage them to spend more time on your site. Feature only the most important information and save the rest for another time and place. Web writing can be beneficial because it allows you to create future content based on the short posts you have already written. Each post has the potential of turning into ten more through links to past content, and expansion of future content on your site.
  • Back up your facts. With the magnitude of information available online it can be difficult to tell what is true and what is false, be sure you support any facts with evidence. Credibility can also be achieved using graphics, professional writing, and outside links to similar information or sites. Using links will show your readers that you have done your research and that you are not afraid to direct them to other sites, it will also help generate more traffic to yours in the long run. Be sure to cite any sources you have used to gather information and give credit to those authors that may have inspired your post from content that was written on their site. Not only is this important for professionalism and general politeness, it is also a great way to gather readers from other areas of the online community that may not have found your site otherwise.

Web writing can be a rewarding career or an enjoyable hobby. It is a great way for beginning freelancers to break into writing and make a name for themselves. You can easily gather followers and fans with good writing, and you can help readers from all different walks of life learn and discover new information and ideas.

If you have the desire to succeed, and you create content that is easily read and rich with information, you can potentially earn a fair income writing online content in various forms. Whether you choose to write for yourself, or you gain a contract writing online content for another source the basics always remain the same. You simply need to remember that online readers want to find the information they are looking for quickly, and they want detail without hassle. If you make your site ‘scan-able,’ providing the essential information in an easy to read format, you will succeed as a web writer, a world in which the sky is the limit.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Do you have any advice for aspiring web writers?
What has your online writing experience been like?
Do you have any questions or concerns that you want addressed?

Feel free to post in the comment section below, or send your inquires, questions or submissions to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca 

Quick Tips for Character Creation

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Realistic and lovable characters are a major part of good fiction. Character creation can be one of the most challenging parts of writing, and a lack of in-depth characterization can completely ruin a great plot. Below are a few simple and basic tips to help you create solid characters, with depth and personality, that add to the story-line and help to make your piece as close to perfect as possible.

Quick Tips for Character Creation

  1. Every character in your story needs to have a story themselves, you don’t need to spend hours getting to know your secondary characters but you should have a basic outline for everyone involved in the tale. Make notes of important information such as name, age, job, social status, gender, relationship status, and any other relevant basic personal information. Rule of thumb; know your secondary characters like you know your acquaintances, and your main characters as you know your best friends.
  2. Along with their story each character needs a goal. This goal may be something simple or a large mission to save the world, either way this goal needs to be clear and have purpose behind it.
  3. To tie together the above factors of a story and a goal, your characters need to have a history. Even the simplest of characters has to have a past that somehow connects them to what is happening in the present moment. The characters of a story are often connected through an intricate spiderweb. John may know Sheila through her cousin Paul, who has been murdered by Ben, and John might be Ben’s Uncle. Whatever the case each of your characters has to have at least a slight past and some form of connection to the story that you are writing. They need a reason for being where they are, with who they are, and for what they are doing. The process of creating history takes time and organization, plan carefully and be sure that you fill any holes.
  4. Once you have the basics of each character you need to personalize them. The best way to bring your character to life is to give them real life issues. Habits, compulsions, and obsessions are a great way of making your characters more human. Perhaps your main character is a compulsive hand-washer, a smoker, an alcoholic or is constantly quoting cheesy comedy films, whatever the case they need to have a human habit that others can relate to, something that makes them vulnerable and realistic and life-like.
  5. Build emotion in your character to create empathy and connect them with your readers. Even the most frightening of villains has to have a soft spot, some one needs to be able to connect with what makes this character tick. The deepest emotion a character can express is crying, but they need not actually cry to express this human trait, just showing that there is something that is capable of causing this sentiment is enough to connect them to the real world. Find the one thing that would hurt your character and share it in some way with your readers, this builds trust and creates a connection.
  6. In line with personalizing your character, be sure you create flaws. Flaws are another way of humanizing a fictional character. People are not perfect, and they will not enjoy reading about someone who is. Create some kind of flaw for your main characters to help your readers relate to them. Perhaps they harbor a deep dislike for another character in your story, maybe they lie a lot, swear a lot, or have trouble focusing on what is important. Give your characters some kind of flaw so they are not perfect, unbelievable icons that your readers can not relate to on a personal level.
  7. The last step in character creation is to ensure that you have covered all the bases. Sort out all the details of your characters, especially your main characters, such as personality, appearance, distinctive traits and personal information. You should know your main characters as well as you know yourself. Even if you are not going to use the information as part of the story line, things like zodiac sign, and favorite foods, will help you connect to the characters and create a consistent flow in your writing. Creating characters is a bit like being an actor, you need to get into the role and be a part of who they are. Let your imagination run wild and remember the more information you have the better.

