Practical Tips on How Blog Writing Should Be Done in 2017

From scribbled notes on a piece of paper to important decisions and ideas, words can sometimes make or break us. Literally! How many times have you struggled to put some thought or vision into words, in order for the world to experience your joy, anguish or sorrow? The truth is that writing is not easy for everyone, and sometimes even the most skilled linguist can struggle with their grasp on words. But when writing is the job and the passion, what are some surefire ways to always keep it flowing as smooth as one of Beethoven’s symphonies?

Collected directly from the people with firsthand experience, writers’ insights are always fantastic ways to get a glimpse of the struggles going on behind the creative process. Since today we’re all ‘stuck’ in this giant web of knowledge we call the internet, let’s focus on online content writing as a telling example here, shall we?

Online creative writing

Remember those creative writing classes back in school that were either extremely interesting or the bane of our collective existence? Indeed, breaking it down, we can see that blogging is sometimes nothing more than creative writing. We have a subject, an audience, now all we have to do is wrap our ideas up in such a pretty way that we grab everyone’s attention.

Of course, blogs and audiences vary depending on theme, personality, topic, writing style, the ‘hot new subject’ and many other factors. But in the search for ultimate textual glory, what should we keep in mind?

What to do, what to do?

Writers’ tips are usually an invaluable source of information. Following the old ‘misery loves company’ train of thought, we are happy to know that we’re not the first to go through this grueling creative process, nor will we be the last. And lucky us, those initial martyrs can now help us with insights and advice, working as a stepping stone for the future.

  • First things first, understand your audience! Who are you writing for? What is the point you want to get across? Figuring out who your readers are, what they want and what makes them tick is a crucial part of this bond you’re setting out to create. People want to be understood, acknowledged and touched by the text they’re reading, so always be one step ahead of them. So avoid being generic, stay away from static or impassive writing, be new and creative, get into their minds and blow them away!
  • In the beginning…! Apart from those creative writing classes, another thing we should dust off are the rules of textual composition, as stated in the essay writing sessions. These rules emphasize the importance of the title and intro as a way to mesmerize and intrigue from the start. Try to keep up with the world around you, throw in current ideas, but make sure you give these items the attention they deserve. Usually, crafting them at the very end means you can really emphasize your text’s strong points. In a pinch, look for example in other places. Other writers’ news and ideas are always invaluable help!
  • Make a plan! Organizing your ideas beforehand is always a fantastic way of keeping up with your work. Thus you know what to do and when to do it, while also avoiding getting overpowered by your creation, like Dr. Frankenstein.

Today’s world is fast and detached, soon to get even colder, so getting people to stop and pay attention can be pretty tricky. We’ve all been there! But armed with patience, creativity and knowledge, the task doesn’t seem as insurmountable anymore. The trick is to be aware of your ‘surroundings’ and audience, a good strategist and give the people what they want, even if they might have not realized they want it yet!

How to Spot a Time Wasting Client before You Break a Deal

As a professional content writer who is madly in love with his job, you hate the idea of wasting time and valuable food for thought while trying to win pitch work. Sometimes you blame yourself for your lack of success; other times, you realize that there’s nothing wrong with you or your work, and feel like you’ve been double-crossed by a potential client whose only goal in life was to drain the life out of you for no obvious reason.

Avoid the Sisyphus Effect by Ceasing Collaborations with Time-Wasting Clients

Whether you’ve had your dreams shattered by a demanding Joe who always wants more than he is willing to pay for, or have had the misfortune to stumble across an indecisive Jane who wants you to follow this path, then take a completely different road to content creation success, then change strategies a few more times until you finally set your own brain on fire and reach a predictable dead end, the truth is that all these unproductive encounters with such potential clients are going to cost you money, time, and beautiful life experiences.

We’ve all been down this road. It’s not pleasant. So what do you do avoid getting sucked into a toxic relationship with a client that will inevitably waste your time?

