How to be a Better Blogger - Part 03, Episode 01: Actually Writing a Post


It’s Friday, y’all! WHO’S EXCITED FOR THE WEEKEND? Hopefully yours includes waffles and ice cream because mine will and we’ll just be out-of-sync if yours doesn’t YOU KNOW?? Anyway it’s been a tiring week, but the lake outside my window is melted (which makes up for every bad thing) and there is a gentle rain lulling me into MOVIE!TEA!NAP! coma (literally it’s taking everything I’ve got to stay awake right now.) NEW MONTH, NEW TOPIC. Let’s get started!

Read previous installments:


The blank page.

We’re all familiar with it – the feeling of swallowing a small watermelon whole as you stare down a hideously blank, white, empty page. Is there anything quite like this sensation of total DREAD? Call it what you like – writer’s block, space-out, blahhhh – it is a nasty beast and gets in our way of being awesome bloggers.

BUT DON’T FEAR. I have a solution. Go on, give me that side-eye emoji – UNBELIEVERS DON’T LAST LONG IN MY KINGDOM. Just saying.* The trick is to not let your good ideas slip away from you.  As bloggers, we are always getting new ideas. Write them down! I am by no means trying to sound like your mother here, but…come on. Just do as I say.

*treason is penalized quite fairly via unicorn pummeling and ice cream deprivation. 


As soon as you get an idea for a blog post, write down a basic concept! It doesn’t have to be fancy or detailed or even coherent. Just as long as you understand what it means.

In fact, this entire series – How To Be A Better Blogger – started out as a blank page. I knew I wanted to do a self-help kind of thing, but I had no idea where to start or what to write about. That’s when I began taking notes. I started thinking about what topics I was interested in covering, adding a snippet here and a snippet there. Before I knew it – BOOM. There was my series. 

[Excuse the upgrade to Windows 10. *hangs head shamefully*]

Say no to manuals.

I’m absolutely not going to tell you how to write a post. I’ve seen lots of blogging tutorials that do, but that’s just not how I roll. I’m an artist, and you are too. Writing is an art, blogging is an art, expression is an art. There is no right or wrong way to do it. I want you to be a dreamer, a mover, a shaker – the awesome person that you were created to be.

Don’t think too hard when you’re writing a post – that’s my only piece of writerly advice. Be coherent, but be yourself. As Switchfoot sagaciously put it, “Breathe it in and let it out!”


Keep it brief.

Y’all are laughing at me right now. Because…well…I get kind of long-winded sometimes. Again, you don’t have to think about word count while writing a post – that’s what the editing process is for! Say what you need to say, but use as few words as possible. Short and sweet not only wins the race – it holds your reader’s attention. 


Don’t get distracted.

First, confession time: I GET SO DISTRACTED AND DRIFT-Y WHEN I WRITE. Unless I’m in the middle of a really intense scene*, I simply cannot stay laser-focused on the task at hand! (And I’m talking about fiction. Writing blog posts? FORGET IT.) My brain likes to wander.  The solution? More note-taking, my friends.

Obviously we need to look up all the things. Like that new movie trailer and the lyrics to that song and a recipe for cookies and I wonder what pretty pictures are on my Pinterest feed right now…! DON’T FALL FOR IT. Instead, open up a word document, Evernote, or even a good old fashioned notebook (yep the kind with actual paper – time warp, Scottie!) and write down all those little things you want to Google/waste time on.

You can still surf** the web, just not right now. Right now, you are writing. You are focused. You are slaying it.

*scene must include a decent amount of blood or a long-anticipated kiss. preferably both.
**do they still say “surf the web?” i have no idea. #90sChildProbs


What’s your favorite way to write a blog post? Do you ever get scared of ‘the blank page?’ How do you avoid distraction while writing? Do you agree with EVERYTHING I SAY?? Remember the punishment: my unicorns have very sharp horns.

love,
abbiee

23 comments

  1. Yes, I agree with everything you say, practically. I never ever have to stare at a blank page not knowing what to write, because, one, i ALWAYS have ideas (LOTS OF THEM!), and two, I generally don't start a blog post unless I know before-hand what it's about. And also, I really really mucho much prefer to write out my posts on real paper first. Not word for word, but basically everything, and then I just fix little things before posting, and it makes it SO much easier. Because really, I CANNOT focus when I'm sitting in front of a screen. It's a problem.