How you create your characters differs with each writer, some writers prefer to outline all characters before they write a single word, where others will set out the basics of their main characters and create the rest along the way. Experiment and find what works best for you. The great thing about writing is that there are really no rules and you have the freedom to be creative. If you are a beginner than character creation may take a bit of time, but with practice it will become easier. Keep in mind how important a solid character is, and think of the time spent creating them as an investment in your story. The process can be tedious but it is worth the effort to have a well-rounded character without any gray areas or unanswered questions. Take your time and be thorough, and most of all have fun. The sky is the limit and you can go wherever your imagination will allow you.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Simple Writing Tips for the Non-Writer

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Great writers sometimes take for granted how difficult writing can actually be. Practice and persistence often make the process easier with time, but for many beginners and non-writers the process of writing can be an overwhelming thing. The simple tips we share about editing your work, using proper paragraphs, and good grammar can be lost on those that don’t a) enjoy writing, and b) write regularly.

There are many different types of readers on this site writers and readers on every level. Today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday is going to reach out to those of you who may be beginners, or those who don’t choose to write for a living but have to for work, or various other reasons.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to help even non-writer‘s write better:

  • Say it loud – If it is not easily spoken aloud it will not be easily read so ensure that you read everything you write out loud before you publish it anywhere.
  • Learn proper punctuation – Take the time to learn where to use a comma, period and exclamation mark and utilize this knowledge when you write. Commas and periods are an important part of both reading and writing and can easily make or break the flow of your work. Search Google for the basic rules and study them before you start, you need not aim for perfection, but know the basics in the very least.
  • Keep it clear – Using short, to the point sentences is the best way to ensure your writing is easily read. If you can say it with fewer words than do so. The same rule applies to paragraphs.
  • Utilize the spell-check tool – You don’t have to be a world-class spelling bee champion to be a good writer, that is where technology becomes an amazing tool. Locate the spell-check tool in your typing program and run it, twice! There is nothing more annoying than simple spelling errors that could have been avoided by a simple click of the mouse.
  • Keep you vocabulary in check – Using big words that you don’t actually know the true meaning of will not make you appear more intelligent. In fact, in most cases these large, fancy words will make you look dumber than you really are if they are used incorrectly. Stick to words that you are sure you know well, and be fully aware of their context and appropriate usage.
  • Don’t be afraid of grammar – Sure, grammar is important in writing, and you should learn as much grammar as you possibly can, but grammar is not what makes a good writer and should never be the cause of stress. If you are unsure of the proper grammar of a sentence simply aim to make it as clear as you possibly can. Clear writing, and easy reading is far more important that perfect grammar, do what you can and aim to be understood in the end.
  • Get to the point – A major part of good writing is the ability to make your point clear from the get-go. If you are going to force readers to sift through several paragraphs of useless information before they actually discover what it is you are writing about, you are going to lose a lot of readers right away. Clearly stating your point at the beginning of any piece allows readers to decide quickly if what you have written is of any use to them at all, and actually encourages them to read on rather than simply skim through your piece.
  • Aim to write well every time – Practice always makes writing easier, and with time good writing will come if you aim for it. No matter what you are writing, aim to write it well. Emails to friends, family and co-workers should be written with as much care as a published piece. Take time, and put in effort for every single thing you write and you will see your writing quickly improve.
  • Study style – It can not be said enough that reading is a great way to improve your writing. By reading work by good writers you will see what it takes to write well, and you will actually absorb important style tips as you read. Browse blogs, read books, and study papers that are well-written than aim to imitate what you have read.
  • Delete doubt – If you have doubt in your writing, think you are using the wrong words, or are unsure of how well it flows, make it simpler. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, it probably isn’t. Read and re-read your work both out-loud and in your head, several times if you have to. Have others read it if you must. Tweak and change it until it feels perfect for you, and is easily read by others.

