Lesson #1 – The best way to learn about writing is to actually do it.
If you want to write a killer blog post, then you have to start by writing some blog posts that probably aren’t that killer—at least, not in the way you would like. The Muse is very elusive. She won’t come at your beck and call. If you wait for the inspiration to hit, then it never will. You can write a good, link-worthy post, but only if you have the determination to start putting words on the screen.
Lesson #2 – Keep going.
Consistency is key. Blog readers are a fickle bunch. If you are not providing the information they need/want on a regular basis, then they will leave you for someone else. As you steadily write new content, your readers will keep coming back, and the writing process will become much easier. Soon you will be writing the kind of link-bait that gets SERP’d, Digg-ed, Facebook-ed and re-Tweeted by all your readers.
Lesson #3 – Write what you know.
You can stare at the computer screen for hours, trying to craft the perfect blog post for your company that will surely make everyone else in the industry shake in their boots, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about, those boots will trample you. “Write what you know” is something of a cliché that writers hear all the time, but it is critically important when it comes to writing for blogs or websites. Online communities can spot a fake from a mile away. Use your knowledge to provide the community with the valid and relevant information that you have. And if you don’t know anything, research something. There is information on just about anything out there.
Lesson #4 – Be yourself.
In the words of Hitch, “You cannot use what you do not have. If you’re shy, be shy. If you’re outgoing, be outgoing.” Write in your own style. If that means you don’t want to take everyone’s suggestions (even *gasp!* mine), then find what works for you. If you feel awkward writing in a certain style, perhaps it’s time to change.
Lesson #4 Addendum
If the SEO experts step in and require certain anchor text for internal linking, or they recommend using certain keywords throughout the content, then find a way to make it work. But that’s a subject for another post.
Lesson #5 – Set your goals and objectives.
What do you expect to gain from your website or blog? Do you want lots of comments, visits, sales, etc? You can tailor your writing to help meet those goals. If you want to generate comments or conversations, then your blog posts need to be engaging and interactive. To increase visits, you should focus on using proper keywords and links in your copy—following the expert’s recommendations, of course. For sales and customers, then the written copy on your site and blog needs to be clear and informative.
If you want to reach these goals and become a better writer/blogger, then you. need. to. practice. Start writing and don’t wait for that Muse.