I love writing. I always did and always will. But here’s the catch – there’s no guarantee that if you love something, you’ll automatically be good at it. Just take a look at your cousin who just won’t stop singing… That’s another story, though. I’m here to share 5 (and some more!) great, great things I learned from Brian Clark, probably one of the best bloggers of all time.
On his blog, Brian shares his insights about much- needed blogging skills, writing great articles, completely removing writer’s block, creating attention-grasping pieces of content and the best ways to make blogs kick butt. I’ve been reading CopyBlogger.com for quite a while, and can proudly announce that my eyes have seen most of the words written by Clark and other great contributors that share their blogging secrets on the site.
Although it’s quite hard to choose only 5 things I learned from these great writers (it sounds cheesy, but I cannot help myself), it would be very hard and time-consuming for me to write all 1,001 lessons learned.
1. How To Remove Mental Blocks And Encourage Creative Thinking
I love what Brian Clark says about “thinking outside of the box.” There is no box, only walls and truths you create by living your life. He suggests to stop looking for the right answer, because there is none. This is a great advice, especially when you look at it from everyday perspective – who says there’s only one “correct” answer?
Think metaphorically, think different. Don’t be logical, be unique. Start breaking rules (I don’t think that Clark wants to encourage you to rob a bank; for example, try writing about something from a completely different perspective, from an unique angle). Engage in some creative thinking, let your mind explore everything around you.
Relax! Don’t be so serious; start looking at the brighter side. “Give yourself permission to be a fool and see things for what they really are.”
2. Brian Clark is very adamant in spreading a few immutable laws of blogging:
– The law of value; your blog has to have a specific value. It can help your readers grow emotionally, answer their questions, address their concern or amuse them continually.
– The law of headlines and hooks; your titles and headlines need to be unique, different, attention-grabbing masterpieces. You cannot afford writing lousy headlines.
– The law of “how to”; your readers want to learn how you do something. Write about tactics you use, engage in the conversation, help them learn and explore the boundaries.
– The law of the list; posts written in list format are easy to read and digest.
– The law of the story; how great is it to present a problem, a solution and results? You can do all that and when writing a story.
3. How long does it take you to write an article?
I wish I had some tips that would help me improve my “writing speed”. Hold on! Brian Clark already explained his method? Let’s go! Every writer is different, but people at CopyBlogget.com have some proven methods that will reduce the time you spend writing an article.
– Make a list of ideas for your article. Take a few minutes and do a brainstorming session – write down everything that pops into your head, even if it doesn’t make too much sense. It will later, trust me (or better, trust Clark). It’s quite helpful to leave the ideas sit for a few days, so you have more time to think about them, the best way to incorporate them etc.
– Take a walk, go for a jog. Writer’s block happens, don’t sweat about it. Another thing you can try is writing on a piece of paper for a few minutes – just let the words flow.
– You don’t have to finish the whole article at once. You can come back to it, with a “fresh head”. Think about it, read it few times and rewrite other parts later.
4. Open your blog post with a bang!
Engage your readers using the following methods:
– Start your post with a question that will poke your reader’s curiosity. It’s different and interesting enough to get the next sentence read.
– Nice quotes are a great way to help you in the first few seconds of holding the reader’s attention.
– Try to produce a mental image in the eyes of your readers. As CopyBlogger.com puts it, “Producing a mental image in a reader’s mind is one of the most powerful things you can ever do as a writer, so expressly engaging the imagination is powerful opening technique.”
– Open with a shocking, interesting data that is also relevant to your blog post.
– A great way to caption reader’s attention is by using a analogy, metaphor or a simile – it helps readers to tell your story by themselves.
5. Have you ever stopped reading an article after finding more than a few common grammatical errors?
Did you have the feeling that the author never had any formal education? It bothers me (someone whose native language isn’t English) a lot when this happens.
– Your vs You’re; “your” is a possessive pronoun, “you’re” is a contraction for “you are”
– There vs Their; “there” is used as a pronoun or a reference to a place, whereas “their” is plural possessive pronoun
– It’s vs Its; “it’s” is a contraction for “it is/it has”, “its” is a possessive pronoun
– Affect vs Effect; “affect” is a verb, whereas “effect” is a noun
So, there it is. Five simple, yet genius ways that will help you improve your writing, satisfy your readers and make your blog stand out from all the rest. I strongly suggest reading The CoppyBlogger.com to learn more methods, and be on your way to become a great blogger. One day, maybe, someone will write about you.
This is a guest post from Ines Maric, an Internet marketing consultant, blogger and an avid reader of everything related to marketing and psychology.