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Welcome, freelance writers and bloggers! Is writing blog posts a challenge for you? Then read on because today I will share my best how-to guide that will improve the way you write content for you or your clients.
Where do I begin?
Is my story worth telling?
Will people read this?
Can I make money out of it?
If you find yourself stuck with these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
Writing blog posts isn’t just love. It requires discipline, motivation, and a whole lot of hard work. Whether you want to become a self-published author who wants to build your brand online or a freelance content writer for local and foreign clients, I hope my guide in writing blog posts will help you turn your passion into a profession.
This how-to guide in writing blog posts is based on my 15-day free content writing program held inside my Facebook group. The goal is writing blogs posts which will attract high-paying clients. That is, writing blog posts which will help businesses grow.
The program is beginner-friendly. I figured, instead of giving away the information all at once, I’ll just break it down into 15 consecutive days. That way, you can have enough time to go over each step and identify which areas are the ones you need to work on,
But mind you, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. And I can’t guarantee that once the 15-day period is up, you will write like Shakespeare does, or have groundbreaking novels like J.K. Rowling.
Again, the goal here is to enhance your writing skills to land high-paying clients.
The key is to allow yourself enough time to process everything.
For 15 days, you will go through 3 phases: Planning, Writing, and Polishing.
Be warned, this is not going to be easy. Prepare to suffer (wink), to be exhausted, and frustrated even.
This program will teach you how to:
- Learn new techniques, and
- Realize that to become a successful writer is a continuous process, a long-term commitment.
So, if you think that your idea is too ambitious, we help you make it happen.
In fact, YOU will make it happen.
To start, you will need:
1. A notebook or gadget (phone, laptop, PC, or tablet), whichever makes you comfortable to write.
2. An open mind.
Phase 1 Planning
Day 1 Your commitment
In the first page of your notebook, complete this sentence:
“I want to write a blog about ____ .”
Think about what you want to write.
No judgment. Anything goes.
How about an essay of your pains and joys of being an only child?
Do you love to travel? What about a blog post on your first time flying solo?
Like I said, ANYTHING GOES.
The possibilities are endless. So, pick one and work on it until day 15.
And to finish today’s task, complete this other sentence:
“For 15 days, I will commit to writing this blog from __ am/pm to ___ am/pm.”
Admit it, life happens. We have jobs, business, and families to tend to. We don’t want this project to get in the way. Instead, think of it as a daily routine, like brushing your teeth in the morning, or slathering your face with your nighttime skincare routine.
I do most of my writing at night. That is because my neighbors are already asleep. My friendly lizard (Butiks) keeps me company. He stays behind my laptop peeking, curious about whatever he thinks I’m doing. Surprisingly, I find it very comforting.
Aside from Butiks, I have a dog, Beebee. He loves pansit bihon, gelatin, and spaghetti.
Let’s have Ms. Kris Aquino, the Queen of Talk as an example. Before going to bed, it’s either she will read the news from her IPad, or write something in her journal. Do this and you will notice the difference. It’s addicting.
Again, here are the sentences that you need to complete.
“I want to write a _____ .”
“For 15 days, I will commit to writing this blog from __ am/pm to ___ am/pm.”
Day 2 Focus with the Pomodoro Technique
How’s it going?
The key is to be consistent, which is why I gave you the liberty to choose your preferred writing schedule.
Failure to do so may not give you the expected results.
Also, I made it 15-days so that you won’t be overwhelmed.
If tasks start to pile up, you may have trouble catching up.
For Day 2, you will create a list of words or phrases that you will use in your project.
Others call it a cheat sheet.
Prepare to fill a page or two of your notebook.
If you’re using your gadgets, create a separate memo pad or doc. for this activity.
And for this task, you will use the Pomodoro Technique.
Have you heard of it?
In the late 1980s, Francesco Cirillo developed a time-management method called the Pomodoro Technique.
With this method, a timer is used to break down work into intervals, which are separated by short breaks.
We will use this technique to help you eliminate distractions.
This will challenge your state of mind to be “in the zone”.
For today, we will start with two rounds of the Pomodoro technique.
So, prepare your writing materials, finish your coffee, and let’s get started.
Once you have set your timer to 25 minutes, you may start writing.
Again, just words or phrases, write everything that pops into your head.
The key is to keep going. It’s okay to pause, but DON’T STOP.
You stop writing when the timer is up.
After 20 minutes, take a deep breath, and go on a 5-minute break.
Once the 5-minute break is up, set the timer again for another 20 minutes and be ready for the next round.
Remember, the key is to KEEP GOING. Stop when the timer is up.
Here’s the sequence:
25 minutes to write > Take a 5-minute break > 25 minutes to write again
How do you feel about this technique?
