Atypical Tips for Writing Awesome Blog Posts

Blog Writing TipsWhen I started blogging, writing didn’t come naturally to me.

Not at all.

It took me forever to craft a single post and sometimes I’d be halfway through an article when I would decide to scrap the entire thing because I didn’t like where it was headed.

It was rough – but over time I’ve had a lot of practice and picked up a ton of tips that I’m happy to share with you today.

I’m no CopyBlogger, but these are the things that help me write more efficiently.

Before Writing

Before the fingers hit the keyboard, there are some things you can do to increase the chances that you’ll have a great writing experience.

Start With the End

“If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?”

No – I’m not telling you to start off by writing your last paragraph. Instead, I’m asking you to think about what your concluding paragraph might say.

Beyond that, what do you want your readers to experience after reading your post? What do you want them to do? How do you want them to feel?

These are all important questions you should ask yourself first because the answers can help you craft your post and exactly what elements might be included in it.

What Part of the Content Pyramid Are You Shooting For?

Have you ever considered The Content Pyramid?

The content pyramid is my made-up guide for understanding the different types of content that you can publish on your blog, which appeal to different kinds of people and how much of each type one should write.

Here’s a refresher image:

Content PyramidBefore you begin writing a new post, it’s good to know where on the Content Pyramid that post might lie.

Sometimes, the Content Pyramid itself can help you determine what kind of post to write too.

Mind and Body Prep

I don’t know about you, but I have to be in the mood to write.

If I’m not – it’s going to be a struggle and the last thing I want to do is try to force an article out of myself. I want my writing to flow naturally, and I’m sure you do too.

In order be in the mood, it’s all about properly preparing your mind and your body. You can do so by thinking about these two elements:

  • Energy: One of the hardest things to do is write when you don’t have the energy to do it. So many things play a role in how much energy you have – from sleep to diet, fitness and even stress. You should at least be conscious about your energy levels and what you know you can do to keep your energy levels high.

Quick Tip from Pat: One thing I always think about is what time(s) of the day I have higher energy levels, and make sure that is when I write. For me, I always write late at night.

  • Environment: Another vital factor to your mood can be the environment that you are writing in. Everyone has different preferences for what is the best environment to write in, but again it’s just something to be conscious about. For example, I need a well-lit area and I need the area to be absolutely clean and quiet, so I’m usually in my office (and I need to wear socks too, but I won’t get into that now). I absolutely cannot concentrate in a cafe or coffee shop, while I know a number of other bloggers who have written their best posts while sitting in a coffee shop somewhere.

While Writing

Once you actually start writing, it’s a whole new ballgame. Let’s get into some tips that you can use while you’re constructing your post.

The Headline

The headline or title is one of the most important elements of your post.

You can have the best content in the world, but if your headline is terrible chances are people are not going to read it because they’ll skip over an uninteresting headline. This is especially true when you consider social sharing.

As a result, one of the first things people do is try to come up with the perfect title. This is good – except that sometimes the perfect title doesn’t come right away, which can lead to frustration and a lack of – well, content in your post.

My tip for you is this: if you can’t think of a good title or headline within 3 minutes, just start writing your post. Don’t let the headline stop you from pouring out the excellent content that you know you can write, and sometimes as you write the headline will naturally come later.

When You Get Stuck

Sometimes you’ll be in the middle of a post and for whatever reason all of a sudden you draw a blank.

This happens to me all of the time!

The first part of the post is awesome, but for some reason something doesn’t click and every new line I write just doesn’t seem right.

When this happened in the past, I used to delete the entire thing and start over.

Now –  I do a number of different things when I arrive at this point:

  1. Take a Break: 15 minutes away from your writing can do wonders for the rest of your post.
  2. Save as a Draft and Start a New Post: If it’s not working out, save it as a draft and start a new post. You can come back to it later (like when you’re stuck in another post in the future) and maybe you have another idea that’s better for you to write now. Personally, I currently have 12 half-written posts saved for later. ;)
  3. Get Inspiration from Your Community: Ask a relevant question to your fans on Facebook or Twitter and you might get something interesting or inspiring that can guide the next part of your post.

Imagine Who You’re Writing To

This is, by far, one of the best tips I can give you when it comes to writing your posts:

Imagine who you’re writing to. 

Remember – we aren’t writing for ourselves, and we aren’t writing for the search engines (although search engines can guide how we present our information).

We write for our audience, and if you can imagine a single person in your audience who you’re writing to, your ideas and writing are going to flow much better.

When I write, even though I know a lot of people will read my posts, I imagine a specific person who I feel will benefit from it, and I do my best to make sure that he or she will totally get what I’m trying to convey.

When I can do that, the post reads better for everyone.

After Writing

A blog post doesn’t end after you finish your last word. In fact, that’s only the beginning of many other things that should be done.

Preview the Post and Read Your Post Aloud 

Instead of just skimming what you just wrote in your WordPress editor, actually preview the post so you can see what it looks like when it’s published on your blog.

