December 17, 2012
Liz published this at 7:16 am
How to Blog
When I first started guest posting, iI could barely crank out one post a week. Writing consistently, for me, was a struggle and I felt continuous discouragement – not just because I wasn’t putting out as much as I should have, but also because some of the stuff that I was putting out was not very good. I know this, because it was routinely rejected by some of the top blogs that I sent them out to.
Despite this, I continued to do the same things and plowed through with minimal success until I decided that I really had to sit down and analyze my approach. I came to the conclusion that I was really just making things harder for myself than I needed to. Largely because i was failing to implement positive habits into my routine that would assist me in my efforts.
After assessing my situation and implementing some of the better habits that I found to be helpful, as I learned more about writing – my results changed dramatically.
I now write at least 2 high quality posts a day and have not had a single one rejected since I started to really take the implementation of these positive habits seriously. My writing has been published on ProBlogger, SpeckyBoy and Onextrapixel, and many of the other larger blogs online that accept guest posts.
I believe that for those of you who are in the position that I was in a couple of months ago, the habits that I use to help me with my guest blogging now, could be very helpful.
Here are the 16 Ways To Make Guest Blogging Easier For Yourself
Below I have compiled a list of the most effective habits, for you to use. I hope that they help you improve your writing and consistency, the way they have helped me for mine.
- Set Clear Goals – When you are guest blogging without a goal in mind, or a purpose to which you are striving for, you make it that much more likely that you are going to quit. Set clear and concise goals and you are much more likely to stay on task.
- Rethink how you think about writing – Instead of thinking about the process of writing a guest post as one of agonizing drudgery, instead, think of it as a game. One where every word you write is another point on the tally. This is hard to do when you are not used to it, but once you do get the hang of it, it becomes very effective.
- Read affirmations – This is probably gonna have you rolling your eyes and thinking – don’t waste my time. But these really do work. When you consistently repeat something to yourself. Your mind comes to accept it. Try repeating things like – ‘I am a consistent guest poster’ or ‘my posts are always high quality’. It seems weird but trust me on this. It does the business.
- Read at least 3 guest posts a day – This will help you with your writing style and will also get your mind into producing the kind of writing that blog admins typically like to publish.
- Improve your typing speed – There are a lot of great typing games and apps that can dramatically help you to improve your writing ability. I have personally seen my post creation times decrease by upto 50% once I started to use these typing helpers.
- Pick a topic and write 10 posts ideas for it, per day – This will improve your ability to come up with post ideas. And if you do this in conjunction with submitting these ideas to blog owners and getting them accepted and critiqued, the quality of ideas that you produce will undoubtedly improve.
- Align your guest blogging efforts to a personal development goal – Even though I had started guest blogging intitially, to meet certain goals. When I first started, it was sometimes not as effective to motivate myself with these goals. Most likely because they were external. So what I did for the first month was align my guest posting efforts with improving my self discipline. The more I sat down and cranked out a guest post when I didn’t feel like doing it. The more my self discipline improved. And that helped me to be motivated to continue and improve.
- Rewrite popular guest posts that you like, verbatim – This puts you in the mind of the person who was creating the guest post. It helps you structure your thoughts and ideas in a way that is best for readers to digest. And overall it improves your writing ability and grammar. Because, after all, you are mimicking someone who is likely very good.
- Drink more water – This may seem like a strange one to talk about, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. I often would find myself so caught up with the post that I was writing that I would forget to drink. This definitely affected my ability to write well over time. You tend to make more errors and have to think a little bit longer when you are not fully hydrated, so try to remember to drink water regularly while writing. It’s very important.
- Stop being afraid of sounding stupid – One of the main reasons why people don’t guest blog or even write generally for that matter is, that they are afraid of seeming stupid. Or lacking knowledge in the area that they are discussing. They think that you have to be and ‘expert’ to write about something. And that, if you are not, you should not have an opinion. The beautiful thing about the blogging world is that being an ‘expert’ is not a pre-requisite. You don’t need to have years experience to talk about something. As long as you have ‘some’ experience and can share it in a coherent fashion. Your alternative perspective is likely to be just as valuable as that of an experts. That is the beauty of the internet. We can literally learn from anyone. So don’t be afraid, share your views and help others. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate just because you were scared that someone would call you an idiot.
- Read atleast 3 of the blogs previous posts before submitting a request – This will help you in two ways. One, it will give you a better idea of the post idea that you should be coming up with and two, it will also show you the preferred writing style of the blog.
- Be yourself – Even though some of the advice above recommends mimicking others writing to help you improve. When you write, don’t drown out your own voice. If you think that one way of saying something sounds better than another. Say it that way.
- Expose yourself to a lot of things in your space – Guest blogging and creativity in a general area is greatly helped by exposing yourself to a lot of things in it. Ideas are just connections after all. And the more connection points you have, the more connections you will inevitably be able to make. So read those articles and follow the relevant people on twitter for links. You will thank yourself for it later. (Just try not to overload yourself. Limit the total time spent reading and researching to a reasonable amount so you don’t get overwhelmed)
- Remind yourself constantly that 90% of the work is in the editing – You will not believe how much this reduces the pressure and resistance to starting. When you realize and understand that you will not likely make something extraordinary out the gate (and that nobody does), you will free yourself of a lot of the unneccessary anxiety that writing often brings with it. And you will produce more high quality work, to boot.
- Use the Pomodorro Technique – This is by far the best productivity technique I have ever used. What it does is segment your work into manageable chunks of time, usually 25 minutes. And then helps you to focus by making yourself eliminate any and all distractions during those chunks. This improves your work output and quality dramatically. I highly recommend it. The full ebook to help you get started can be found here, completely free.
- Read it out load – This is the best of all things that you can do to help you improve your writing instantly. Once you have written the post, or even as you are writing it. Read it out loud and see how it sounds. You will notice a lot if things and gradually you will make more and more intelligent edits, that will ultimately benefit the overall piece that you are writing. This is like the swiss army knife of writing. When you are one on one with your computer screen, trying to crank out a piece of work. This will save your butt.
Do you have any tactics that you use to help improve your guest blogging? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you, Tapha! Great advice all!
–ME “Liz” Strauss