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    1. EEEE YAY. You deserve a waffle my dear. I actually really wish I was more focused like you because I get sooo DRIFTY IT'S BADDD. There's definitely something very different about writing on paper vs on a computer directly. That's so cool! I love reading about how other bloggers compose their posts. Thank you for commenting, Maggie!! :)

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  2. Writing the posts themselves isn't usually too terrible, but getting ideas for posts is something I struggle with a lot. Trying to keep up a regular posting schedule helps, but since I started college that's fallen by the wayside. Every once in a while I do write my posts out on paper (when I'm feeling really vent-y/unfocused; that way I can type them up and edit them later) but mostly I type them directly into the computer.

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    1. YESSSS I GET IDEA BLOCKS SO MUCH TOO IT'S BAAAD. But scheduling definitely helps. Blogging is quite demanding, isn't it?? *nervous laughter* Loved reading about your blogging methods!! :)

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  3. ohmygoodness Windows 10. *hangs head in shame with you* TAKE ME BACK TO WINDOWS 8 NO ONE WARNED ME!

    Lovely post, by the way. Good job, chap.

    OHMYGOODNESS UNICORNS CAN BE VICIOUS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!??!! *shivers*

    -Axx

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    1. GAH YES WINDOWS 10 GO HOME NOBODY WANTS YOU HERE YOU ARE NOOOOTTTT WELCOMMMEE. Seriously, waa. xD I actually liked Windows 7 best of all because it didn't have that annoYING MENU THAT POPPED OUT OF THE SIDE OF THE SCREEN LIKE EVERY TIME I MOVED MY MOUSE. although....I'd take anything but 10. the aesthetics do not make up for the lousiness. XD

      MUAHAHAHA MY UNICORNS CAN BE VICIOUS IF I WANT THEM TO BE... *insert sinister emojis* xD thank you for reading, as always, Aaliyah!! you da bombbb.

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    2. dude for real. Like THEY MADE WINDOWS 10 SOUND SO RAD AND I WAS LIKE: YEAH BABY, LETS UPGRADE! AND LIKE WOW WORST MISTAKE EVER. TAKE ME BACKKKK!!! And yes, I hate the annoying menu. We need to protest. We need Windows 7 back. Right now. RIGHT NOW.

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  4. My weekend does most emphatically NOT include ice cream and waffles and I feel like I'm a) misusing the weekend, and b) seriously missing out on the great things in life. INVITE ME OVER TO YOUR HOUSE, ABBIE. I'LL BRING MY PUPPY AND YOU CAN FEED US WAFFLES. #ThereIsNoDownsideToThis

    Ahem.

    ALSO YUS I LOVE THIS POST. <3 I actually rarely go to write a post unless I have a vague idea of what I want to write. xD And mostly I only write when inspired. Which sometimes means I write 7 posts one week and then don't write much for the rest of the month. HEH. But whatever works, right?!

    And I do like how you said there's no "one way" to write a post. AGREED. I think there are things one can do to make a post more readable and interesting (which you covered right?! With the adding pictures and different sized fonts *nods* I believe I remember that in an earlier part of this post) which I hiiiighly think bloggers should do. BUT THE HOW'S AND WHAT'S AND WHY'S ARE ALL SO OPEN TO EACH ARTIST. <3 That's why blogging can be so unique and beautiful. :') AWK.

    I need to learn to keep it brief though. XD My posts are NEVER under 1,000 words these days. *hides*

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    1. DUUUUUUUUDE YES. You and Atticus Bean must come over STAT and eat all the waffles with me. x) THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE YOU ARE RIGHT. please come. Wow, you can write 7 posts in a week??? THAT IS AMAZING. But then that sort of goes along with your incredible ability to write a freaking novel in like FOUR DAYS WHAT. xD I actually reeeally wish I could write like that. #waa

      YESSSSS YOU REMEMBER WELL PADAWAN. *nods and awards chocolate* I did cover that because it's true -- there are lots of things a blogger can do to make a post easier/more enjoyable to read...BUT ART. ARRRRRT. xD HEY WOW YOU'RE DOING GOOD!! It's so hard to keep things brief, I know!! BLAAAH. anyway. THANK YOU.