In addition to that, read your post out loud. Not out loud in your head, but actually outloud-outloud so that you can hear yourself saying the words.

Reading your post aloud in a new environment, one that’s different than the one you’re editing on, will help you locate some possible spelling, grammatical and formatting errors that you wouldn’t have caught otherwise.

Also, you’ll be able to hear the flow of your post. Maybe it makes sense in your head, but when you read it out loud it might not sound right or things might need to be rearranged at little.

Publish the Darn Thing

At some point, you’re going to have to push that publish button, so when you feel your post is ready, just do it.

When I first started blogging, I’d finish a post, proofread it and then hover over the publish button for what seemed like days, scared like something immediate and drastic would happen if I didn’t get the post absolutely right.

Yes – when you hit the publish button your post goes live, your RSS subscribers get notified and your site pings the search engines, but really it’s not that big of a deal. If you made a mistake – it’s all good.

Just fix your mistake, republish the post and know that you did what you could. It’s not the end of the world.

At this point, however, you’re still not done with your post. In fact, some of the most important things that can happen to your post happen after it’s published.

Here are two additional “oldie-but-still-goodie” posts here on SPI that will help you understand what you should be doing after your post goes live:

There are obviously several other tips for writing blog posts that I haven’t touched on today, but these are definitely some of my favorites – mainly because they are different.

Do you have one or two writing tips that you’d like to share with the community? If so, please post a comment and share the knowledge!

I hope you enjoyed this post! And if you did, please feel free to share it!

Cheers, and all the best! :)

  • http://www.moneyspruce.com/ Jeffrey Trull

    I always just try to write 500 words as fast as I can without stopping and without going back to correct things. This usually takes me only 15-20 minutes, depending on the topic. This just gets everything out there that I want, and I can go back and edit the piece later. Plus I feel much better once I actually have words down on my screen.

    When writing list posts, I simply try to write out the main points in the list first. After doing that, it’s much easier to just elaborate on those points.

    • Pat

      Good stuff Jeffery – there’s definitely something to be said for being able to see you’re already so far along in the post – it’s definitely motivating, so that’s a fantastic tip. Thank you!

      • http://www.faithandfinance.org Tim @ Faith and Finance

        If I’m writing an article from some notes or other research, I’ll actually copy it into my article so it doesn’t feel so empty. :) Sometimes the small things like that will help move me along faster.

    • http://www.attractpassiveincome.com Abdul S. Mohammed

      Well Jefferey I think that is a great technique it cuts down on procrastination, and gets the creative juices flowing.

    • http://www.sparringmind.com/ Gregory Ciotti

      I do this too, but since I tend to write longer posts (2000 words or so) I like to split those 500 words up into sections using the Pomodoro Technique.

      Really great way to get long posts (or e-Books and such) done in a reasonable time.

      • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com Rebecca Livermore

        Gregory, I love the Pomodoro Technique, and use it when I write, but I’ve never tried breaking posts down into 500 word segments and using Pomodoro with it. I’m going to have to give that a try!

  • http://www.beefys-caricatures.com Mark Dickson

    Hey Pat!

    I have just started a new blog looking at helping other caricaturists and illustrators start up. I have really struggled with writing posts until I just GOT GOING WITH IT!!

    If anything, I think now I am probably writing too much in a post and could do with breaking it up into smaller bites. Also, I create draft titles for future posts if ideas come up while I’m writing, so that I have them to come back to later.

    Massively helpful content as usual Pat – I think THAT is the ‘secret’ you share every time! Thanks

  • http://myathleticlife.com/ Tim Huntley

    My two thoughts:

    1) I try and get rid of distractions like twitter, checking blog stats, reading email, etc. when I write. Sometimes I will even just jot down the post on a piece of paper so I can escape from the computer.

    2) I beg my wife to read/edit my post before it goes up. She is usually a good sport :)

    …Tim

    • Pat

      Tim – you’re totally right. Distractions, even though they may only take up 30 seconds here and there, can actually eat away much more time and concentration than that. The piece of paper tip is a good one too, I’ll have to try that out maybe when I get stuck sometimes.

      Kudos to your wife for reading your posts! That’s awesome!

  • http://pointblankseo.com/ Jon Cooper

    Great stuff Pat!

    I’d like to add one thing. You can’t just sit down for an hour and say “I’m going to write a post.” You have to think about what you’re going to write ahead of time.

    I usually pick out a topic, and then about half hour later, I go and sit down and actually write it. This 30 minute period helps me put my thoughts together.

    Hope this helps :)

    P.S. When a great topic comes to mind and I know what to write, I drop everything I’m doing and write it. Never let these golden opportunities slip away!

    • Pat

      Good call Jon – you definitely have to know what you’re getting into before you get into it. I like the buffer period between when you finalize your idea and when you actually start writing. For me, I’m the opposite – I want to write things down as they come into my brain. Maybe mindmapping would be a good thing to do during this time period as a happy medium.

      Thanks again!

  • http://www.bloomtofit.com Srdjan – Bloom to Fit

    I really like the content pyramid you have up there. This is awesome stuff thanks for sharing Pat!

