The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is recognized as the best book on writing.
Stephen King’s On Writing is an amazing helping hand to people who express themselves in writing too.
This post features all the top tips gathered from these legendary books.
Learn from them and implement them in your own writing if you want to publish better blog posts.
Let’s get started.
Just start it
Whatever you plan or wish to do, just start doing it, take the first step and start chasing your dream.
When you’re brave enough to start, you will be able to succeed and you will make it happen.
You will not get anywhere if you just keep thinking about it or just planning to start.
Right now is the best time to start your project and the scariest moment is always just before you start.
There are many fulfilling aspects of having a blog.
It’s a continuous learning experience in many different areas such as design, writing, content creation, networking to marketing.
You get to write about that one thing that you really love.
You get to share your views and hopefully inspire some people and meet new friends.
You get to practice the art of writing and you get smarter every day.
It’s a great writing practice.
Just look at how the jobs of journalists have changed a lot in the recent years since the Internet growth shook up that industry.
A newspaper reporter now does many other nontraditional tasks in a typical day.
She writes for the web edition of the newspaper with its own rules or writing and engaging.
She tweets, builds and engages an audience in social media.
She monitors and tracks the buzz in the online world, does web videos and much more.
All this on top of the traditional role and responsibility.
Blogging helps you get better in all of these areas.
Follow your passion
No matter what people say, always do what you like to do.
Stephen King’s family and teachers all said that he was wasting his time writing, but he didn’t listen and kept going on as he believed in it himself.
He listened to his own passion.
It turned out very well for him and it will turn out very well for you too.
Listen to your passion and follow it.
Do it for joy
Don’t be afraid of rejection.
Is nobody reading your posts yet?
If you really enjoy it, it shouldn’t matter to you.
And if there is no joy in it for you, it’s just no good.
Writing is not about making money, it’s not about getting famous and making friends.
Writing blog posts should be inspired play and it should not feel like work.
When you do it for joy, you can do it forever, no matter what.
You need to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing.
If you’re not having fun, it might be worth looking for something else to spend your time on.
Find your own writing space
When writing, get rid of the whole world.
Find your own writing space, close the door and concentrate.
Eliminate all the distractions.
Turn off the TV. Block emails. Disable notifications. Get rid of your Facebook and Twitter.
Removing all time-wasters will improve the quality of your life, save you a lot of time which you can spend on working on your passion.
Work from a suitable design
Work from a suitable design when composing a new blog post.
The more clearly the writer perceives the shape of his writing, the easier it is for the reader and the better are the chances of success.
Make sure to create a design that works for you and that provides a great user experience.
Get your visitors comfortable with the design and get them used to your style or writing, teaching and presenting information.
This will build loyalty, will help you get people who love your posts and want to share them with their family and friends.
Make it unique
Blend in your own personal knowledge and integrate your personality into the work that you are doing.
You are unique and what you know makes you unique.
You have your own thoughts, interests and concerns.
Be brave and tell people what you think and what you know.
Write for the web
It’s a battle to be read.
People are lazy and they have too many options for things to do online these days.
Readers are reluctant to tackle large blocks of text online.
People rarely read posts word by word.
They scan and pick out words and sentences.
You need to make it easy for them to consume and get stuck into your articles.
Make your writing reader-friendly by writing for the web.
Just by looking at the text you can see if it’s going to be easy or hard to read it.
Easy stuff contains lots of short paragraphs and a lot of white space.
Break long blocks of text into paragraphs as a visual help.
It’s easier to skim short(er) sentences than tangled blocks of text.
Concentrate on one idea per paragraph.
Deal with each topic of a post in a paragraph by itself to aid the reader.
Give each speech or each quote a paragraph of its own.
Begin each paragraph either with a sentence that suggests the topic or with a sentence that helps the transition or with a descriptive subheading that explains what the paragraph is about.
Highlight important parts and keywords with typeface variations.
Readers skip over additional ideas in a paragraph if they are not attracted by the first few words.
Split your paragraphs with descriptive subheadings.
Include bulleted and numbered lists.
Revise, rewrite and cut the fluff
Be critical of your work.
You cannot produce what you are after on the first try.
Revising is part of writing.
Write the first draft, get away from it, take a break for a bit and do something different for a while.
Then come back and look at it once again with the fresh eyes.
You will see new things and figure out what you can do to improve it, make it better, make it easier to understand or more simple to learn.
Spend a lot of time on the first draft before making it live.
Edit the copy. Rewrite it. Add to it.
Double and triple check everything before publishing.
Make sure your content reads well, fix the typos and spelling mistakes, and pick up inconsistencies.
Check your facts and sources.
Review the links.
Do not be afraid to experiment with what you have written.
