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August 29, 2013

Are You Making These Six Deadly Writing Mistakes?

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Writing Mistakes

No one is perfect, and writing mistakes can number into the hundreds. Even established professionals have their days, and writing is constantly a learning experience. Maybe it’s punctuation, sentence structure or something as little as forgetting to add a comma in a couple places. Unlike our Grammar for Bloggers post, I’m not going to get super technical, and talk about things like pronouns or subject/verb disagreements.

In fact, I’m a walking contradiction, having done horribly in English class all through my school years, yet eventually becoming a writer. Rather than diving into the most basic of writing mistakes, here are six that can have a serious impact on your blog posts:

Writing For Search Engines, Not People

I touched on this topic briefly, and it is one of the easiest ways to kill interest. People can tell when you are forcing out some awkwardly worded, SEO-optimized mess of words. It has been drilled into our heads how important SEO is (which it is), and many take things a bit too far.

You do not need to have eight of the same keyword in a 350 word blog post, or always have the main keyword at the beginning of your title, often churning out yawn-inducing results. While search engines are your friend, they are not your target demographic. read more

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August 16, 2013

Writing for Top Blogs with Nate Swanner, Editor at Android Authority

Writing

How did your writing career first get started?

I got started when I left a job I was terribly unhappy at. I was working myself to death, and had no respect or recognition for my efforts. I had no real goal in mind when leaving, other than I wanted to be happy again. I just wanted to live life and not feel beaten down by “the man” all the time! I started writing for a small Android gaming site for fun, and people liked my work. I was doing it for free (which anyone who is serious about blogging or writing should do), and really learning how things worked. From there, I saw that Android Authority was looking for writers. I sent my “elevator pitch” to those who are now my bosses, and the rest is really history at this point. read more

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July 26, 2013

Getting Paid to Write with Allison Boyer

How to write

Allison Boyer is a freelance writer who is most known for her work with New Media Expo. New Media Expo or NMX for short, is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for online content creators. Make sure you stay tuned for the end of this post as Allison has a special surprise for Blog Herald readers :-)

How did you first get involved with freelance writing/blogging?

When I was a senior in college, I kind of freaked out because I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to write for a newspaper or teach. What else do you do with an English degree? I had no idea. What I did know is that I enjoyed the part-time freelance work I did from time to time. So I decided to give it a go as a full time freelancer. From there, blogging kind of fell into my lap when I just happened to get a job working for a blog network. The pay was horrible, but I really loved the conversational style. So, I slowly phased out other types of writing jobs and started working exclusively as a blogger, both for clients and for my own blogs.

One thing I noticed early on is just how difficult it can be to break through all the noise, and establish consistent work for yourself. What’s some advice you have to those wanting to make a career out of writing or blogging for a living?

What worked for me is to start on the very lowest rung and climb up. No one wants to work for $10 an hour, but hard work pays off in the end. If you’re a new writer, it doesn’t matter what you think you are worth. People who hire bloggers need to see a return on their investment, so you have to prove yourself first. If you do an amazing job every single time without fail, you’ll soon find that you don’t have to look for work anymore. Opportunities will come your way because people recommend you. And remember, it’s about more than just being able to write. Without a strong work ethic, it doesn’t matter how well you write. read more

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July 12, 2013

How to Kick Writer’s Block to the Curb

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As once said by comedian Steven Wright, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Writing is a major part of any blog, and most of the time you’ll have an idea that leads to cranking out a great post in no time flat. Other times you’ll be at a dead end, unsure of where the road lies ahead. You may even think to yourself, “There’s nothing else to write about it!” I know I do, and I write for a living.

Commonly referred to as writer’s block, there is no way of escaping it completely. No matter how skilled or creative you are, it will surface from time to time. Like a lonely puppy, it’ll keep bugging you until you do something. Unfortunately, most people let the hopeless feeling overwhelm them. They allow distractions which are oh so prevalent in this social media age we live in, to keep them from what needs to be done.

However, as crazy as this may sound, your best work is ahead of you. Us humans are very resourceful creatures, and we are designed to create. In fact, did you know that every two days we create as much information as we did up until 2003? To help put this into perspective, that’s around five exabytes or over five million terabytes of data. The craziest part? This statistic is from 2010, so hard telling what mind blowing figure we’re at now. read more

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June 24, 2013

Five Lessons from Tim Ferriss to Write a Superior Blog Post

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Writing content

Anyone can write a blog post, but fewer can create something that truly connects with readers. Tim Ferriss, a three-time New York Times Best-Selling author, has been captivating readers since 2007. From “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days…Without Doing Any Exercise” to “20 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling Around the World for Three Years”, Tim has a heavily shared collection of content on his Four Hour Work Week blog.

Of course, being a world renowned author definitely helps. However, there are several things we can learn, and apply with our own blogs… read more

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June 20, 2013

4 Tips to Writing Great Headlines

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writing great headlines

In the world of online media, many websites with great content face a dire problem: writing great headlines. Sadly, thousands, potentially millions of blog posts go relatively unnoticed because of a boring, or unresponsive title. I liken a blog post to fishing: your site is the rod, your content is the line, and the hook is your headline. Without a solid hook, you can’t capture the fish, i.e. grab people’s attention.

There are several great ways to go about writing great headlines which we’ll dive into, but there are also bad ways. While link-baiting can be done correctly, it often comes off sleazy, and deceptive.

Your goal should not be to gain attention for the sake of increasing pageviews, and racking up ad dollars. It should be to gain attention because you are an authority, and a reliable source of awesome content. The success, although not arriving as fast as most of us would like, will come. read more

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May 20, 2009

Nothing to Blog About: Are You Blogging What You Should Be Blogging?

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Nothing to blog about article series logoIn the last article in this new series called Nothing to Blog About, I asked you to go back to your roots, in a sense, to start over and find that “lovin’ feeling” you’ve lost about your blog subject matter to re-energize your creative blogging spirit.

What happens if you can’t find it? What happens if you’ve really lost that lovin’ feeling? read more

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