    • Pat

      Thanks Srdjan, it’s definitely a hidden gem here on SPI that a lot of people really enjoy. I should bring it up more often. Cheers, and thanks again!

  • http://www.faithandfinance.org Tim @ Faith and Finance

    Sometimes I set a goal to write 2-3 articles in a frame of, say 60 minutes. If I get stuck with one idea, I move to the other article. It helps keep me moving and sometimes the break is just what I needed to drum up some momentum for the other article.

    Great tips Pat!

    • Pat

      Good stuff Tim – thanks for adding on to the discussion! How are things with you, by the way? I hate that we have to wait until FINCON12 to hang out again – you’ll be going this coming year again, yea?

      • http://www.faithandfinance.org Tim @ Faith and Finance

        Absolutely! I’m seriously looking forward to it already. I think I’ve been more productive in these last 2 months than the previous 10 months before FINCON. Looking forward to hanging out with everyone again.

  • http://blogtyrant.com Blog Tyrant

    I once heard a famous PR person say that they write with two things present on the page; the title of the article and the action they want the reader to take.

    Seems to work well for blogging.

    • Pat

      Nice, I like it BT. How are things with you buddy?

      • http://blogtyrant.com Blog Tyrant

        Good my-man.

        Would like a holiday though!

  • http://www.leavingworkbehind.com/ Tom Ewer

    Hey Pat,

    Really interesting to see your process when it comes to writing blog posts. I tend to play it by ear myself, which probably isn’t ideal! I should probably put more thought into what I am doing…

    Usually, I will just write and write until I have nothing left to say, then spend a considerable amount of time editing and re-editing what I’ve written.

    I’ve got to back you up when it comes to reading posts aloud – it reads completely differently when it’s coming out of your mouth!

    Cheers,

    Tom

    • Pat

      Totally Tom – and by the way I just tweeted your “A-Listers are Boring” post, because I actually completely agree with what you said. Thanks for the support Tom!

  • http://seolab.me Marc

    Nice work mate – it’s refreshing to see that (even) you need a strategy for writing. All your readers see is the final outcome which looks effortless, not the hard slog of researching and editing behind the scenes.

    And I definitely agree about planning the end first.

    Without that focal point I always just stray off track. In fact, I need to add 3 or 4 waymarks to help keep me on point. Otherwise my writing just never comes to a close.

    I have to say, I also struggle more with writing blog posts than say, emails.

    I seem to have a more natural ‘voice’ when I write emails compared to a blog post. Somehow, it’s more intimate or me.

    Do you find that you write differently depending on the medium?

  • http://www.wasimismail.com Wasim Ismail

    The first 5 mins are the toughest in getting the article going, once you get your flaw, and find your ground, before you know it, you have a nice 1000 words article. But there’s plenty of distraction while doing it, the key is to stay focused. I like the idea of thinking about the end. It’s like the “Fast Forward” technique, many sports professionals and others use, if done well, can be very powerful.

    • Pat

      Great analogy Wasim – I never thought about it like that. The fast forward technique, that has a good ring to it :)

      Thanks for that!

  • http://productlaunchthatworks.com Brian Kwong

    For me, the hardest part is to getting started part. Once I get started on the first-few paragraphes, time usually just past by really fast and a few hours had gone by.

    What usually helps me get started is to write down a few key points that I want to communicate, possibly sub-headlines, that helps me formulate my thoughts and my post.

    Usually, if I don’t publish a post and sleep on it, re-read it the next morning, I usually can come up with a few changes that will make the post better or catch some mistakes that I didn’t see the night before. =)

    • Pat

      Yeah, getting started is definitely challenging, but like anything else it just takes practice. I used to fluster over what to start writing whenever I started a new post, but now it just sort of comes out. You’ll get there if you’re not there already!

  • http://www.therscproject.com Jason Ulsrud

    I’m a year into this mostly video blog of mine and plan on mixing in a bit more writing in the New Year. These are all problems and solutions that apply to everybody regardless of blogging or running any other type of business.

    Thanks for the tips and I certainly plan on implementing them as I exercise my writing skills more through the coming year.

    Rock On Pat… You’re a RockStar brother…

    • Pat

      Video – nice. I’m really digging video as of late, and I think one could become very successful just doing videos alone. Good luck with the additional writing for your business this coming year, and just keep it up Jason! Thanks for the support!

  • http://www.affiliatemanifesto.info Justice Wordlaw IV

    Pat,

    I have to agree I need to wear socks too when I write. I don’t know why but it’s just something that I must do. But, I do enjoy this pyramid graph that you put together I can say that this is something that I have never seen created and I have to go back to this post again when I’m creating my next guest post for another site. I know that reading the post out loud is a really good thing. When doing that it has slowed me down a lot and worked out really good.

    • Pat

      YES! I knew it! I’m not the only one! Hahaha! Nice :)

      Check out the other post about the Content Pyramid to get more specific info about it. Thanks for the words Justice!

