by Cara Lumen
Question: from a reader I was reading on your blog about how you teach people to write good content on their blog. Do you believe anyone can be a good writer? I write in my journal daily, but I am struggling with writing in my blog. I wonder if people are born creative writers or not. Just like some people can paint a beautiful painting where others cannot. What do you think?
My Answer: What a great question. Yes, I believe everyone can learn to express themselves through writing. It is a craft that you can develop. How to write strong headlines, subheads, lead paragraphs, and closing paragraphs can be learned. But what is most important is that you write from your heart. From your heart to another’s heart. So here’s what I think may be happening for you, you may not be clear about the purpose of your blog. Who are you writing to? What do they need from you that will make a difference in their lives? What can you offer them?
For me a blog is a place for people to get to know me before they do business with me – to see how much value I give and what I believe in and stand for. But a blog can be about supporting a cause, or educating people on a topic, or simply sharing ideas about your passion.
I’m in the process of redefining my blog a bit – and my business for that matter. And that will dictate what I write. For instance, on my blog www.magneticblogbuilders.com people what to know about building blogs and writing for blogs so I’ll write about that. On www.passionatelyonpurose.com my initial emphasis was on business building and internet marketing but I find that the philosophical posts about creating change from the inside out are being read more. So I’ll write more of those.
What is keeping your target community up at night?
For instance, I’m writing a series on allowing yourself to prosper since finances are a concern for everyone. Seth Godin’s blog www.sethgodin.com is a great example of a blog that keeps people thinking. He writes really short posts on one small piece from one of his books. People read them every day.
Find some blogs you like and start to read them. See what those people are doing. I ran across a blog recently that has given me some ideas of features to add to my blog. Sometimes I read a post that inspires me to take one point from it and expand on it. What’s happening in your life? Sometimes I find a personal challenge and write about it because others might be facing the same thing.
Your wonderful question has prompted this answer, which I will share with others on my blog because there are others like you with the same question. Thank you for opening up the dialogue. I could write a whole series of posts to help beginning writers get started. See how it works? Stay tuned to your community and answer their questions.
Develop your own writing style
I write like a talk – I just sit down and type like crazy. Some of the writing is better than others. Sometimes the ideas come out clearly and sometimes at the top of the draft I have to write things like “not clear”, “wanders” and other go-back-and-do-it-again notes to myself.
My most important writing tip was learned a long time ago when I was teaching in my church. The teacher’s manual had a section that said “Students leave with an understanding of…” and listed three or four major points. I could do whatever I wanted to in the class but everything I did had to help them leave with the understanding of those particular points. I have learned since that that is an advanced and key element of good curriculum design. Your post has a purpose. What is it? What do you want your readers to understand?
What do you want to tell people?
What do they need that you can offer? What is your call to action? I have two choices for people to make on my blog – one to join the RSS feed to be notified of future posts and one to join my community which means they give me permission to market to them, to let them know what I am doing. I put out a bi-monthly emagazine with resources and recent posts and whatever I’m offering that month. So that harks back to why you are writing your blog. What do you want them to do? What is the purpose of your blog?
Although blogs started out as online journals, I believe they are most effective when they fulfill a purpose. They need to give great value to those who read them. I love to write and it sounds like you do to. Just focus your purpose more and see how that stimulates your ideas. And if you want some specific help give me a call.
I hope this helps.