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  5. Oh the distraction!!! I actually write my blog posts in advance when I'm at campus because I don't have internet connection there (only wifi but it works for an hour a day and that's at 7 a.m. so it's pretty bad) and that way I have no distraction. No pinterest, no goodreads, no facebook... nothing. I was surprised how much more productive I am when there's no internet available. Oh... and I forgot about Youtube. That's the devil.
    But other than that, when I have an idea I definitely will take notes and write down what I want to say in that blog posts, maybe if I need to take a picture for it or if I want to quote a book. Then I just write it. Blank pages scare me only if it's my work in progress. :D
    I definitely agree with you about the length of the blog post. Shorter posts with pictures and quotes are easier to read and the reader is not bored to death. I think it's good to get to the point and be brief.
    Again, amazingly written blog post. :)

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    1. WHOA WHAT WI-FI FOR ONLY ONE HOUR A DAY AND AT 7 AM??? that is just tortureeee oh my gosh. XD Right, though?? It's so much easier to focus when you literally cannot do anything but the task at hand. I used to shut off my wi-fi whilst I was writing...but now my computer is a beast who doesn't want to get back ON the wi-fi afterwards and GAHH BASICALLY IT DOESN'T UNDERSTAND ME. but oh well. X)

      OMG BLANK PAGES ON A WIP IS THE WORRRRST. I start getting all these crazy freak-out thoughts like, "oh my gosh what if i can't write this thing?? WHAT IF I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO WRITE ANYMORE??" it's a problem, basically. XD but I survive. obviously. YOU KNOW WHAT UP, GIRL. and thank you so much!! you're comments always make me smile. :)

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  6. Oh lord I think I pretty much have a LOT of ideas. I get a lot of inspiration when I'm playing piano (because when I'm supposed to be doing something - obviously my mind MUST wander or what will the world have come to?), or when trying to sleep (see former parentheses). I pretty much use pens and paper (yes, I'm old-fashioned but my laptop is just.... So. Far. Away. (well not really more like 3 feet)
    And then there's the process of coding it out (yes I still do call making paragraph brackets "coding" because it's a lot of work for me because stupid Blogger refuses to indent paragraphs and I might as well get a nifty little title of "coder" (HAHAHAHAHAHA must go laugh) to make me feel better) and IT'S A LOTTA WORK. And I'm a newbie! Anyway, must be off to concoct more evilness!

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    1. AHAHAHA RIGHT?? Sometimes I just don't want to journey all the way into my office to get my laptop. XD and SLEEP IS RIDICULOUS. Like, let's just face it I mean lying in bed at night is the BEST TIME to storyboard and come up with new book ideas. For real. It is. BUT IT'S ALSO A PROBLEM, BECAUSE, UM, SLEEP.

      I wish my mind could wander when I play piano. xD I'm usually too focused on how I'm meSsiNg uP eVerY OtheR FrEAKingg NOTTEEEE. *face palms* ooooh yes coding. CODING DRIVES ME MENTAL OKAY?? but then when I accidentally code something RIGHT (read: accidentally) it makes me feel all cool and techie. (and then I go and mess up something that was actually really understandable and user-friendly. welcome to my life XD) DUDE YOU ALWAYS CRACK ME UPPP. thank you for reading! :)

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  7. THIS IS THE POST I NEED. like 350 times a week.
    eeeeek. yes. I get writer's block for writing and blogging like, so, SO often, it's not even right. although, thing is, when I'm writing, I don't get quite as distracted since I'm just on a Word document and well, WRITING. But, blogging? haha, hey there pinterest and youtube, what's up. *AHEM* yeah.... But when I actually get to writing a blog post, then I like actually do it.

    I COULD LEARN SOME LESSONS FROM YOU. usually, I don't really plan on posting that much, I just randomly get hit by inspiration and then I post. which is why my posting is very, very sporadic. and then I usually don't keep it brief. I ramble all over the place. ^_^ ah well. haha...yeah. XD

    I say "surf the web" still, so idk, maybe that's just me. it probably is. *shrugs* oh well. :)

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    1. XD OMG DUUUDE THANK YOUUU haha. PINTEREST AND YOUTUBE ARE LITERALLY THE DEVIL. Like you know how YouTube just came out with "YouTube Red??" REEEDDDD???? SEE WHERE I'M GOING WITH THIS?? (omg this is just occurring to me as i type is it even a coincidence that YouTube and Pinterest logos are both red O_O)

      EEEEP I'm so happy you liked this post, Autumn!! AND THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING THE QUESTION ABOUT SURFING THE WEB. I'm glad I'm not alone. :') also omg DUDE YOU WERE AT THE PHILLY FLOWER SHOW AND YOU SAW MY SISTER MAYBE????!!? LIKE, THAT IS AWESOME. I was squealing when I saw that on instagram. (I also didn't know that was you on instagram for some reason. and that you posted a picture of a waffle i am flailing.)

