Fresh Cookies: How to Keep Your Writing Relevant

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  • Content Management
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    Key Points

    • The purpose of a post is to attract a lot of people to them. Keep your sentences short, and learn how to use a comma the right way.
    • Try to avoid regurgitating old posts and information. Republish old articles, but add new information to them. Put a spin on commonly used topics as well.
    • Your readers are very intelligent and are armed with a supremely accurate BS detector. They can tell when you’re not putting forth 110% effort.

    Summary

    There’s nothing worse or more frustrating than losing readers or subscribers. When we check our stats, we’re hoping for an improvement, not a dip in visits.

    How are we going to improve the quality of our writing?

    Close

by Lydia

There’s nothing worse or more frustrating than losing readers or subscribers. I think we can all agree that, when we check our stats, we’re hoping for an improvement, not a dip in clicks or visits. It is for this reason that we, as writers and bloggers, always need to be our own worst critics? How else are we going to improve the quality of our writing?

If there’s anything my experience in academia has taught me, where the standards are inhumanly high and never attainable, we must be willing to admit when our work is not up to par. Thankfully, the blogging world is much more forgiving and welcoming!

However, the cut throat world of academia has taught me several harsh lessons, which I’ve taken to heart and applied to my blog. Here are a few of the rules I follow.

If Content is King, then Grammar is Queen

Wait, hear me out! I can see your eyes starting to glaze over. I promise, this will be short and sweet.

You want to make sure that your brilliant blog post attracts as many readers as possible. Don’t let your ideas get lost in a sea of comma splices and run-on sentences.

Your post doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect; remember, you’re not composing an article for a conference on physics. However, make sure it flows and that, above all, it makes sense! We all make mistakes, but let’s try to catch as many as possible before pressing the “publish” button.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with the nitty-gritty details of subject verb agreement. The library and internet are fantastic resources for answering all your grammar related questions!

Keep it Fresh

I know, sometimes we’re not in the mood to be creative. I’ve been there. On days when writing is the last thing on my mind, I struggle to think of something interesting to write about.

Unfortunately, in the blogging world, we don’t have any time off. We’re constantly maintaining the quality of our content. Is it current, relevant, and interactive? Am I just repeating myself over and over again?

Try to avoid regurgitating old posts and information. Put a new spin on a previously published post or respond to a thread of discussion. Ideas can get stale if re-used too often and your readers will inevitably lose interest in your blog.

An easy way to avoid repetition, both in your words and ideas, is to brainstorm. Break out the good old Thesaurus to find random, odd words to spice up your post. I can’t begin to express how handy a Thesaurus can be! It’s a great source of creative prompts and quirky synonyms.

No Raw Cookie Dough!

I know it tastes good now but, after all that uncooked egg has settled into your stomach, it’s kinda gross. That goes for your writing as well. Half-baked ideas are tricky. There’s a fine line between being innovative and confusing. I’ve learned some of the toughest writing lessons this way. Believe me, after submitting a few essays with lackluster, bland, or incomplete arguments, the resulting grades were enough to kick me into overdrive.

Procrastination is my number one vice. Tomorrow is always better than today. Not anymore! If you’ve procrastinated, can your readers tell that you wrote your blog post at the very last second? Is it obvious that you haven’t put a great deal of effort into it?

Your readers are very intelligent and are armed with a supremely accurate BS detector. They can tell when you’re not putting forth 110% effort. I understand, life get’s in the way and your blog ends up at the bottom of your priority list. I hear ya!

When I was in university, I wrote a few essays under the gun and suffered the consequences of my poor time management skills. It did, however, teach me to buck up and learn how to plan ahead.

I just recently discovered the WordPress feature that allows you to write now and publish later. So, when the creative juices are flowing and in abundance, I can hammer out four or five posts and schedule for publication later in the week. Easy peasy!

Make Some Noise

Read your blog post out loud. You might feel silly or weird, alone in your room or office, talking to yourself, but it works! If you’re tripping on a sentence, then your readers would most likely stumble on that sentence as well. It’s an effective way to catch any awkward word choices before you go to press.

Cut the Fat

I’m not talking about a fad diet or calorie counting. In this case, the cellulite is of a linguistic nature: unnecessary words. Edit! Edit! Edit! I can’t stress this enough. After having this rule drilled into my head since high school, I’ve become a perpetual editor. Anything that’s redundant has to go! You have to be absolutely merciless.

