February 05, 2009

Be a Better Blogger- Write More Frequently

A client asked me to give him a two minute walkthrough on how to become a better blogger. The answer is to service your readers by providing them with incredible content that they cannot find anywhere else and to do it in a user friendly manner.

That is the sort of non-specific answer that sounds good but really doesn't tell you anything. Some people might say that I made a career of filling bluebooks with that kind of nonsense, but that is a story that I'll save for a different day.

What I want to focus upon is the more specific answer that I gave my client to chew upon. I told him that he needs to write more frequently. Writing is a discipline and like any other it can be improved upon by engaging in regular practice.

I encourage people to write at least five days a week. It doesn't necessarily have to be on any particular topic, it just needs to be consistent. The more often you write the easier it becomes to sit down and start composing at the keyboard.

In addition there are two other exercises that you can use to improve your writing. Read, read and read some more. Take the time to read newspapers, books, blogs and magazines. Spend time indulging in some critical thought about how other writers construct their posts/essays/stories.

You can pick up all sorts of useful and interesting tricks.

The next step is to work on expanding your vocabulary. Buy a thesaurus, get a book that focuses on helping to expose you to vocabulary words that you are unfamiliar with. Take time to learn how to use some of those words and start to integrate them into your writing.

Words are powerful. A broad vocabulary serves as an awesome tool that you can always count upon. With a little practice and some effort you can find ways to craft the sort of sentence that paints a picture that the reader can see.

One of my personal goals in every post is to try and build sentences that sing. I want paragraphs that make it impossible for the reader to misunderstand my intent. Part of why I love Springsteen's music is that he writes songs that tell stories. Between the words and the music there is a glowing tapestry that I can't help but see.

One more quick comment before I retire for the evening. While I encourage frequent writing I do not necessarily advocate posting with the same frequency. There is something to be said for culling through your posts and only uploading the really good ones.

Of course I don't follow my own advice, but who does. Night from L.A. See you all in the morning.

6 comments:

Mr Lady said...

I don't follow you advice, either. Perhaps I should. :)

You are completely on about frequency. I couldn't agree with you more.

tali buchler said...

I enjoy your writing very much.
thank you

Leora said...

build sentences that sing
Nice!

I am working on a post (nothing yet written, just mulling ideas) on a meaningful Tweet. In Twitter, you only get 140 characters. But how do you get them to sing?

Hopefully, I'll find something meaningful to say in the next century.

I find in blogging I have little "mull over" time. But I'm OK with that. I just read it over once or twice, and hit Publish.

The Misanthrope said...

Very sage advice

Jack said...

Mr. Lady,

If you want to develop a devoted readership frequency is critical.

Tali,

Thank you, I appreciate that.

Leora,

I have been wrestling with the same thing. With only 140 characters it is tough. I have had minimal success with it.

Misanthrope,

Thanks.

Rebecca said...

Definitely some good exhortation to simply write more often. As someone who posts once or twice a week, it's a challenge to up the frequency but it's also a good goal.

And as for reading more - I find reading a range of different authors, essayists and novelists 100% enhances my skills. It helps me to hone in on my own voice.