  • http://woodworkingblueprint.blogspot.com John Carpenter

    What a fantastic article, just like usual. Thanks a lot Pat. You are my inspiration to create outstanding articles. Especially your monthly income reports that motivated me to take my first step in making money online as an affiliate.

    To your success Pat. :D

    • Pat

      Thanks John, I appreciate the kindness!

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com Rebecca Livermore

    Freewriting sometimes helps me when I’m stuck. I write fast and furious without worrying about whether or not it is good, and in the middle of doing that, I often come up with something really good.

    • Pat

      Great tips Rebecca, thanks for that! Free writing is definitely a good thing to do every once and a while, even if you’re used to just being structured all of the time. It gets the creative juices flowin’.

      :)

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Energy and environment are the big ones for me. By now, I know what my “creative habit” looks like:

    - Write late at night. Edit in the morning. Or just write early in the morning all together.
    - Listen to music (usually techno or almost anything without lyrics). Somehow, that helps me focus. Weird, I know.

    If there’s too much going on around me, I can’t focus. And interruptions are a creative killer.

    I do pace around while reading my post out-loud so I can try and spot any typos. But after that, we’re good to go.

    • Pat

      Nice Ricardo – it’s always good to recognize what works for you, and make sure you always give yourself the optimal environment to work in. I’m actually testing out a HappyLight by Verilux right now for even more of a productivity boost, and it seems to be working quite nicely!

  • http://www.aktivfundraising.dk Steffen Gregersen

    Thank you for a really good blog post.

    In addition to your headline subject, I sometimes just write the first headline / titel that comes to my head. And then, while I’m writing, I will change that headline several times, to match my content best (keeping in mind to keep some good keywords in the headline though).

    One thing I often do before writing, is to make a mindmap. Then I know what I want to put in the content, and where I’m heading. Mindmaps are awesome!!

    • Pat

      That’s a great one, Steffen. Mindmapping especially, it’s something I always do for products, but not always for posts unless they are massive epic pillar posts. But, I still think it’s smart to use one as much as possible.

  • http://fbinfluence-review.com Ralph | Facebook Marketing Tips

    Great read and added it to my Buffer.
    Great Idea to have that in the share bar btw, I did the same as soon as I saw it on your site.

    Merry xmas Pat!

    • Pat

      Thanks Ralph! I love using Buffer! :)

  • http://www.TheControlsFreak.com The Controls Freak

    Love that pyramid! Already printed it out and taped it up on the wall next to the computer. I am new to blogging and the one difference I notice about what I ‘want’ to be writing about for my blog and what I see all over the IM blog world is… My blog is very technical and aside form needing to do all the typical blog writing methods I need to figure out how I can find charts, photos and info-graphics that are relevant to my industry.

    I spend more time hunting for legal images etc than I do writing which at the moment still takes me about an hour for an 800 word article. Any ideas or tips?

    • Pat

      Definitely – visuals like that will help blog posts stand out, and even if the content is totally unique, the images and visualizations, I feel, are still absolutely necessary.

      Here are some tips for finding images:

      http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-find-images-blog-guide/

      • http://www.thecontrolsfreak.com/290/pid-loop-tuning-explained-part-2-proportional-and-integral/ HVAC Controls Training

        Actually, I read that post just the other day. Which I learned of using Flickr for general images. But unfortunately none of those resources will give me nice photos of mechanical equipment used in HVAC or Energy Management. It’s a hard road, but prefer it since I can actually write about that sort of stuff as opposed to Pets, Dieting or other widgets.

        Thanks for all your great advice!

  • http://www.attractpassiveincome.com Abdul S. Mohammed

    Good Job Jefferey, I love your approach to writing articles. I will adopt this approach.

  • http://tradeforex4freedom.com David Aw

    Woah you guys are fast leaving comments what you do? Stick to the screen?
    Great insights Pat I needed it as I have been trying to write a technical how to on my blog for my niche and bloody hell I took 2 days and am still writing.

    The point on the end in mind is a perfect recipe to check if what you are currently writing is inline with the end in mind.

    Thanks again.
    David

  • http://www.startyoungfinishfirst.com Tram Tran

    Writting late at night rocks my socks ( no pun intended;D)
    Thanks Pat, this post is really good. I just RT

  • http://brendanvraibel.com Brendan Vraibel

    Awesome post, Pat. I also have a much easier time writing at night. I can’t figure out why and I can’t shake that no matter how much I try.

    I can really relate to the part about coming up with a good title. I’ve learned that it’s a lot like a catchy subject line of an email and it can be the most important part of the entire article.

    I’ll be sure to share this with my list!

    P.S. I’ve been trying to figure out how to add my picture to the comments that I leave but can’t seem to get it. Any advice?

    • http://www.aktivfundraising.dk Steffen Gregersen

      Hey Brendan

      You need to go to http://www.gravatar.com, login and upload a picture and connect it to your email address.

      • http://brendanvraibel.com Brendan Vraibel

        Thanks a ton, Steffen. I really appreciate it.

