Writing Tips from A 13-Year Blogging Veteran

With more than 13 years of blogging under my belt – and almost 11 as a professional writer and editor outside of the blogging realms – I’ve garnered more than a few writing tips. As such, I’m rarely out of ideas or of a writing spark, and I thought I’d share some of my best blogging tips so you can feel inspired, motivated and ready to turn your hands to your keyboard again.

Seek the story

I trained as a journalist and have worked professionally as a writer and editor for 12 years, so this has always felt natural to me, but seeking the story is key to a great piece of content. By working at this skill, you’ll never have to pluck ideas from someone’s generic ‘blog post ideas’ list again. This is what sets something apart from the rest – even a product review can become a unique story.

I use this method when drafting up think-pieces (I currently have nine on the go as a result!), and it is the reason that I seem to never run out of ideas. A starting point could be a marketing calendar and noting down the key events and dates like Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, etc. and brainstorming how these holidays relate back to your blog. Seeking the story could be both for current, of-the-moment pieces or for evergreen SEO-friendly content that’ll keep visitors coming to your blog long after it has been posted. Both are essential.

Uncover your pillars

I don’t believe that every blogger or content creator needs a niche. In some cases, a niche will reveal itself over time – especially if you solely create on algorithm-reliant platforms like Instagram and TikTok – but they’re not necessary if you establish your content pillars and understand what your readers love to see and why they return. With over a decade of blogging under my belt, I have successfully built a community without ever leaning in a niche.

Instead, I bear a few content pillars in mind and make sure my posts always tap into one or more of these. Can you guess what they are?

Content pillars can be broad and vague or hyper-focused. It’s all up to you. There’s no need to declare them, but often it can be as simple as your blog categories themselves. After all, categories are a great way to organise posts for others to discover. Identify two or three content pillars and always keep them in mind when writing or planning posts. Over time, your blog experience as a whole – that is, the posts you newly create, the older content that readers stumble upon, the About page, your linked pages, photography and how you set out your blog layout – creates a story in itself. Isn’t that lovely?

Writing for blog posts

As a trained editor and writer and as a keen reader of many media, I can’t help but low-level analyse writing styles on blogs. Surprise! They don’t always have to read like a book or an essay or something specific. A blog post can be whatever you want it to be.

I love using Daisybutter as a place where many writing styles come together to sip matcha: I use conversational styles, more dreamy styles, a romanticised eye for my ‘Open-hearted joys’ series and a diary format for ‘Sundaze’. It can be tempting to deliberately write in a certain way, but it’s always obvious when a writing style sounds unnatural. Try things out and see what sticks.

Read the post aloud

Another writing tip is to read your post out loud. Does it sound like you? Have you used the same word several times throughout a sentence and paragraph? Are the sentences too long? Do you use the same sentence structure several times?

This small tip has helped me hugely over the years. Shorter sentences are far better when it comes to writing online: a reader’s eyes can only track over so many lines. And, using the same sentence structure several times in a row can feel jarring too.

Here’s an example of good and bad:

Bad: With reading and writing both on the agenda, it can feel like a daunting task to simply shelve the day’s emotions and get on with drafting. While note-taking can feel menial, it is the bread-and-butter of any good piece of writing.

Good: When reading and writing are both on the agenda, it can feel like a daunting task to simply shelve the day’s emotions and get on with the task of drafting. Note-taking and initial drafts can feel like menial activities with 800-word features or longer blog posts to pen. But, they’re the bread-and-butter of any good piece of writing.

Schedule posts in advance

Whether you blog for fun, like me, or are hoping to turn it into a lucrative career, a blog schedule is almost essential in my mind. To establish a readership and regular following, you should let your readers and to-be community know when to expect new content. It doesn’t have to be daily or even weekly, but it’s nice to know when to anticipate fresh posts.

I get it. We’re all busy. As humans, we inherently also like flexibility: the chance to go for a walk on Monday night, go for a spontaneous mid-week dinner with a friend, book an exercise class while you’re feeling up to it. To get on top of this, scheduling is your best friend. I share posts every Wednesday and Sunday at 7am GMT, but I write these a week in advance and often in the same evening.

Quite simply, I don’t have the time that I once did to pen more regular posts. Someday this may dwindle to a post a week or a fortnight, but I’ll always let you know. This way, my readers return for new posts – and I can always see the view counts spike! – on those days, and more casual visitors are always greeted with fresh content.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever picked up (or shared)?

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