Can writing really be effortless?
Well Cynthia Morris says it can be and she also says it’s fun!
Today I pass the pen…or keyboard to expert writing and creativity coach Cynthia Morris creator of the Free-write Fling. I’m constantly being asked about how to blog or write consistently and so I asked Cynthia to weight in and share her coaching tips for creating a blog that’s fun to write and that people want to read.
Often we sit down to write and freeze up. It’s like we’ve donned a suit and a formal voice so we can project our best image to the world. But good writing isn’t about being perfect or formal, and good blog writing is all about using a compelling voice.
In this lesson, I’ll share seven important elements of a good blog post and my secret for letting the writing flow easily.
Here are the seven things to remember:
Your blog writing should be authentic to you and your voice. The more real and authentic your writing is, the more people will want to read it. Your homework includes an exercise to help you access your voice, but here are a few notes about voice.
Your blogging voice should:
- Reflect the person you are presenting to your readers
- Be authentic to you
- Be as honest as possible
In the book Finding Your Writer’s Voice authors Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall define voice this way:
“Voice is nothing fancy. It’s simply the way you…project yourself artistically. It’s the way you draw on yourself as you write – your sense of humor, irony, the way you see people and events, use language and entertain.”
I’ve added the following elements to help you understand voice better:
Subject – Voice is strongly linked to who we are, our experiences, and what compels us to write. Your subject matter will drive your voice.
Audience – Your audience has an influence on your voice. (We’ll work on this in the homework.)
Distance – How close are you to the reader? Are you revealing intimate things about yourself? Or is your voice distant, using data and facts to express your point? How close you are to the reader has an impact on your voice.
Emotional Resonance – Take a peek behind your words and see what emotions lurk under the surface. What feelings underpin your writing?
Tone – Is your tone authoritative, tentative, questioning? Do a tone check.
Vocabulary – Your vocabulary has an impact on your voice. Notice how your choice of words impacts the way your voice is conveyed.
Read your posts aloud to see if your voice is stiff or authentic.
2. An Engaging Subject
How do you know if your subject is engaging? It should first engage you enough to write about it, then interest your readers. What is:
in your art now and how can you share that in a compelling way? Steer toward subjects that are edgy for you. Dare to be controversial, revelatory and honest in your posts.
3. What’s in It for the Reader?
What is in it for your reader? The reader should know in the first sentence why she should read on.
Since you’ve completed the homework in lesson one, you should be clear about the subject and purpose of your blog. Always use that as your compass to write dynamic and interesting posts. You want to keep this purpose, and your readers, in mind when you write.
A good question to ask:
What do I want readers to take away from this blog post?
If you are posting an image of an art piece, what information can you share that intrigues the reader? Consider the questions a reader or viewer might have and use your answers as the writing in a blog post.
4. Zesty Headlines
Intriguing headlines for your blog entries are very important. Try playing with provocative titles that make people curious and entice them to read on. Here’s a simple way to improve your headlines:
Write the headline either before or after you write the post (try both ways)
Experiment with different ways to express what you’ve written. I find it easier to work from a limp headline than no headline at all.
Ask yourself, “What’s unusual, racy, or fun about this topic?”
For a thorough tutorial in headline writing, visit http://www.copyblogger.com/
5. Opening Words
I liken this to the experience of going to a restaurant. If you are heading into a Mexican restaurant, you may not know whether you’re having tacos or enchiladas, but you know you’re going to eat Mexican food.
Same with the first paragraph. Your reader doesn’t know where the story will ultimately lead, but she knows she’s in for a tale that will let her know a bit more about your passion for landscape painting.
6. Write Correctly
Don’t let concerns about propriety cramp your first drafts. Once you’ve drafted your piece, pay attention to details – ensure that everything is spelled correctly, punctuation is well used and your grammar is correct.
7. Link Love
We’ll delve into link love in a later lesson but I’ll address this briefly here. If a link to another site is relevant to your subject, you want to insert links as much as possible. It’s part of being a healthy participant in the blogosphere.
Find our more about Cynthia and her Free-write Fling that begins on April 1st where she teaches how to take your dream of being a writer and making it real AND makes it a fun daily habit.
Inspired to blog and want a few more coaching tips from Cynthia? Click here to Learn Her Tips for Making Writing Flow Easily Everytime