Practice and be persistent in your writing. Do your best and never give up. Even if you are not striving to be a professional writer there are simple ways to improve your skills. Writing is a part of everyday life, and in business it can make or break your success. Even the non-writer can be an effective and successful writer if they take the time to learn and have the drive to achieve. The most important part of being a good writer is to be clear in your work and aim to be easily read, anything above and beyond that is simply the icing on the cake that makes a good writer great!

Do you have any tips for non-writers?
What is the most important thing you would share with someone who does not choose to write?
What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
Share you own thoughts, tips, and tricks in the comment section below.

Until Next Time…

Write On! 

Simply Amazing Things To Remember No Matter What You Write

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The truth is, we are all writers. No matter your career, lifestyle, or education level, at some point we all need to write. Writing is a part of everyday life, a major part that most don’t consider. Whether you are working in an office and writing business correspondences, sending an email to a friend, or writing a letter to the teacher, there is skill involved in producing content that is readable. If you have chosen to write for a living these required skills are only intensified. Writing is an important life skill that many fail to learn, and no matter your path in life, being a ‘good’ (or even ‘fair’) writer can make or break your success.

Below are some Simple, Yet Important Things to Remember No Matter What You Plan to Write:

  1. Writing is Exercise – Like with a sport, the more you practice writing the better you will get. You would not plan to participate in a Triathlon without first practicing little by little, working yourself up. Writing is the same, you can not expect to sit and write a novel without first practicing the basics, and composing some smaller pieces. This goes for blogging as well, take a look back at your first few posts and you will find that your writing has greatly improved since then, not because you have studied (though that helps) but because you have practiced and found what works. You improved by doing, and the more you continue to ‘do‘ the more you will improve. The great thing about writing is that there is always room to grow.
  2. Be Realistic – Making a plan to write for 4 hours is not a realistic goal. Making a plan to write 4 paragraphs, or even 4 pages is. Some days these pages will fill quickly, others they may not, but it is better to fill a few pages with nonsense than to force yourself to sit for hours and stare at a blank screen. Once you have reached your goal you may choose to continue if you are feeling inspired, or you can move on to something else knowing that you at least took the time to write, and managed to reach your goal. Some of the most foolish writings have turned into great pieces of art down the road. Save these files for future reference, no matter how badly written they seem. Don’t force yourself to write for a length of time, instead aim for the length of the actual writing, more words is better than more time.
  3. Consider the Consequences – No matter what you plan to write, how you plan to write it, or whom you are writing for, it is important that you consider this question… What are you writing that will be read in 10 years? and build your piece around that. It may seem silly, and perhaps you don’t want to have your writing read over-and-over again by many, but each and every piece written should be done with the care that millions may see it years down the road. Take your time and chose the right way to express whatever it is you are trying to say, especially these days, how often do things end up online that were never intended to be seen by others… In case that happens, you may as well make it worth reading! There are many great pieces that were probably written without the intention of ever being published, write for an audience even if you never intend to have one. This is not to say that everything you write needs to be perfect, great ideas come from the worst free writing sessions, it just means that you should take care to put passion into your writing at all times, no matter how loose it is.
  4. All the Time in the World – Forget the thought “I work better under pressure!” It is a bold-faced lie! No one works better under pressure, all pressure creates is quickly composed junk that should have been edited and re-written. Give yourself sufficient time to write, edit, and re-write anything you are producing. Writing can be magical and amazing if you give yourself the time to allow it to grow. You can create something that years from now may spark an idea in someone else’s mind that originated from a thought only you have had… It really is profound! Yet, as profound as it can be it is a process and you need to treat it as one if you hope for success. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, as there are with any rule, but for the most part all writing should be carefully edited and considered before it is published in any form.
  5. Pieces of a Puzzle – See your writing as the answer to a puzzle, Finding a question and creating a response is the key to good writing. Go back to your school days and stick to the basics as much as you can. Have a clear point you want to discuss and focus your writing around that topic. This is especially useful for beginners as it is often simple to journey off topic once your thoughts start to flow. By sticking to one point you lessen the risk of running rampant in your ideas and losing sight of your main goal. Writing that wavers all over the maps runs the risk of confusing readers and sending them elsewhere to gather the information they require. This is another one of those important online writing tips because online readers want to gather information quickly and without much effort. If a reader can not find what they need in your piece quickly they will move on to another work that is more simply read.
There are thousands of tips that can be shared here, (and by all means feel free to share your own in the comments section below) the list of 5 tips above are what I consider to be the simplest way to ensure that you are writing with some sort of direction. You don’t have to be a professional writer to be able to write professionally. It is important that you are aware of what you are writing and how you are writing it, the main key to good writing is simply passion and choice. Practice makes perfect, (or as close as one can come) so….
Until Next Time…
Write On!

