As you sit down to write your first blog post, you probably feel like you are confronted with an enormous and impossible task. That’s your brain telling you that what you are about to do is important—it’s not.
When you view what you are doing in simple terms, it’s easier to shake the feeling that readers expect things from you or that you have to be the best blogger in the world right off the bat. Here are a few writing tips and ideas that will help you launch your blogging career:
Writing tip 1: Don’t be a writer. Writers are horrible people
Did you become a blogger to become a Writer with a capital W?
After decades in journalism and in marketing communications, I’ve learned that writers are repulsive. They’re often thin-skinned, egotistical creatures who spend lots of time wallowing in self-pity while they try to come up with something brilliant. Sometimes they do come up with something very good, but it’s not often, and between flashes of brilliance they’re making everybody else around them miserable, too.
Try to be a Communicator. That’s the best thing you can be. A communicator passes along ideas that other people can use—to shop, to plan a trip, to make dinner, to make a financial decision, or any other topic that your blog focuses on.
As a communicator, you’re using your time to make people’s lives better. It’s not about you, it’s about them. When you give people ideas and solutions that they want, they are happier and therefore you are happier. You’re consistently putting something good into the world, which compels your readers to share your work, which earns you money, and which makes you more popular in social situations. Everybody loves a communicator.
Writing tip 2: Write about what you hate
It is really hard to write about something you love, but it is so easy to write about something you hate.
For some reason, language is an inadequate tool to describe things we love. If you have a passion for something, you’ll find it difficult to describe it in a way that matches your feelings. It would take paragraph upon paragraph to explain why your favorite dress is so perfect, or why your favorite hotel is just right, or why you love your dog.
However, it took one sentence and mere minutes for me to describe my distaste for Writers in the writing tip above. I feel that I got my point straight across, and the criticism is more humorous (i hope) than negative. You’ll notice that the point I made wasn’t really about hating writers (although they are disgusting), it was about being a good communicator.
Pointing out something’s flaws also makes your writing interesting to readers. For example, if you are reading a travel post on the Eiffel Tower, do really want to read another tired description of the thing? We all know what it is. An article that lightly mocks the popularity of this stunning achievement of art and architecture—and then goes on to give suggestions about better attractions you might visit—is more compelling and more useful. Used judiciously, sarcasm can also spark your creativity.
Writing tip 3: Don’t be original. Copy everybody else
We all know that there are few new ideas on Earth—or Mars. People never tire of writing about the same topics over and over again. It’s human nature, I guess, to forever be interested in food, fashion and other people.
Don’t waste your time trying to come up with unique ideas. Follow the other writers you enjoy and write about the same topics, but do it better. Find the bloggers that you think are at the top of their game and then try beat them at it.
Are you a food blogger? Has The Minimalist Baker written a post about Easy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes that you know you can improve upon? Write a better blog post about your own recipe. It will help you understand the structure of good content, improve your writing, and make the tired pumpkin spice trend more interesting for your readers. Don’t worry, the Minimalist Baker is not going to be threatened. She is raking in the dough over there.
Get over yourself
In the end, these tips will help you to take yourself and your writing less seriously, and that is a huge weight off your shoulders. If you are going to be an effective blogger, you’ll be writing every day and you don’t need the hassles of self-consciousness and self-importance. You have a ton of ideas to communicate. Let the Writers wallow in their misery alone.
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