Picture of a Boss Bloggerphoto by DaVinciS via freeimages.com
An awesome blog is a great way to establish your online presence and establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Blogging is a form of content marketing that helps you to build trust, enhance awareness of your brand, and build relationships. With billions of blogs and social media feeds, you need to make the content of your blog something that people want to read. People will not waste their time reading something boring, that has no value, or that is riddled with mistakes. These blogging basics will help you to blog like a boss.

Mistakes Will Cost You

“Little mistakes” in your writing can end up costing you. Charles Duncombe, an online entrepreneur, believes that misspellings put off consumers and cause them concerns about a website’s credibility. His website figure analysis showed a single spelling mistake could cut online sales in half. Online dating site Zoosk has research that shows poor grammar can affect your success, or lack thereof, with online dating. Forty-eight percent of the singles that were polled considered poor grammar to be a deal breaker, with spelling errors being a major turn off. Each day I come across spelling and word usage errors in Facebook feeds, blogs, even news articles in mainstream media. If you don’t want to end up with an embarrassing fail, it pays to have someone go over your blogs and other materials.

Rock the Emotions

For your writing to be effective, you need to make an emotional connection with the reader. Tell a story, and use it to draw on emotions. Make your story interesting and memorable. A great storyteller will be able to engage an audience in a discourse about a mundane topic, like septic tank maintenance, and make it entertaining, informative, and even humorous.

Also, use an appropriate tone for the audience. Who is the target of this blog piece? Is a formal business-like tone necessary or an informal conversational tone? Make sure to pick the right words for the occasion.

Your Content Needs to be Epic

Your content must have value. Don't’ rehash something that is already all over the internet; instead, provide a fresh angle.  The reader wants a benefit to reading your blog; over anything else, he or she could spend time reading. Answer a question for the reader or teach the reader something.

My social media feeds entice me with interesting headlines of articles that I think I would like to read. I bookmark several pieces that hopefully contain helpful information to read later (on that magical day that I have time). Once I land on an article, I scan it to see if there is anything worthwhile. Sadly, I often move along because the piece was void of anything worthwhile. You’re probably like me and don’t have much time for surfing the net and reading blogs. Therefore, content must have value to the reader and be interesting.

Don’t Write Like a Newb

Many people don’t have the time, desire, or attention span to read large chunks of text. Often, people scan, rather than read each word of the entire article. Make your blog easy to read by splitting large paragraphs into chunks and using subheadings to make it easier to skim.

Use your headings and subheadings to grab the reader. Incorporate The Four U’s into your headlines: urgency, usefulness, uniqueness, and ultra specific. Create a sense of urgency by giving a reason to act now rather than waiting. Make your headline show the piece’s usefulness by giving the reader some real value -- not empty fluff. You must be unique to stand out from the others. Be ultra specific by being concise and using facts or figures.

What is the purpose of your content? Likely, the first goal is for your blog to be read. Not many people publish, hoping no one ever reads the material they wrote. So, always write with the reader in mind. You have mere seconds to grab attention and keep it. Make your blog easy to read, interesting, and error-free. Remember to do it with style and blog like a boss!

"Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment." Pearl S. Buck
Individuality and expression is important in writing for many reasons. Each writer must find his or her own, unique voice to keep a piece of writing interesting and to connect with readers. Without individuality and expression, a work runs the risk of becoming boring and lifeless. Great writing is special and stands out as being different.

Writing, as an art form, is an expression of individuality and creativity. A good writer uses words to be descriptive, paints a picture to help readers see, and invokes the senses. The goal of writing should be to produce something interesting, different and full of color. Even non-fiction and journalistic writing involve the art of putting the right words together to tell a story - maybe even evoking the emotions of the reader.

Even if one considers writing to be a craft rather than an art, it requires a unique voice and individuality. A writer's job is to make the most inane subject come to life. The craft of writing must be learned, practiced, and polished to make the work shine.
The Writer's Voice
Beginning writers are often urged to find their voice. Voice is a writer's personal style or personality showing, through their writing. Many things work together to make up a writer's voice: vocabulary, sentence flow, stylistic choices, and approach to subjects. Writing shouldn't sound awkward or artificial, but should stay authentic and flow naturally.

The long revered guide for writers, The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, says that all writers, inevitably, reveal some part of themselves through their work — stating, "No writer long remains incognito."

Being an individual and using self-expression isn't always easy. It is easy to lose confidence, or become confused by oftentimes well-meaning teachers, editors, or critics. It takes a little time, patience, and practice to gain courage and confidence to express oneself.
Stand Out
There are millions of writers out there, putting forth their thoughts and versions of stories. One needs to be different from everyone else to stand out. With so many articles, books, and blogs published, readers have a plethora of material at their fingertips to read. An unoriginal, repetitious work doesn't hold much benefit to the reader. The work must hold some difference from other works on the same topic.

It's important to grab readers' attention, to draw them in and keep them reading. The use of expression is a great tool that helps one to click with the readers. It is important to connect with readers and in order to do that the writer must show that he or she is a real person. We've all read dry, factual textbooks that lack expression from the author — the kind of reading material that puts one to sleep.

By writing with some expression and flair, a writer can entice the reader. William Zinsser explains it in his book On Writing Well, "[Writers] sit down to commit an act of literature, and the self who emerges on paper is far stiffer than the person who sat down to write. The problem is to find the real man or woman behind the tension. Ultimately the product that any writer has to sell is not the subject being written about, but who he or she is." Whether one writes fiction, poetry, non-fiction, web content, news or other anything else, fresh writing that is exciting and different to the reader is highly valuable. Some writers may find individuality and expression off-putting, preferring anonymity. Expressing oneself, using one's voice and being unique does not mean that one has to divulge opinions, personal information or one's deepest secrets. A writer should tell a story in a way that only he or she can tell it.

cover of Why Does My Book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes
Rayne Hall has written several “Writer’s Craft” books to help authors. This addition to her series is for self-published authors who are trying to promote their books. “Why Does My Book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes” is a short book with simple ideas to help increase sales. Rayne Hall has written and sold many books in different genres. In trying to sell her books, she has made many mistakes and learned from them over the years. In this book, Hall shares what she has learned and is sharing it with other writers trying to sell theirs.

Quote form introduction - "Each chapter reveals one area where indie authors are sabotaging their books' success, and shows how you can free yourself from that trap. The focus is on simple fixes, and actions you can take immediately, although sometimes I point out long-term strategies.'"

Hall covers everything from making a book cover that grabs attention, offering sample pages to promoting on social media, and more. This is a great book for anyone who has written a book and is now tasked with trying to get sales. It’s one thing to write and upload a book for sale, but a challenge to get people to be aware of the book and to buy it. There are tons of books for sale, and it is easy for books to become hidden. While things that worked for one person may not work for another, advice to get your book to sell can be helpful.

This book is best for published indie authors or those with a book they are about to publish. “Why Does My Book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes” is available as an ebook on Amazon.com.

The ebook mentioned above was received for free in return for an honest review.



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