Are You Making These Six Deadly Writing Mistakes?

Writing Mistakes

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…]

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

Writing

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…]

Getting Paid to Write with Allison Boyer

How to write

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…]

How to Kick Writer’s Block to the Curb

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…]

Interview with New York Times Best-Selling Author Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is CEO and President of Human Business Works, an education publishing and media company helping professionals become the best they can be. His book “Trust Agents” co-authored alongside Julien Smith, is a New York Times Best Seller, and the duo also went on to write “The Impact Equation”. When Chris isn’t busy speaking or working on his next project, you can find him blogging about social media, business, and more. In fact, Advertising Age ranks his blog number three in the world for social media/marketing.

When did you first get started blogging? In what ways has the landscape changed since then?

I started back in 1998 when we called it journaling. There weren’t comments. There wasn’t RSS. And more people wrote about a passion instead of tried to write to get attention only.

The design of your site is pretty fantastic. I’m a little jealous actually. Is great design important, or does the saying “Content is king” ring true?

Great design IS important. It’s the equivalent of an Armani suit and a Rolex vs a backwards ball cap and a tee shirt. Design actually triggers trust opinions.

What are some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make?

Bloggers write far too often from the opinion that others want THEIR opinion and not useful information, and MOST bloggers end posts horribly, without any good resolution or next action. Endings are most bloggers’ problems. [Read more…]

4 Tips to Writing Great Headlines

Writing great headlines

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…]

12 Unusual and Inspired Ideas for Blog Posts

unusual and inspired ideas for blog posts

unusual and inspired ideas for blog posts
I know that I have a lot of days where I do not think I have one good idea left in my brain. I have thought about every relevant blog post under the sun I could possibly ever write. There is no new news that is relevant to my blog niche and I am just in a rut. I know that a successful blog needs to have consistent posts, but I am just flat out of ideas. I know that in order for my blog to remain profitable I need to keep readers interested, but I just do not feel like I have anything interesting left to say.

Well, in order to fight this attack of the borings, I came up with a few blog post ideas to get me back on the right path. While all these ideas may not match your blog’s niche topic or audience, if you think about them long enough I am sure you can twist them to make them fit for your needs. Without further ado, here are 12 unusual and inspired ideas for blog posts for you to consider: [Read more…]

Grammar for Bloggers: 5 Big Errors to Avoid

punc

Almost every company supports a blog these days as do literally millions of unaffiliated individuals. Blogs are a relatively informal medium by nature, so lots of bloggers take considerable liberties in terms of tone, diction, etc. Many choose to employ a conversational style even in a corporate setting. Breaking the rules a bit breathes life into otherwise stale content, yet writers need to respect basic limits in order to maintain the aura of professionalism. This establishes credibility and builds trust, which is especially important in cyberspace.

It’s fair to assume that most paid bloggers successfully passed college level English courses, which means the grammatical errors should be kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, there are several recurring mistakes throughout the blogosphere. Here are the most common mishaps along with a few tips on avoiding them. [Read more…]

Nothing to Blog About: Not Every Blog Post Should See the Light of Publish

Nothing to blog about article series logoAs mentioned in the last article in Nothing to Blog About, not every idea is worth publishing. Not every blog post is publishable. Not every blog post should see the light of the public eye. And sometimes that type of blog post is stopping us from producing blog content.

I can’t tell you the many hours I’ve spent struggling over a blog post, determined it had value and needed to be published. I’d beat at it, thrash it, rip and tear it apart, only to decide it wasn’t ready, nor was I, to have this ever be published.

Has this happened to you? A blog post you want to publish sits in your drafts or stares at you from your blog screen screaming, “NO! NOT YET!”

Are you listening? [Read more…]

Nothing to Blog About: Hit the Ideas File

Nothing to blog about article series logoIf people judged me by the number of ideas I generated in single day on the subject of WordPress and blogging, I’d be the Einstein of the blogosphere. If they took a peek into the all the various files, folders, virtual and physical, I have to store all of those ideas, they’d pack me up and send me to the mental institution.

I come up with ideas for things to blog about constantly, rarely running out of ideas. The problem is that few of these see the light of day, or I get so caught up in the ideas, I can’t get past the idea to the Publish button.

As part of this series called Nothing to Blog About, we’re talking about how to stir up your mental pot when the bloggy brain bogs down and content cannot be found. From among the various options suggested already, I’d like to resurrect the traditional idea file. [Read more…]