Vigorous writing is concise, a sentence should contain no unnecessary words, and a paragraph should contain no unnecessary sentences.
Every word is important, every word should tell.
Reread your writing, edit it, revise for length, omit needless words, cut the bullshit, ruthlessly delete the excess and cut the fluff from your writing.
1st draft – 10% = 2nd draft.
Get a second pair of eyes to review and be an editor for you.
The second opinion will help you improve and spot mistakes that you may have missed.
Use definite, specific, concrete language
Writing is a form of communication and clarity is a virtue.
Make your writing simple to read and understand.
Follow the K.I.S.S. principle (keep it simple, stupid!).
Simple is much harder than complex so do practice perfecting simple.
Be direct and to the point.
Report the details that matter.
Use words that evoke images and sensations.
Use definite, specific and concrete language.
Specific is better than general. Definite is better than vague. Concrete is better than abstract.
The best way to arouse and hold the attention of the reader is to be very specific, definite and concrete in your post writing.
Use the active voice
Don’t write in the passive voice.
Your school taught you that using the passive form made you sound formal and objective.
Time to wise up, because today the opposite is true in successful writing.
When you address people as “you”, they’re more likely to tune into your words.
And when you refer to yourself as “I”, it makes you sound accountable.
It is more direct, bolder and more concise than the passive voice.
It works better online too.
Do not overstate
A single overstatement or a carefree superlative diminishes the whole.
You want your readers to trust in your recommendation, in your advice and your opinion.
Readers will lose the confidence in your judgement and will be instantly on guard if you keep over-promising.
Do not write spontaneously
Not everything that comes to your mind is interesting to your readers.
Do your work, be informative and keep a tight rein on your material.
Think about your readers before writing.
What questions do they have and needs that they want covered?
Always have something to say when writing a new post.
This will keep the quality standards high and will contribute to better articles that get more views and engage more people.
Write in a way that comes naturally
Don’t be fake and something that you are not.
Your visitors will see through it.
Write in a way that comes easily and naturally to you.
Use words and phrases that come readily to hand.
This will also help get your content discovered in search more often.
Use orthodox spelling
Forget “nite”, “thru” and “pleez”.
Forget simplified spelling, forget Internet slang.
It distracts the reader and makes your posts hard to read and understand.
Use the standard words.
Avoid fancy words
Those big smart-ass words are letting you down.
At school, using big words got you better marks but articles have to be very clear, focused and tight to arouse and hold the attention of the readers.
Your goal is to be clear and persuasive – not score points for using a thesaurus.
If you write for beginners, any kind of jargon is going to lose and confuse your readers.
Ditch the jargon to make your site much more friendly to new visitors.
To use the language well, you should cherish its classic form.
Do not be tempted by a fancy word when there is a plain word to use.
Same with foreign language expressions.
As long as you have an English word for it, use it.
Keep in mind that your visitors may be complete newbies to the topic you are covering and don’t know as much as you do about your topic
You need to serve them, get them comfortable and help them learn about your topic.
Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity
Write things out.
Do not use initials of abbreviations unless you are certain it will be understood by your readers.
There are readers that encounter the name for the first time, make it easy for them to see the words.
Start your articles by writing names in full and shorten them later in the article.
You cannot please everyone
Don’t worry about the negative feedback.
It is a natural part of being a writer.
You can’t please all the readers all the time, you can’t even please some of the readers all the time, but you should always try to please some of the readers some of the time.
Writing can be hard, even for those who do it all the time.
Forget the classes, the lessons, the seminars… you learn your trade best by putting the effort into it and doing it.
You don’t need to pay someone else to teach you.
Internet is an amazing resource as it allows you to dig deeper and learn about anything that interests you.
That is the easy way out and in most cases doesn’t get you far.
The most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.
Just keep learning, improving, working on producing new material and winning readers one by one.
Every new post that you publish should build on the experience and learnings you acquired from your previous posts.
Every new post should be better than your previous posts.
Write a lot
Good writing is the result of thousands of hours that the writer has spent composing.
Don’t talk about writing, but write. Just do it. Commit to writing a certain amount of words every day. And keep to it.
Your time is valuable and you need to understand that the hours you spend talking about writing is the time you don’t spend actually doing it.
And actually writing and publishing your work helps you improve and gets you name out to more people.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Read a lot
Good writing is also the result of the tens of thousands of hours spent reading compositions of others.
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time or tools to write either.
Everything you read has its own lessons.
Reading good stuff helps you aim higher and work harder. You see what can be done, and experience different styles.
Reading bad stuff helps you recognize bad things and helps you steer clear of them in your own work.
Reading gets you inspired and helps you get new ideas for your own work.
Stick to it
Never give up on your dream no matter how hard it seems and no matter how impossible it looks.