  • http://eurobeadsboutique.com Susan

    Great post, Pat! It was the title that reeled me in. I love to write, but have not found my blogging voice yet. I liked the suggestion that I visualize writing to a specific person. I think the content pyramid is particularly helpful.

  • http://www.collegesuccesscentral.com Sarah Clark

    I’m just starting to get into Content-cranking mode for my new site, so this couldn’t have come at a better time! Here’s some tips related to my writing process. When I get the germ of an idea for a post, I whip out an outline, rough out a title, and throw it into a WordPress draft, along with the categories and/or secondary keywords that i might feature. I try to catch as many of these freefloating blog ideas as i can during my daily life, so when I’m in a place and mindset for writing, I have an outline ready to go. One or two evenings a week, I take an outline, turn it into a rough post, save it, and go hang out with my husband. I’ve learned a lot of stuff in my PhD program, but the most valuable one has been from a professor who advised us never to edit a paper without letting it sit overnight, preferably 24 hours. So the next day, I read, revise, and edit till it’s in good shape. Then, before I can overthink the piece, I schedule the post and move on. I’m trying something different with this blog, where I’ll actually be trying to write my posts a week or two ahead of time. That gives me a cushion for when life gets nuts, and takes off some of the pressure if I’m blocky on a particular evening. I’m also only posting two blogs a week right now. That may change as I get comfortable, but I’m really scared of overcommitting, getting blocked and burning out my creativity. Rather than quick internet success, I’d rather set myself a pace I can sustain over the long haul. This site has a lot of potential, and I want to know that I gave it as good a chance to succeed as I could.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert

    I love your content pyramid! I also write a lot of headlines and titles, and then come back to them later. Sometimes I will read an article, and like 10 ideas will come quick. I just jot them down as titles, and work on them at a later time.

  • http://design.gallerylotus.com/ Kala

    Pat-I have an off topic, but important ?. I’m following your popular post on “Niche duel-backlink strategy.” OK about setting up anchor layer. OK this is really weird. I have a longer standing self hosted site on webdesign ok (it was down for 3 months but back up say for 2 wks or so.) I wrote a post like you said-then manually rewrote it-set up a wordpress.com site on 11/19. IN 1 DAY, today the 20th, the wordpress.com version is on page 3 of GGle for my key words but my post on my real niche site is nowhere???
    I though the whole point of self hosting was better SEO??? But the wordpress.com hosted blog with 1 page (as per your recommendation) is ranking! So now I”m confused as I had given up on using WP.com or Blogger for primary sites.

  • http://www.QuitThe925.com Mr X.

    Pat,

    You must have spent (or spend) an incredible amount of time learning all this stuff! One of my favorite sayings about learning is… “You don’t know, what you don’t know!”…

    Just when I think I start to understand something, you shoot out ideas, methods, and tips that I have never heard of! You amaze me, and you have earned every penny of your success my friend.

    I too, one day soon, will escape my 9 to 5 job, and live a life like you describe.

    Mr X.
    http://www.QuitThe925.com
    My journey to escape my 9 to 5!

  • http://www.findyourcashcow.com Taline

    Great tips there Pat!

    I will sometimes write my content and not worry so much about typos or spelling errors and put out my ideas. I think that is the most critical part of writing once you know what message/information you want to convey.

    I then go back and read my article and see if what I’m trying to say makes sense and make my corrections so it has a good flow :)

  • http://www.sparkindark.com Phanindra

    Another Awsome post Pat :)
    I’ve seen about Pyramid structure in other areas but this is the first post to see it being applied to the concept of blogging. Excellent one :)

  • http://www.sybersquad.com Christopher Knopick

    Pat,
    I often find myself not writing because I have to have the perfect subject, title, image, post. Pretty much everything has to be right and it’s taking me some time to work through this but I’m finding that writing on the Social Networks, (Google+, Facebook & Twitter) is helping me to see that something is better than nothing. Good enough is good enough and hopefully my ego will let me see that. I do like to outline a post before I start writing. I think it gives me a good idea where to start and how my ideas will flow. I like that content pyramid. Nice balance.

  • http://www.howtobeafosterparent.com Carlo

    This posts reminds me to start using 750words.com again. It’s basically a brain dump to help you start writing with a clean pallet. A few people said it, and I subscribe to the same method of writing everything as fast as it comes and then tweaking from there.

  • http://bibledifferences.com Herman Grobler

    Good advice, Pat.
    In my blog posts I cover technical stuff on Bible differences, but then try to indicate the practical implications. This often leads to too long posts as I try to keep under 800 words. I then force myself to edit, and like Tim Huntley ask my wife’s opinion. I will consider your content pyramid and see how I can apply those principles. Thank you and God Bless in the season commemorating Christ’s birth!
    Herman.

  • http://www.blogging24h.com Trung Nguyen

    Hi Pat,

    I have blogged for 3 years now but obviously, my writing skill is still not as good as I expect. I need to learn many thing and get more experience writing to blog better. Your blog post is good advice that will help me and many other blogger writing well. Thanks a million for share, Pat.