10 Straight Forward Tips to Enhance Your Blogging Experience…

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I have not been posting on here as much as I would like to lately, with the warmer weather finally here I have found myself caught up in the excitement of outdoor life. I was sitting in the sun today thinking about this blog and how much I have enjoyed creating it. One of my favorite things about Perfectly Prompted is that through my posts I not only get to help others learn, but I get to learn myself. I used to dream of being a teacher, but the thought of 20 – 30 poorly behaved children in my care and under my supervision quickly caused that dream to dwindle away… Still this site brings me that same ‘teaching’ pleasure, without the screaming kids… Plus I am learning so much as well, so that is a total bonus to me. 

For me blogging is like a never-ending education. Each and every day I get to learn and grow in my writing, and I get to share those lessons with so many people. I constantly say that the greatest thing about blogging is the ability to perpetually change and grow as required. Unlike writing a book, an article, or any other written form, your blog can cover a wide array of topics and does not have to conform to one single topic (unless you so choose) I have never been good at sticking to one thing and so this works out wonderfully for me. I love the lessons that blogging has taught me and the variety that it provides. I also love that every post, (my own and those that I regularly read from other bloggers) gives me insight into how I can improve my site.

And so… Without further ado I would like to share with you…

10 Straight Forward Tips to Enhance Your Blogging Experience:

  • Links – Links are like a well-known critic writing a good review. Not only is it an amazing feeling when you discover that someone has linked to your site from theirs, but it is a great form of flattery to return the favor from your own site. In the blogging world there is nothing wrong with sharing another person’s content or expanding on someone’s else’s idea with your own, but you must remember to give credit where it is due. If you gain an idea from another writers site, even simply to expand on it or share a thought, be respectful and link back to where the idea came from. The writer will thank-you, and usually the flattery is in some way returned.
  • Comments – If you want to be an active blogger you must ensure that you are creating a site that is reader friendly. Word of mouth is the greatest advertising tool a blogger (or business) can use. Comments allow your readers to get involved with your writing, and open the door for discussions that may generate future ideas. To ensure commenting write about your subjects with an open-ended feel, and be sure to reply personally to every comment you receive. Encourage your readers to get involved by constantly providing and outlet for their opinions.
  • Edit – Before you hit the ‘publish’ button be sure to edit your material. Even if you have created a personal blog, your readers expect some level of professionalism in your writing. Re-read what you have written (aloud if you must), spell-check and correct any written errors, re-word where necessary, and have another person read it over if you can to ensure quality material. If all else fails the best way to edit a piece is to simply ‘wait’ before posting, a few hours, or even a few minutes later your mind may notice things that it could not see before.
  • Routine – One of the most common pieces of advice that bloggers receive is to post daily, while you may not be able to keep up with such constraints it is important that you are frequent with your writing. Blogs are known for their consistent information, keeping your blog up-to-date is an important part of gaining success and followers. Readers will check back often when they know there will be new material, ensure that they have something to read by posting as often as you can. Work your blog into your schedule just as you would appointments or work.
  • Attention – The look of your blog can make or break readership. Although it is sad to say, the quality of your writing will mean nothing if the image it presents in the first 10 seconds is poor. Grab attention with an easy to use layout and bold graphics. Writing that is clear and easily read will help draw attention to the actual content of your writing, rather than the distracting look of a site that is poorly prepared. Take your time and create your blog as if it is a work of art. Most blog sites have excellent templates available that are simple to use, even for the beginners.
  • Headlines – Having a good title is an asset to any site. Be sure that your headlines are creating curiosity and inviting readers to know more. You want to be bold and attentive, your headline should grab attention and hint on the topic without giving all of the information away. Check out local and big city newspapers for ideas, the headlines they write are created to generate sales and spark interest in certain ideas.
  • Keywords – Using keywords in your posts allows search engines to pick-up and promote your content more easily. Do a simple search for the most popular keywords on Google and incorporate them into your post, or look up keyword writing and generate ideas of your own (I will be posting about using keywords in your blog in the near future so check back soon for simple tricks and advice) Be sure that you don’t go overboard on the keywords though, simply choose a few that work for you and utilize them as best you can.
  • Pay Attention – Just as the most popular keywords are an important part of your writing, so are the most talked about topics at the moment. Be sure you are paying attention to the hot topics in the world around you and trying to find ways to incorporate them into your site. If the world is talking about war and you have a blog about marketing try coming up with a creative post about the effects of war on the marketing industry, or how the army recruits… etc.. the possibilities are as endless as your mind allows them to be. Twitter, Facebook, and Google are great ways to discover what it is that people are talking about, you just need to pay attention.
  • Readability – Keep in mind that your readers will probably come from many different walks of life. Just because your blogging about health does not mean that only doctors are going to visit your site (if it is an open site, which is my assumption for this post) ensure that you are creating posts that are easy for everyone to read. Use clear concise language that is easy to follow and simple to understand. This is especially important if you are blogging about a wide variety of topics, or a topic that may appeal to a great deal of people in the general public. If you hope to succeed and gain a following you need to ensure that all your readers can understand your words. Also, keep in mind that the internet is accessible throughout the world, never assume that you know your readers, ensure that your posts are understandable to those who may be reading from overseas. Keep the thought in mind that you are “writing for the world” if you hope to become successful.
  • Evolve – In order to keep things fresh and exciting always be willing to grow and change. Constantly seek out new ideas, try new techniques, and learn new things. Change the pace and create new avenues for your writing. The best thing a blogger can do is endlessly learn and grow. The sky is the limit when it comes to blogs and only your creativity will take you as high as you can go.