5 Steps to Follow to Make Sure That No Bad Client Will Waste Your Time and Energy Ever Again

Here’s what we advise you to do in this situation: pick up the pieces of your broken ego off the floor, admit your mistake, and learn how to spot a time-wasting client before actually allowing him or her to bring you down, and put your valuable resources on the line for no legitimate reason. Just to make sure you’ll never lose a wink of sleep over a dreadful prospect ever again, apply the following writer’s tips before signing with a potentially problematic client.

  1. Go Deep with Your Prospects. Start by getting to know your clients. When it comes to accepting bigger or more complex projects, always consider scheduling a face-to-face meeting that would enable you to become familiar with all potential clients, and make sure you are on the same page. When in-person meetings are not an option, make use of lifesaving communication tools (free or paid), designed to bridge the gap between service providers and clients or remote employees, such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Ring Central or Basecamp.
  2. Get in Touch with People Who Have Already Worked with/for Your Potential Client. As a professional content creator, you already know that in-depth research always pays off, no? So in this case, why not play private investigator and find out a thing or two about your potential clients before agreeing to get involved in their projects? While most prospects may be reluctant to give out information about their previous collaborators, remember that the Internet has a memory like an elephant. One simple Google search can offer you the contact information of other freelancers/agencies that have been in contact with the client seeking your help with a new project. At the end of the day, lifesaving details related to the background of a potential customer may be just one call or click away.
  3. Become Familiar with the Most Common Bad Client Typologies. In a previous post, we have presented a series of the most common (and sometimes puzzling) client personalities. Some of them are harmless, yet somewhat annoying- just imagine that you would have to answer 10,000 different questions emailed by curious George while working a million other things; or think about the fact that you would have to deal with Know-It-All Netty who has a billion awesome ideas (always so much better than yours) and could always teach you a thing or two about how to do your job. What do these clients have in common? Sometimes, all of them could make you waste time. Fortunately, there are a few writers’ tips that you can apply to avoid this scenario.
  • Make sure your business terms are compatible with the ones of your potential client
  • Discuss important aspects such as rates, project deadlines, revision policies and so on before taking on a new assignment
  • Let your prospects know when (and how) they could reach you to discuss various aspects related to their project
  • Get everything in writing to avoid any potential customer complains
  1. Go with Your Gut. Sometimes, freelance writers cannot spot warning flags because they insist on using them as blindfolds. Maybe they need the money really bad, wish to add a certain important collaboration to their resumes and portfolios, or just miss writing about a topic revolving around their passions and interests.

While all these goals may contribute to your long or short-term satisfaction, they will almost never make up for your lost time and energy, especially when dealing with clients who don’t really know what they want, keep trying to lower your asking price, or are simply shopping around for cheap, recyclable content. In this situation, we advise you to trust your gut feeling. If a certain client seems difficult to work with from the very beginning, simply walk away and preserve your inner peace, time and energy for other important upcoming projects.

  1. Become Acquainted with the Terms of a Polite Breakup. Assuming that you have already started working for a certain client whose attitude/working method/vision is totally incompatible with yours, what should you do before running for the hills? If you wish to terminate a collaboration that no longer serves you, start by becoming familiar with the particularities of a civilized breakup. Stay calm, polite and honest, and embrace the “it’s not you, it’s me” approach; by doing so, you could let time-wasting clients know they could find other content writing service providers that may be a better match for their companies.

At the end of the day, a great client is the one that pays well (and on time!), appreciates your work at its true value, and doesn’t stress you with a million pointless unnecessary questions and remarks. You can separate potential good clients from the ones who will only make your stress levels go through the roof as you waste time and dozens of amazing creative ideas, by simply researching all your prospects, and discussing your offers and expectations before drafting and signing a contract. What kind of writers’ insight would you offer to a freelancer striving to avoid time-wasting clients? Let us know in a comment below.

7 Ways to Take Your Writing from Yawn-Inspiring to Awe-Inspiring in a Few Seconds without an Editor

If you are like most content writers, chances are that you know just how frustrating it can be to get stuck on a headline for a very important piece or waste valuable hours of sleep trying to figure out what topics you should expand on next, in order to keep your readers on your side.

So what exactly should you do, when no amount of coffee could keep you awake like a pending deadline does? How could you write better onsite and offsite content when you can’t afford to add a great editor or content manager to your small team of creative minds?