  • http://www.echeapflightstolagos.blogspot.com/ Khurram

    Great post, pat!

  • http://rodderzw.com Rodderz

    This post has come at a perfect time for me and there’s so much to take and learn from it. As someone just starting it gives me a great structure to work from! I’ve definitely noticed that reading the post aloud makes a hell of a difference and helps you spot grammar and spelling mistakes a lot easier. Some great advice in the comments too. I want to know more on the story behind you having to wear socks too!

  • http://smartproblog.com Smarty

    Hi Pat,
    I have 8 draft posts waiting for the finishing and I’m pretty sure, the time for publishing them will come one day :)
    Thanks for great tips like reading post aloud, I’ll definitely try this one.

  • John Gizowski

    Thank you soooo much for writing this post. I beat myself up each time I write (try) a post for some of the same reasons you mention. Then I start looking at your posts and others and then, for sure, I’m about ready to toss it all in. (the fire, if I had one). When I think about it, it’s been a very long time since I had to ‘write’, really write. And I guess that’s why it might take some practice at first. Thanks to your post, I think I might give it another try.

  • http://sigmawebmarketing.com/100-inbound-marketing-content-ideas Larry Levenson

    Pat, this is a great article on how to approach your content writing! Excellent ideas — printed and marked up your article and posted it right above my monitor so I am reminded when I sit down to write.

    For content ideas to write about, you might want to check out our “100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas”, http://sigmawebmarketing.com/100-inbound-marketing-content-ideas.

    Thanks!
    Larry

  • http://www.sproutconfidence.com Ryan

    Hey Pat,
    You e-book guide’s really have helped me out launch my first ebook. Your tips and advice are excellent man. I really appreciate the freebies and sharing your work!
    Taking a break blogging and working on niche sites are really important – talk about information overload!
    Until next time, all the best and happy holidays!

  • http://www.contestcook.com Julie N

    I just want to re-emphasize the habit of letting written material sit for a day before the final edit. Material that you just wrote looks right — but come back after a day or two and look at again and you’ll see it as others would. If you have to edit your own work, this step is essential!

  • http://millionairejoint.com Iroko@Creating Millionaires

    Thanks for the inspiration and tips on how to write and even the one you sent to my box with using Amazon to get ideas for blog post, thanks!

  • http://chrisfrenchblog.com Chris French

    Great post and phenomenal comments. I’ve had the terrible habit of itchy publish finger and really have to discipline myself to avoid posting things I later regret. The line of thinking that getting something out there fast is better than nothing is faulty if the quality is not there.

  • Jason B

    When writing, I generally like to keep the writing and editing portions separate. I will write relentlessly until I have fully fleshed out my topic. I pretend that the backspace key does not exist. When I get into edit mode, I then move my sentences and paragraphs around and fix all the grammar. One thing that I have started doing on Pat’s recommendation is keeping the post to 350 – 600 words. That is a good word count for a blog post. Anymore than that and you should probably create a part 2 or a new post altogether.

  • http://jackfoley.net jack foley

    Cheers Pat,

    Didnt know that after publishing a blog that thats only the beginning, Im on my way over to your other articles now..

  • http://spamspert.com Jared

    Great post Pat!

    When ever I sit down to write something out I try to imagine my self standing in front of an audience and teaching the subject. Many times I catch myself talking out loud, because I’m trying to write like I speak. It’s crazy how it helps me focus and get everything down that I wanted to write.

    I really like your tip about writing with the end in mind. In fact, that’s how many award winning novelists and writers create their stories, whether fiction or non-fiction.

    Good advice.

  • http://nomadteacher.org Sascha

    So and what exactly is now atypical here? That somehow reminds me of a fill-in post of most internet marketers when they don’t know what to blog about ;-) No offence though. I do like quite a few of your other posts. But this one doesn’t appeal to me.

    • Charles

      I’ve read a lot of blogs about blogging and I’ve only come across maybe one or two of these tips before. Maybe Sascha already knows everything but for me this post was golden. Thanks Pat, I love your stuff.

  • http://www.planetnaveen.com Naveen Kulkarni

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for this post. It inspired me to great extent as I haven’t published a post since 20 days ;-(

    As you mentioned, environment plays great role in enhancing the quality of posts I write. One more thing I experienced is, when I am listening to soothing music, I write better.

  • http://zanypost.com Sam

    I turn off my phone and disconnect from the internet. Then listen to some inspirational music for 5 min then write like mad for 20 minutes and stop no matter if I still have something to write. Then I go back to it a day later and edit/add. I don’t worry about grammar or spelling or flow when writing. I do that when editing which uses a completely different part of the brain. I wish they taught that in school when I was a kid it makes writing so much easier.

  • http://www.iwouldcoach.com Dan Gheesling

    Pat – great tips as always.

    The one thing I will start doing now is reading my posts out loud. That is something I used when writing high school essays – and it’s a great tip to use once again.

    Another tip I use when writing is to simply scribble out the main bullet points I want to hit in a blog post. Nothing fancy, it may be a word or a sentence, but that really helps me to create the road map of a blog post.

