If you’re looking to start a blog or build one up, you’re going to need content. The written word is often the go-to when it comes to SEO – but the act of writing itself can be a hard task, especially if you’re not used to it.
The ability to write is like a muscle – how well it performs, and how quickly and effectively it works – all depends on how much practice you’ve had.
So how do you build up your writing muscle? Here are 5 exercises you can do to get your writer’s brain into gear.
Kick up your brain with a storm
Coming up with ideas can be as hard as writing itself. Sometimes, we get hit with a sense of impostor syndrome and stop ourselves short from completing anything in particular.
The easiest way to get yourself started is to start brainstorming some ideas.
But this isn’t your usual topics kind of brainstorm. Rather, write headlines you’d like to read. Turn them into questions for you to answer.
When you use questions as headlines, it gives your article a purpose for existing. It also sets the direction of the piece – something that many of us get stuck on for content because we become overwhelmed with all the possible things to write – or nothing to write at all.
At least when you have a question, you can answer it in written form.
If you’re coming into writing cold turkey, you may find yourself getting stuck with what to write in general. The last time you’ve written anything at all that was coherent and long enough was probably for the last essay you wrote back in school.
Or if you’re still fresh from all that but still don’t know what to write, start journaling.
Put down your train of thoughts, your abstract revelations, and realizations, quotes you found interesting or inspiring – in fact, write down everything and anything in your notebook.
It will help get you into the groove of transferring the words in your head out onto a medium that’s external from you. You’re stuck not because you haven’t got any words – but rather because you’re not used to the act of moving the words out from your head.
If you want to make money online from writing, you’re going to need to write every day. There’s also a misconception that your first public pieces are supposed to be masterpieces – but they don’t.
What they need to be is coherent and completed. Quality of production eventually comes from the quantity and consistency of the output.
Your writer’s brain is a muscle and the best writers among us are the most prolific with their content. They got good at what they do by practicing the craft every day.
When you start getting into the groove of writing every day, you’ll start to uncover your own style and methodology of working. You’ll start to figure out a routine, what works for you, your environment, the background ambiance music that works the best – but most importantly, the things that drive you to write.
Because these things are the easiest to write and words will flow more freely than usual once you’ve found your niche.
Complete at least a piece every other day
It’s one thing to write every day, it’s another to actually complete something.
When you complete something, you are seeing a piece to the end. It’s easy to start but oftentimes, closing off a piece is one of the hardest things to do. You may worry about the length, or if anyone will ever find it interesting enough to read it.
There are no set lengths when it comes to writing. Your article only needs to be as long as it needs to be. No one is standing over you with a red marker because you’re 10 words off your word count, or because you think it doesn’t have the right keywords for SEO or crawlers to pick up.
Don’t worry about all that.
Just finish a piece. Publish it. Rinse and repeat. Your writing for your audience – or if you don’t have one yet, it’s your dream image of an audience.
Create content for them and everything else will follow. But first, you need to finish it.
Find your moments and pockets of time to write
Maybe writing isn’t your full-time gig just yet. However, you want it to be. You want to make a living from your blog – so you’re going to need to shuffle out some things and find pockets of time to write.
To be a writer, you need to make writing your priority. Yes, that new series on Netflix looks tempting – why not watch it as a reward after you’ve made some progress towards an article?
Make time to write and then reward yourself after the task of writing has been completed. You need to get used to putting your writing first – or else it’ll never get done.
Writing is like going to the gym – you need to make the commitment and show up. It’s one thing to say you’ll do something, it’s another when it comes to execution.
So if you want to have a strong writing muscle – one where you can write a full article in an allotted time, you’re going to need to get used to the time pressures of writing.
If you want to be a writer, you’re going to need to write. If you want to make money from your blog, you’re going to have to write. There’s no other way around it.
Words are the bread and butter of SEO but often times we get sidetracked by everything else – other than the actual act of creating content.
The more you write, the easier it gets. The first time may feel difficult and slow – just like the act of running around the block when you haven’t exercised in years – but it gets easier and the next you know, you’ve signed up to a marathon.
So get writing, finish something, post it and do it all over again.