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    2. GRRRR I KNEW IT WAS A BAD USERNAME.
      literally like everyone comments on my blog like "OH THAT'S YOUR IG??? SO COOL LET ME GO FOLLOW YOU. Wait, i already follow you."
      i should probably change it =)

      AND ALSO YES I'M 99.9% SURE I SAW YOUR SISTER. like literally, i'm pretty sure i did, since she was working at the hanging water garden booth and i SPECIFICALLY remember looking at that booth and thinking how cool is this and then i looked around and i was like "OMG WAIT IS THAT KATIE WAIT WAIT WHAT AAAAH." and then i sort of lost her in the crowd but i was just like freaking out. <3

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    3. KK I AM FHDKSDHKSING THAT IS AWESOME AHHHH

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  8. I WANT TO COME LIVE IN YOUR KINGDOM!

    Gosh, I'm ALWAYS struggling to come up with ideas. But this post really helped me! ABBIE SAVES LIVES GUYS.

    Also, DISTRACTIONS GALORE. I swear I'm the most easily distracted person ever.

    *whispers* and I say surf the web tooooooo

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    1. COME COME TO MY KINGDOMMMM. WE HAVE UNICORNS AND WAFFLES (but you probably already go that hint. ahEM.) fjkdshfkjl I'm so happy this post helped you!! like GAAHH YAYYAYAY. and yaaas i'm glad you say surf the web too. IMMA MAKE A SURFY SQUAD OF ALL MY FRIENDS WHO SAY "SURF THE WEB" OKAY. ♥

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  9. My favorite way to write a blog post is to do zero preparation whatsoever and then get annoyed and frustrated when the words don't just magically appear :')

    How do I avoid distraction?

    I don't.

    whichiswhynothingevergetsfinishedhahahahaslayme


    Do I agree with everything you say? The answer depends: is unicorn pummeling the equivalent of being pummeled by many unicorns or are you actually pummeling actual unicorns? My statement changes depending on the answer to those questions. Because, to be honest, I would love to be pummeled by many unicorns. I could survive the ice cream deprivation based on that alone.

    I can't say I use 'surf the web' frequently nowadays, though I AM familiar with the term, being a 90s kid myself. I always pictured 'the web' as like, a spider web, so maybe that's why I never really picked up on it.

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    1. XDD GIRL YOU CRACK ME UP DID I EVER SAY THAT??? YES?? OKI THEN. Like ahhhhhh oh my goodness XD YES YES QUITE RIGHT the unicorns will pummel you -- wouldn't want to damage my army, see. *sinister laughter* YESSS I always pictured the web like a spiderweb and now it's just flashbacks to Miss Spider's Sunny Patch and I have to stop. XD THANK YOU FOR READING DEAREST.

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  10. I'll be honest....i used to be scared of the blank page....BUT NOW I LOVE IT. Mostly because i usually have a potentially great idea in my head that absolutely HAS to be written down. so the blank page and i are buddies. of course there's always the time that i accidentally tread on its perfect white corners and then it hates me. so i have to figure out how to pull myself away from procrastination (and they're NEVER productive) and sit down and figure out what to write.
    there are also times when i go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on (sorry) and on and on and on and on (really i'm trying to stop) AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON (send help) AND ON AND ON AND ON....
    still working on that.
    basically ALL OF WHAT YOU SAID is total gold. i love this series! :)
    Hugs!
    Sami
    p.s. #surftheweb #totallystillusethis

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    1. HJDNDKC SAME SAME SAME DUDE. I tend to ramble (a lot) so I don't let my word counts scare me too much anymore because I know that the editing process is going to make everything okay again. XD but yes. #solidarity #imgladyoustillusethis AND I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKE THIS SERIES. eeep! :')

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kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.