    Very cool info-graphic, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.thebravemanblog.com/ Rodrigo @ The Brave Man Blog

    What I like to do is to set a time limit, like 10 min, then start writing as fast as possible, and when the time is up, I will leave It there, and do nothing, after a day, I will go back a it, edit it, correct the mistakes, add images and all that, it seems that writing and editing are different parts of the brain, so it is better when you focus on each part separated, also I write in Word first to correct all my mistakes, sure this one takes more time, but it’s what works for me :D

  • http://areacodegoldmine.com/254 Irene

    My favorite part ? “Save as a Draft and Start a New Post”

    Isn’t it great that we work more with computers now? We no longer have to throw away tons of paper when we mess up; we can simply save the post as a draft and go back to it later.

    Love that one, Pat!

  • http://www.thehomeforsurvival.com Survivor Mike

    I like the blast it on the page method and then modify afterwards. However, I really like the title/action you want the reader to take. It seems like that would keep me focused on what I’m trying to accomplish.

    If I’m in the mood to write I’ll blast out several and save them to clean up later. I use Evernote to keep my ideas jotted down. Love that tool.

  • http://www.optinboxdesign.com martin

    LOL…Pat you just got to the middle and you think that was bad eh? When I started, I would do a complete post and realize I never addressed the topic so I will discard it. However I managed to overcome and I am now very comfortable. I guess the best way to get around this is to experience it and overcome it.

    Thanks Pat for sharing that with the newbies.

  • http://seeafrica.blogspot.com Emma

    You really spoke about some great things here. Hope every new blogger will get to learn from that.

  • http://adsenseflippers.com Joe Magnotti | AdSenseFlippers.com

    Wow I struggle with this all the time Pat. Thanks for a roadmap to article success, hopefully my next entry won’t take as long!

  • http://www.woodworkers-online.com/2011/12/edge-trimming-veneer-with-festool.html Mark Hunt

    It gets easier with practice, thanks Pat for all the great tips. my blog has realy taken of since following your site:-))

  • http://www.aninvestmentjourney.com meggie

    If I am having trouble writing something,I will sit on it a bit, oftentimes I find things come to me at the weirdest times. This is what makes a smart phone handy for me,I can jot down a thought no matter where I am, because otherwise I would either not remember it or I would remember it but organize it currently than I imagined.

  • http://www.QuitThe925.com Mr X.

    Merry Christmas to Pat, and all the other SPI fans and followers. I wish everyone great success in 2012!

    Personally, 2012 is my year! It is the year I will take the plunge and quit my 9 to 5 job.

    Mr X
    http://www.QuitThe925.com

  • http://www.smallbusiness-strategy.com Carsten

    When I start to prepare a new blog post I write down some text-snippets about it that come to my mind and copy it to my form. Later I sort the snippets and start to create the complete text around it. Usually I’m not writing my posts in one piece. I make a break when I’m loosing my writing mood. Mostly I go on three of four times before I finish a post. This helps me to let my postings mature and let me feel that it is as good as possible.

  • http://www.davesabovegroundpools.com Dave

    I like many others write down all I can and then I go back fix what i can. Then I send my copy off to a pro for a total re-write. Its not an excuse to not be a good writer.
    Merry Christmas Everyone!

  • http://helpinghandreviews.blogspot.com/ Vimal Dwivedi

    When I start with my Post first thing which always stuck me was the Title and after writing one or two paragraph ,the idea got just blank and I have to save as draft but after some research it’s back again with writing….
    I always tend to see grammatical errors and even sometimes I have to rollover my post………….

  • http://mallpez.com Omega

    Another great post from you Pat.
    My strategy to writing is to always break down the post into five ideas. each idea covers a paragraph.

    Here is to a great 2012.

  • http://www.vacationwebsitereviews.com Trent Powell

    Great article! I have always wanted to write a book but have had a mental block. I started blogging about two weeks ago and it has made a world of difference.

  • http://www.homebusinessideashq.info Mike

    Pat,

    I always thought of writing a blog post as a conversation to a friend but I suppose it does not work in every niche. I try to add something personal, without revealing too much on my blog.

    I never knew about the content pyramid, that is cool! I will surely try to keep that in mind next time I write.

    Hope you’re well now.

  • http://www.homebusinessideashq.info Mike

    I wonder why my gravatar did not show?

  • http://www.IRestoreRelationships.com Restored Relationships

    Thanks Pat, this is very helpful since I do blog almost everyday. I have a strong desire to impact families in restoring and keeping relationships healthy and strong. In fact I just reduced the price of my ebook, “Happy Family, “Simple Rules”, to .99 cents.
    I pray you will want to help me make that good investment in your family. I guarantee you a great return on your investment! All relationships are like an investment, what are you investing today?
    Happy New Year

  • http://www.amazonaffiliatesblog.com/ Brock @ Amazon Affiliates Blog

    Awesome tips! I find that after writing anything over 500 words, I don’t want to proofread it until the next day, with a fresh mind and set of eyes. Maybe it’s just me but I always notice mistakes, both contextual and grammatical when I reread the next day versus right after I finish the first draft.

