One of the most common pieces of advice offered on the web today is, "start a blog."
Blogs are relatively easy and inexpensive to set up, making them accessible to many people. Additionally, blogging tutorials are readily available, and there's a huge community of developers and users ready to provide technical support and suggestions.
As easy as the technical end may be, and as enthusiastic the start, it's not always as easy to consistently write quality content for your blog.
Most writing advice seems to focus on how to choose topics and how to come up with new post ideas. I too recently offered such advice in 10 Types of Blog Posts You Can Write Today or Any Day. At the end of that post I suggested, "Write one each day over the next week and a half and you will have ten great new blog posts."
That kind of advice is all some people need – once they have an idea they can get a post done in no time. For others, especially new writers, the process can be challenging.
If just the thought of writing a post a day overwhelms you, simply decide to write every day for 10 days. Doing more is the actual goal. And remember, the more you write, the easier it gets, so the 10th post will be easier than the 1st.
Here are some tips to help you with the actual process of writing.
Set aside time for writing every day.
Put it on your schedule and stick to it.
Find at least an hour of uninterrupted time, even if it means getting up an hour earlier or stealing time away from household chores.
Design a Space
Decide where you are going to write and arrange the space to accommodate your writing needs. Stock it with whatever tools you need so you can't make excuses to leave in the middle of a session to find supplies.
Make your space as free from distractions and interruptions as possible. Close the door, silence your phone, and turn off email, IM, and social media notifications.
I prefer to work in silence, but others need background noise. Classical music seems to be a favorite choice for writing, but you may like some other type of instrumental, upbeat, or soothing music, or some kind of white noise in the background.
Make a Plan
Start each writing session with a plan. You may already have one that you formulated in your head while you showered or walked the dog. If so, that's fine, move on to the action step. If not, take a few minutes to consider the topic, style, and goal of your post. You can simply jot down some notes, start an outline, or use mind-mapping to make your plan.
Often the hardest part of writing a blog post is getting started. A blank page can be a bit intimidating so just get something on the page. It isn't necessary to start with sentences. You can write a few words and phrases or even doodle or draw your idea.
There's also no requirement to start at the beginning. It's often easier to start in the middle and go back to write the first paragraph later.
If you find yourself completely stuck, look for inspiration in an image, art, or music. Try a brisk walk; physical activity improves focus. Or perhaps meditation will clear your mind of distracting thoughts and let the writing surface.
If you still can't write, speak instead. Talk into a recorder and transcribe it afterwards.
In the beginning, don't be overly concerned about the structure and format of the post. Get the content written first and then edit for structure, style, grammar, and spelling. Blog posts can be informal, but still should follow basic writing rules.
The structure of a post includes an introduction describing what the post is about, the body which tells the story or provides information in detail, and the conclusion or summary. Help the reader move through the post, by using transitions between points and paragraphs.
Strive for excellence, not perfection. Trying to be perfect can be paralyzing. If the content is interesting and relevant, readers will forgive a few errors. Write in your own voice, be as concise as possible, and proofread.
You Are Ready – Go For It!