Sometimes it’s difficult to edit our own work. If you think it might be helpful to have a fellow blogger or writer look over your piece, to catch any errors you may have missed, go right ahead! Two pairs of eyes are always better than one.

Prove It

Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that writing persuasively is like presenting a case in court. Without evidence, I don’t stand a chance of winning. So, it is my job to collect the proof that will convince my reader that my idea has merit. There are a few questions that I always ask myself before submitting an essay or publishing a blog post.

  1. Why should the reader care?
  2. What’s the point?
  3. What’s the weakest part of my argument and how can I improve it?

Of course, the reader may disagree with your perspective but, in the end, respect you for presenting such a solid, well-organized case.

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CHRISTOS MAVROUDIS January 14, 2011 at 9:42 am

Great article I really like a lot!

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Graphic Designer Budapest January 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

No pressure. Edit.

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Rahul solanki January 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

nice and helpful post to newbies but according to me content is king and seo is queen and from now i will use content is king,seo is queen and grammer is princes.ha .ha

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Marty January 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm

You can alwys come back to older articles and improve them, I don’t see what would stop you

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How to become private detective January 17, 2011 at 1:08 am

i agree with “If Content is King, then Grammar is Queen”,without content no one can use grammar

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Sears Coupon Codes January 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

That’s the wonderful thing about blogging; it’s not supposed to be perfect. With that said, many successful bloggers seem to share a few things in common; you can tell they have well-thought-out articles full of excellent sentence construction and grammar, and the majority of the articles are both entertaining and informative. I know one thing; I hate reading a blog that does not use decent grammar after reading the first paragraph and I immediately get turned off.

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Rodney @ Book Hotels in London January 27, 2011 at 3:10 am

One more thing I’d like to add: you can have the most wonderful article or blog post in the world but if it isn’t topical its chances of success might not be as impactful as they could potentially be. Be here and now but most importantly be there and then. Try to be a couple of months ahead of what people might be interested in and take advantage of that.

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Project Junction January 28, 2011 at 5:12 am

Some great points here particularly on use of grammar. However, the main learning point for me – use a picture of cookies to get people to click on your post!

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GTA 5 January 29, 2011 at 8:47 am

Great post Lydia! It’s very helpful for newbies, to me it’s really important to write for readers first, then to adapt the content for a better SEO.

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Webbhotell February 8, 2011 at 10:10 am

Writing for the search engines and not for your readers, exactly like you’ve been doing on your website — is not the way to go. You will get penalized sooner or later. What ever happened to writing because it was fun?

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primardie January 30, 2011 at 1:11 am

I agree totally, Lydia, but….SEO does happen to be quite important. What do you say about that? That you, though, for the great article. I really liked it.

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Orchids February 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Nice way of explaining about continuous interconnection with the Users by writing blog like the content is king and grammar is queen. Also the method of writing like baking fresh cookies should also attracts the users…………!

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Attorney February 4, 2011 at 7:29 am

Nice example of King and Queen to be understood the blogging aim, easily.

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Premier Blogging Service February 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

Very nice article you wrote.I will share it on my website.One more thing I’d like to add: you can have the most wonderful article

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Brookside Kansas City homes for sale February 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Very clever way to help visualize and remember you article, at least for me any way. Writing for me is like a sugar buzz – for parts of the day is gushes, then I crash and struggle to put too (or is it two) words together. Thanks again for a refreshing mental snack.

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Monique February 12, 2011 at 4:02 am

Sure! writing a good blog is just like fresh cookies……….but in the last your conclusion ” Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that writing persuasively is like presenting a case in court.” you mean it is the tough one task!

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Nikolaj @Proteinpulver February 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

Too many writers unfortunately focus more on seo and keyword stuffing instead of making real interesting articles to the readers. Thanks for your insight, hope a lot will learn from it :-)

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Lynda March 7, 2011 at 12:43 am

No doubt………. the Content is King and Queen is Grammar…………….. nice the King and pretty Queen will catch the hearts of Visitors to stay there for more time and come back again on next visit.

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Jocelyna March 28, 2011 at 7:21 am

An excellent article, the most important thing about the content is writers should keep in mind about readers so that good amount of users and read the content.

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