You do what you can, with what you already have, and focus on becoming an even more successful all-in-one content creation guru. OK, so how do you do that?

7 Steps to Take to Become a Truly Inspiring Writer without an Editor on Board

While there is no secret tried and true recipe for success that you should apply to make your articles and blog posts seem more appealing in the eyes of your audience, there are a few simple and effective strategies that you could employ to elevate the quality of your writing in no time.

  1. Craft a More Compelling Story Introduced via a Magnetic Headline. Start by figuring out what you should write about. Choose a subject that is compatible with your interests and business profile, and also manages to address the curiosities of your public. Craft a compelling story around your brand, and make it about your readers. Before actually putting meat on the bones of your content piece, come up with an attention-grabbing headline that is tantalizing enough to make your readers stay on your page and read the whole body copy. Avoid writing headlines that are too vague or too specific to harness the interest of your audience and feed their curiosity.
  2. Start a Meaningful Conversation with Your Readers. Next, strive to create a solid bond with the people who visit your blog or website by begging your piece with an important question. Questions invite people to meditate on ideas that could change their lives for the best, and also give you, as a writer, the perfect opportunity to add your thoughts and maintain a fruitful dialogue with your public.
  3. Write with Your CTAs in Mind. Instead of letting your words flow freely, write with your specific purpose in mind. What kind of actions do you wish to drive through your content piece? Start by writing down a part of your desired outcome. By doing so, you could craft a more specific, action-inducing post, instead of creating a piece that is overly metaphorical and exploratory. Start the piece with a short introduction focused on the main pain points; continue by adding background information; develop a framework announcing possible solutions to the problems experienced by your readers; then draw the necessary conclusions by presenting the pros and cons of your preferred solution and encourage your audience to take action.
  4. Expand on Topics That You Are Familiar with (and Passionate about) and Get Specific. Making small talk with your readers is never a good idea, considering that most of your public is looking for quality problem-solving writing on your website. This is why you should always write your posts with the specific needs and demands of your readers in mind. Use a series of online tools such as Blog Topics Generator or Evernote to find inspiration for your next article or blog post, and organize and store your ideas in a more efficient way.

Also, keep in mind that we are all different, and don’t hesitate to get very specific and let your readers know exactly how you do things. Write about things that you are really good at; this way, you will manage to answer any potential question on to the core of your piece, surprise your audience with the best solutions to any subject-relayed problem, and establish yourself as an industry expert.

  1. Make Sure Your Writing Alternates between Third, Second and First Person. Also, keep in mind that your writing should reflect the perfect balance between first and third person. Opt for a smooth transition from the “I” statements, which allow the reader to become familiar with your own experiences and learn from them, to second and third person narrative, meant to help you create empathy and present a scene that will interest the readers, from the perspective of a neutral observer, encouraging your audience to respond to your calls to action.
  2. Incorporate Links to Your Favorite Sources. Believe it or not, no one expects you to reinvent the wheel while promoting your business via informative, engaging articles and blog posts. As a matter of fact, by adding links to your content pieces, you could highlight the fact that you are producing high-quality, well-researched and well-rounded content, and boost the credibility of your website.
  3. Rewrite the Begging and the End of Your Piece. Moreover, strive to become your own editor. Reread your work to eliminate fluff and reword certain sections that provide little to no value to your readers. After finishing the last sentence of your body copy, try to summarize and rewrite the beginning and the end. By doing so, you could keep the intro short and sweet, make the CTAs more noticeable and effective, and gain the appreciation of readers with a short attention span.

Practice What You Preach Often to Exceed Your Own Efforts as a Writer

At the end of the day, becoming a better writer is a perfectly achievable goal, especially when your personalized recipe for success involves consistency and practice. Writing is so much more than a method to generate and share life-changing ideas. As an invaluable communication tool, your written content pieces allow you to bridge any gap between your brand and your audiences. Given that the stake is so high, choose to redirect all your resources towards a process of self-discovery and self-improvement to reestablish yourself as an industry leader through your stellar content.