Is it hard?
Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.
Day 3 Outlining
Today is going to be a little tricky.
From the list of words and/or phrases that you made yesterday, you are going to pick what you would consider being the skeleton of your outline.
Look, I know this is going to be hard.
But trust me, this will establish the flow of your chosen project.
Here, you will determine what comes first, the next one, and the next.
Like my English professor would tell me in college, your work must be concise and coherent.
Concise means BRIEF, while coherent means UNIFIED or CONSISTENT.
Utilize an alphanumeric outline or bullets to group your word or phases from major to minor subjects.
The conclusion will bind everything together, like a fancy ribbon in a bag of candy, or the zipper in your favorite dress.
I want to write an essay about being single. I will write from 9 PM to 12 MN.of being single
- free to date anyone
- I can go out with friends anytime I want to
- I can spend all my money on books
- I get lonely sometimes
- My friends are making me jealous
- I want to feel what it’s like to be committed
My conclusion: Regardless of the cons, I still want to remain single. I want to take my time.
You may get stuck if you don’t have enough words or phrases listed down from yesterday.
That’s okay, don’t fret.
Just do another round of the Pomodoro Technique, and I’m sure you will complete this outline in no time.
How did it go?
Day 4 What’s my blog title?
Did you finish your outline?
Our next step is one of my favorites.
And that is, choosing a title.
So what makes a good title?
People are always looking for something new. It could be the latest in show business, a much-awaited movie sequel, or a new Netflix series.
Gorgeous Gowns You Can Buy Online for Php 2,000 (an article from the femalenetwork.com)
Are Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Really Feuding? (an article from www.townandcountrymag.com)
Eyes of a Blue Dog by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (A short story. Is there such a thing as a blue dog?)
Triggers an emotional response
Whether you are an email marketer, a content writer, or an indie author, using titles that trigger emotions is a bullet to your gun. It allows the reader to go straight to your content. Why?
Here are two reasons:
One, readers are deeply moved by reading the titles alone.
And second, the title is something they can relate to.
‘I’m Broke and Mostly Friendless, and I’ve Wasted My Whole Life’ (an article from www.thecut.com )
5 Ways to Deal with an Office Inggitera (an article from the femalenetwork.com)
Plastic Bag Pulled from Turtle’s Throat (from huffpost.com)
Loyal Until The End (Former President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, Sully pays tribute to his master, from huffpost.com)
There is irony
Irony is the opposite of what is expected. There are 3 kinds:
Verbal – You say one thing, but you mean something else. Women are very good at this. lol. Especially if we put up a fight with our loved ones. For example, your man forgot your birthday. And when he finds out, he’d say,
“Babe, I’m so sorry. Are you, okay?”
And how would you respond?
“It’s alright. It’s not your fault. I’m fine.”
Duh, as if.
Situational – Expectation vs Reality
Have you seen the movie 500 Days of Summer? There is a part where Summer Invited Tom to a house party. Tom thought that this is going to be a chance for them to rekindle their love for each other. Turns out, it’s an engagement party. Summer is getting married. Ouch.
Dramatic – Think Romeo and Juliet.
Okay, so how do we use irony in choosing a title? The good thing about irony is that you can play with it. You can have a funny title with serious content or vice versa. With irony, anything goes.
The Comedy of Errors (a play by William Shakespeare)
Debra (a song by Beck) – I find it sexy and ironic. Listen below and you’ll know.
I’m moving to France – (a vlog title, but the truth is, she’s just visiting)
It must be short
In a recent study, there are factors to consider in writing titles, especially if you are using this to increase your online presence.
Blog titles should not be more than 6 to 8 words.
For a Google headline, it should not exceed 60 characters
SEO titles it should be limited to 55 characters
If you will ask me, I’d say number 3 (irony) is the best. It’s a no-brainer. Very easy to put together. Also, it makes you kinda bad-ass.
You can get your title from the list of words or phrases from our brainstorming activity on Day 2. So don’t think of that piece of paper as trash. You may still get something out of it.
And finally, we need to use an online tool to be sure our blog title is SEO-friendly.
Just type your headline and click the orange Analyze Now button. Your headline will undergo three steps.
Step 1: Identifies what type of headline it is: Lists, How to’s, or Questions
Step 2: Check the word balance. According to CoSchedule, headlines must have 20-30% common 10-20% uncommon 10-15% emotional and at least 1 power
Step 3: Analyzes your headline for engagement and optimization. Coschedule tells you if your headline is easy to digest and scannable.
Give it a whirl.
Were you able to come up with a title?
How’s everyone doing?
Kaya pa? Op kors.
When God created the world, he rested on the 7th day.
We’re going to do the same thing. This time, on our fifth.