If you wish to be successful, or even if you just want to write, these simple tips will help you attract and keep more readers on your site. Be sure to have fun with your writing, and don’t be afraid to break the rules. There is no right or wrong in the blogging world, only different outlooks and interesting ideas.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

 

Get Serious! – Tips to Get Your Writing Taken Seriously

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Being a good writer will not guarantee your success. Knowing when and how to use certain words, or form specific sentences will not bring in the dough or get you a headline. There are many talented writers in the world that have that ‘flair’ for writing, but never get to see their names printed in a byline. If you love to write and are aiming for success, you must aim to have your writing taken seriously. Here are a few tips to get your work noticed and become a credible writer.

Tips To Get Your Writing Taken Seriously:

  • Provide Proof – If you are stating a fact in your writing be prepared to back those facts up with solid evidence. Even if you are just stating a point, or making a comment, it is a good idea to use examples to help your readers understand why you feel the way you do. If you are saying, “We are great” you need to state what it is that makes you great… Perhaps you single-handedly helped feed a starving country, battled breast cancer, or climbed Mount Everest… Whatever you did be sure to share why it makes you as ‘great’ as you claim.
  • Bag the Bragging – It is perfectly acceptable to be proud of your accomplishments, and there is nothing wrong with sharing that pride, but be careful that your boasting does not cross the fine line of bragging and conceit. If you want to share what you have accomplished, by all means do so, but do so with tact. Rambling on and on about your greatness will cause others to feel unworthy and can easily make you appear narcissistic. Be very careful in the amount that you boast and the way that you are doing so in your writing. It is important to remember that writing can easily be misinterpreted as emotional suggestions that often accompany voice and face-to-face conversation are not present. Take time to show your pride, but remember to be humble.
  • Be in the ‘Now’ – Using an active voice is important to your writing. Verbs like ‘is’, ‘was’ and ‘are’ can cause your writing to resemble a grade school assignment. Bring your readers into the moment by making the event happen now. “The chef chopped onions in the kitchen with wide, watery eyes.” Sounds better than, “The onions were chopped by the wide, watery eyed chef in the kitchen.” Using an active voice allows your readers to feel as if they are part of the story you are telling, as if it is happening before their eyes. You can easily practice your active voice by reading your piece out loud before you publish. If it flows easily and sounds professional you have hit the mark.
  • Dissect the Description – Wordiness is considered an error of amateur writing. The key to successful, professional writing is to say more with less. Phrases such as; very, being that, a lot, needless to say, at some point, and without a doubt, are better left out of your vocabulary and your writing. These words and over usages only cause you to appear unprofessional and do nothing to enhance your point. If you can say it clearly with fewer words, do so.
  • Utilize your Tools – Spell-check and Thesaurus are tools of the trade that should never be ignored. You should NEVER-EVER publish a piece without first editing and SPELL-CHECKING it throughly! Enough said!
  • Looks Matter – Avoid immature actions such as over punctuating or inappropriate hyphenation as well as the use of all caps and excessive underlining, these things only cause you to appear unprofessional and immature. Save them for Facebook and keep them out of your writing unless they are absolutely necessary.

