Good grammar and command over English language isn’t your free pass to a writing career, it is only the first requirement. This will enable you to write freely and write posts which are easy to understand, interesting, valuable and devoid of errors, all at the same time. But to make it engaging and interesting, you will need to put some muscle into your writing.
Many people mistakenly think of blogging as a trivial job that anybody can undertake, whereas the reality is quite the contrary. Stringing two sentences together is no mean feat. Giving them meaning in a way that glues the audience is an entirely different story.
However, like everything else in the world, good writing requires that one follow a few simple guidelines, from taking a look at the topic to coming up with the finished product.
1. First thing to do BEFORE writing -> Understand The Topic:
To really write on the topic, and not appear as if you are beating around the bush, ranting on and on about something you barely understand, or simply just off topic, you need to comprehend the topic. Don’t just take a quick look and get down to writing some words onto the page, instead take time to read it multiple times. Absorb the topic in hand, then close your eyes, separate your mind from the lawnmower running or the kid crying in the background.
Now think of the keywords and what the topic required on the whole. Think of the points you need to cover and brainstorm. Make sense out of these points and write only those that appeal the most. Dig into possible controversies. Develop the main idea and the direction you want to pursue at an early stage and narrow your brainstorming in that direction. Flailing around and trying to cover everything about a topic in one short piece of writing will be discarded by mature readers.
Think from a user’s perspective. Think of what they would want to read till the end. Avoid going in the direction that has been written upon extensively, especially for an old or very popular topic. To be an above average writer, you need to be able to think of phrases and one-liners to spruce it up, because the ideas and content generally remain the same.
2. Second thing to do BEFORE writing – Thorough Research:
Once you know your direction, the keywords, and the thesis statement (ideally), hit the internet or books and try to get a good know-how of the topic, try to take information from multiple sources. It always helps if you already know about the topic, but a writer shouldn’t really be limited to one or two fields.
Always remember to check the sources, lest you end up taking inspiration from an amateur blogger desperate for attention. Also, check for the dates, lest you end up writing about the launch of a gadget which is actually discarded.
3. Third thing to do AFTER writing – Proofread:
Once you’ve written the entire thing, take a breather. Ideally, leave the article be and go do something entirely different. Then with a fresh mind and a fresh take on the topic, start proofreading. You’ll start to see a better flow in the ideas, an idea or two that were important but missed, what should’ve come at the top etc. the ideas are always there, it’s how you present them, the wording and the flow that differentiates a reputed writer from the regular crop. Repeating this cycle a few more times will make it even better.
The aforementioned steps before and after writing are actually what will make your written pieces and blog posts stand apart from the rest.