  • http://www.paulcaparas.com Paul Caparas

    Hey Pat, thanks for the tips. I’m horrible at writing post and I usually just start typing with out a plan. I’ll try these tips out and see if my blogging improves. Thanks.

  • http://www.herbcyclopedia.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&view=frontpage&Itemid=193 HERBCYCLOPEDIA

    I never have a plan either when I write my blog entries and articles but I have quite a considerable number of visitors.

  • http://willkwan.com Will Kwan

    I like the part about “energy”. Did you ever notice that the most successful bloggers are usually in pretty good shape? It takes strength to consistently churn out lots of good writing :)

    • http://ourmadworld.com Jacob

      I concur Will, without a strong body and fitness level, the energy and motivation levels nose dive. How do you stay in shape and active while still finding time to write?

      • http://www.matthewlbrennan.com Matt Brennan

        Interesting point, Jacob. For me, it’s by sacrificing an hour of sleep. I wake up a little earlier and work out. It’s hard to climb out of bed sometimes, but usually an hour or two into my schedule I’m glad I did it.

  • http://cfdguru.com/ tom

    Thanks for the helpful post.

    The bit that resonated with me the most was the part about forming a conclusion first. This gives you a direction to head to.

    A smart way of approaching things!

    Cheers.

  • http://newfbcovers.com Sam @Facebook covers

    Nice post mate, but we eagerly waiting for December month report.

  • http://bitfusion.eu Janari @ BitFusion.eu

    Another great post from Pat.
    I really enjoyed reading it. Just started blogging and these are good tips to make writing blogs posts easier.

  • http://www.americandebtproject.com Sally

    Pat, believe it or not, I discovered you through your LEED AP study guide website (Just passed my test today BTW-1st try!) where I recognized your picture. When I saw that you worked in the same field AND were passionate about passive income, that’s when I fell in blog-love. I have a lot to read but the Content Pyramid is a big help. I am going to refer to it when I write posts. I am definitely a big fan of theoretical posts and analytical posts, and I should probably cut down on the opinion posts (even though they’re so much fun!). I finally feel like my blog is gaining its voice, so now it’s time to hone it thanks to guides like yours! I’ll be commenting here a lot more often!

  • http://www.what-2-do-in-london.com/ Leonore

    Hey Pat! I’m a newbie in writing posts and this article helped me a lot!
    At the beginning is really difficult even to start a post…
    Can you write more about getting ideas?
    Thanks a lot!

  • http://zaistniejonline.pl Michal

    Hi Pat,
    I’ve found this website trough your podcasts on iTunes.
    First post I’ve read here and hooked up already.
    Great article and fantastic website.

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi Shobayo

    I didnt believe i missed out on this. Just seeing it now. Another lovely post from the man that knows the game.

    Thanks Pat

  • http://affiliatemarketingroute.com Vjatsheslav

    I recently started blogging and now I know what you are talking about, sometimes I can’t write at all, but when I feel like it my articles make sense and believe they are of decent quality.

    Also when I am inspired and get to write product reviews or pre-sells I really give it my 110% and they come out very nicely with a very good conversion rate.

    So if for some reason you don’t feel like writing, or doing something because it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, wait it out and once you feel inspired and energized, just do it (Disclaimer: this is not a Nike promo :D)!

    Great post, Pat.

  • http://knowempowernetwork.com dr Kavita Shaikh

    Excellent tips here Pat and I liked the content pyramid idea as well. I usually have the main points and keywords / phrases in mind before I sit down to write my new post. Then it is just a matter of elaborating on the points.

  • http://www.matthewlbrennan.com Matt Brennan

    Excellent tips! If writing comes easy to you, chances are your work may not be as good as you think it is. It’s important to just relax, and go into it with a clear mind. You want to know exactly what your point is, and stick to it. I like the one commenter’s suggestion of writing 500 words as quick as possible and then going back to edit. When you write first and edit later, you end up with better creativity. Good post!

  • http://www.noocnik.pl Lukasz Krawczyk

    A very important thing is to read your article a couple of times before publishing or to give it to someone else to read it and find errors that we might missed.

  • http://www.multipurposetool.ca/ Sara Fargoons

    Hi,

    Writing a good and successful article is very important. Or you can say writing a article that becomes successful is very important. And you have mentioned the main points that one must note Proofreading is one of them. I completely agree that Proofreading is very important and avoiding any minor mistakes can raise the standard of your blog and take it to the next high level.

    Regards
    Sara Fargoons
    Camping Tools

  • Kiefer Waight

    This kinda helps me with my own content @ AppealingStudio. I’m not inherently a writer, I’m more of a programmer. I think things like this, help put the concept into more of an algorithmic context, which is right up my ally lol. Dallas Mobile Development is a competitive market. I’m sure the people on this blog feel the same about their business. Thanks Pat for sharing the info, I think it’s really helpful for other people in my boat.