The key to having your writing taken seriously is to take the time to ensure that it is the best it can be. Be bold and have fun, but keep your eye on the prize. Experiment and practice until you have found ‘your’ perfection.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Tips to Help You Succeed in a Blog Bogged World.

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Those of you who spend time and effort blogging know that the life and work of a blogger is much more complex than it seems. There are still people who hold the idea that a ‘blogger’ is only doing what they do for fun, that they are not actually working, and that their ‘little blog’ is nothing more than a hobby and not an actual source of income.Though this holds true for some bloggers out there in the writing world, the truth is; blogging can be one of the most difficult forms of writing. With endless competition, no set rules to the game, and the need to constantly evolve in order to gain and maintain an audience, blogging is a challenge of the writers mind and soul, as well as their talent for writing and creating new ideas.

There are many different reasons that people start blogs, they may wish to increase sales if they own a business, they may want to connect with family, friends and co-workers, perhaps they want to share their experience as a parent or teacher, or maybe it is part of  their mission for personal growth… The reasons are endless, as are the results. There are millions of blogs available today on thousands of different subjects, all started by people who wish to share something with the world, be it experience, opinion or information. The web is chalked full of blogs on every available subject, by simply typing the word ‘blog‘ in to Google you can quickly see the true extent of trend that has formed in this now blog bogged world.

With no set rules, and thousands of other bloggers in competition, (though I use the word competition loosely; bloggers are the most caring and supportive network of writers I have ever seen, and they seem to cheer on each others success whole-heartedly) a writer who hopes to break into this creative form must be at the top of their game, and must be willing to work hard for little pay. (though I will say, the support and recognition you receive from your readers is almost guaranteed to make it all worthwhile.) Still, it is a tough form that requires endless creativity, a passion for writing, and a strong desire to succeed… If you truly want to break into the world of blogging then below are a few tips that will help you aim for success as a blogger.

Tips for Successful Blogging:

  • Read – The best piece of advice that anyone who hopes to start a blog can receive is to read, read, and read some more. The more blogs you look at, the more you will learn. So before you even put words on the template be sure to search out various other blogs and study the factors that make them great. Being an avid blog reader will help you to better understand what it is readers want, how they like information presented, and what they don’t like as well. Be sure you are reading as many different types of blogs as possible, as well as ones that share similarities to the type you hope to write. Be sure to take notes of what it is that appeals to you and the other current readers. You can learn a lot about what the readers want by reading the comments posted on the blogs you come across. It is important that you are studying, and taking note, what works and what doesn’t.
  • Be different – You can read a thousand other blogs for inspiration, but if you are not unique in your own writing you will get lost among the crowd. The art of blogging is at an all time high today, and your site is needs to offer something different and unique in order to compete with the many others available for reading pleasure. Again, study as many other blogs as you possibly can and offer your readers something that they don’t. That is the key to gaining an audience. Perhaps you plan to blog about parenting, and after studying countless numbers of blogs you find that the one thing they are all lacking is professional advice from a doctors point-of-view, if you are a doctor, or can somehow offer this advice, do so… This will set your blog apart from the rest and help you to gain readership and recognition.
  • Get to the point – The great thing about blogging is that you are free to do whatever you choose. It is a less professional atmosphere where creativity and tone rule the game. You don’t have to spend as much time worrying about the small things such as, style and grammar, but it is important that you ensure your writing is easy to understand. Make certain that your wording is aimed at any level of reader, and make your point as clear as possible. Remember that online readers are not looking for a novel, they are in search of information and entertainment. If you can provide these things in an easy to read environment, you will succeed as a blogger.
  •  Be ConsistentConsistency is another important key when it comes to successful blogging. You are only as good as your last post, and with the thousands of others that follow, you can quickly be bumped out of the search results. This is not to say that you must post every single day without fail, that is a personal choice, but some consistency is required to keep your blog at the top of the search results and on readers minds.
  • Ensure Quality Writing – Quality should come before quantity in all writing, this is especially true when it comes to blogging. A few great posts are better than a whole lot of so-so ones. If a subject is becoming a chore move on to something that provides more passion. Make certain that every post is appealing both physically and mentally, take time to proof-read just as you would when writing an article for profitable publication.
  • Get Personal – One of my favorite things about reading, and writing, blogs is the personal view they provide. Blogging allows you to get in touch with your readers and share your experiences with them from your own point of view, rather than providing only factual information as you would do in many other forms of writing. Readers love hearing personal stories and it will help them relate to you on a more personal level. Eventually this will lead to you forming a relationship with your audience that resembles a friendship of sorts. The more personal you become in your writing, the more realistic your writing becomes to your readers. So share that story about Aunt Annie’s amazing cheesecake fiasco and allow your readers to laugh right along with you.
  •  Looks do matter – You blog should look good and be easy to navigate. The goal should be for your audience to be able to see what your blog is about in under 10 seconds. Your pages and posts should be easy to navigate, and you should have a subscription option readily available for to easy access future content updates. Making a good first impression is imperative to success in the blogging world so look at your site through a critical eye and find ways to make it more appealing to your readers.
  • Don’t give up – Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated if you see your readership dip, it is easier to keep going than it is to stop and start over. If you see you stats dropping simply spice things up and switch them around. The greatest things about having a blog is the ability to evolve as required. Unlike writing a book, you can easily change the tone of your blog without causing major upset to your readers. A fresh face and new ideas are often welcomed with open arms, in fact readers usually appreciate the change of pace.
  • Get attention from the get-go – Compelling headlines that grab attention and get readers on to your site are the easiest way to raise your stats and get people reading your content. Learn as well about Keyword writing and utilize it to its full benefit. Having a post title that demands attention will get people to your site in the first place, then all you have to do is keep them there with rich, quality content.
  • Share your success – Linking to other blogs is a great way to help other writers succeed, while helping yourself in the process. When you link to other blogs, either through your writing or in your blog roll, you are helping another aspiring writer achieve the same accomplishments you have. The favor is generally returned with an open heart and a complimentary link, increasing both your stats and theirs. Another great way to gain attention and share the wealth of success is by offering contests, if you can offer your readers a chance to win a prize you will quickly double your stats. Even a small gift card can increase attention ten-fold, so once you have a small following give them incentive to stick around, and encourage them to invite others, with a cool contest.
  • Value opinion – Polls and research are a great way to show your readers that you value their opinions. Placing a small survey or poll on your blog will encourage your readers to tell you what they want, and the results may be news worthy. If you are writing a post that allows you to ask your readers a question do so, but do so without forcing a response. Share the results in a follow-up article and you could quickly find yourself with endless inspiration.
  • Encourage feedback – Encourage your readers to share their thoughts and comments by providing an easily accessible comment section and replying to any feedback you receive. Readers like to know that their thoughts are appreciated, so encourage conversation by personally replying to each comment your posts receive. It takes only a moment of your time, but it makes the reader feel valued and respected. You can learn a lot about what your readers are looking for through the comments they leave on your blog, this is especially useful for company blogs, or writer’s who are trying to build a reputation.
  • Communicate constantly – Utilizing the many social networks available is an excellent way to get your site recognized and gain the attention you deserve. Log on to Twitter and Tweet about your latest posts, create a fan page on Facebook and share helpful information with the world, make MySpace your creative connection… search out sources to promote yourself and gather a gang of followers through each site. This will help to quickly raise your stats and get your name out there.
  • Have fun – Most importantly have fun with what you do. Enjoy your writing and keep doing it until it is no longer fun for you. Share the laughter and the passion that you hold for your subject, and never take it to seriously. Take pleasure in your success, and share that happiness with others. Constantly create and endlessly evolve until you can change no more, and then move on to the next adventure.

Blogging can be a rewarding ‘career’ and an excellent way to grow both personally and as a writer. Never stop learning, and never give up. If you truly have the desire, you will succeed. The best thing you can do is experiment and challenge yourself constantly to be the best writer you can be. Study the pros and form your own style, be yourself, and give it your all. Most of all enjoy each and every second.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”
(Brian Clark)


Do you have any tips for successful blogging? We would love to hear them.
Feel free to share in the comment section, or send your submissions to: 
perfectlyprompted@live.ca


Until Next Time…

Write On!


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