SImple. We need it.
Resting doesn’t mean we’re giving up.
We are wired this way.
We’re not zombies from The Walking Dead.
We need to recharge, get some sleep, and eat well.
So take the day off.
Stay away from whatever you’re working on.
Eat that cake
Watch that Netflix series you’ve been eyeing on
See you tomorrow.
Phase 2 Writing Blog Posts
Day 6 My first draft
Good day, writers. How’s it going?
Ready for Day 6? Let’s go.
Today is the first day you start writing your first draft.
You can do this.
Remember the Pomodoro technique? We’re going to use this method throughout this phase.
Again, the goal is for you to stick to your preferred schedule, eliminate distractions, focus, and write like crazy.
STOP only when the timer goes off.
I mean it.
If you don’t follow the process, it’s not going to work.
Again, use two rounds of the Pomodoro technique.
25 minutes (write) > 5 minutes (break) > 25 minutes (write)
If you have enough time to spare, or you think two rounds of the technique is not enough, go over it once more.
To start, go back to your outline, and focus on the ones under Roman numeral “Ⅰ.”
From there, start building your subtopics (the ones labeled A, B, or C, or 1, 2, 3) with paragraphs.
Once the timer goes off, you will be amazed at how much stuff you’ve put down in writing.
STOP. Erase nothing.
DO NOT check the grammar.
Refrain from throwing away your draft
Keep everything, for now.
That’s it for today.
Again, focus on Roman numeral “Ⅰ.”
See you tomorrow.
Day 7 My second (?) draft
Can you imagine? We are halfway through. Kudos to you.
Thanks for sticking around.
I hope you stay with me until the last day.
Anyhoo, how was yesterday?
One of our participants showed me her first draft.
I am too.
Not that she made a mistake.
But because of what she realized.
Her topic was way too broad.
What do I mean by this?
She wanted to write about menopause.
I think that’s interesting, and relevant to say the least.
But her outline shows a lot of subtopics.
And writing about the subtopics inside Roman Numeral “Ⅰ.” alone is so daunting, that she decided to go back to Day 2 and revise her outline.
Is that okay? Yes.
Is this part of the process?
Well, not what I expected.
In writing blog posts, before I proceed with the first draft. I make sure that the outline is final.
No, if’s and but’s.
What if something’s wrong? What if I missed something?
Am I not allowed to go back?
Redo my outline and start over?
This phase I must say is the most unforgiving.
You will cry, tear your hair, or worse, throw everything out of the window.
If you will get past this, then I must say, you’ve transcended from a rookie to a pro(-ish).
Accepting mistakes, correcting them, and starting over is part of the process.
So if you did start over yesterday, here’s a digital high-five for you.
But, if you are working on the second part of your outline, kudos to you too.
You’re not a newbie anymore. You have learned your lesson. And I’m glad you did.
So carry on, and see you tomorrow.
Day 8 Breaking the text
Good day, everyone.
It’s Day 8, whew.
Any bumps along the way?
You know I’m here if you need me, right?
I have an extra tip to make your work more enticing.
You see, you will encounter different types of readers online.
Take this article, for instance, it says here there are 13 types.
Regardless, here’s a pro tip if you want to get noticed.
BREAK THE TEXT
What do I mean by this?
Now, if you are gearing into literature, then this may not for you.
But for anything designed to be published online, whether it’s web content, blog, or a review, breaking the text allows a pleasant and easy reading experience.
Use sub-headings, bullets, numbers, blockquotes, and line breaks.
If you still don’t get what I mean, then watch this video.
I hope it helps.
See you tomorrow.
Day 9 Parallelism
Feeling lazy already?
If you can’t fight it, that’s fine.
We all have those days.
But if you decide to get up and keep hustling, then you go girl.
Today, I have another tip that helped me a lot in my writing.
And that is called, parallelism.
Whoa, big word.
As we all know, there are 3 main types of verb tenses, past, present, and future.
Parallelism is a technique used to line up verbs in a single sentence, with one tense in mind.
if you’re on your way to the store and you need to get apples, you might find yourself heading straight to the produce section, investigating each apple for bruises, and putting the best four you can find in your cart.
Notice the verbs, heading, investigating, and putting. They all use the same tense, which allows a nice flow of ideas in one sentence.
In writing blog posts, the key is to be consistent.
So how do you do it?
First, you have to decide what verb tense to use. The safest is writing in the past tense.
Then, locate the verbs and examine if they are all in one verb tense.
Lastly, re-read the sentence to make sure you get all the facts straight and see if they are consistent.
Five more days to go.
Ah, time does fly.
Anyway, today is another free day.
Yup, you heard it right.
Take a break.
Go get a mani-pedi.
How about a shopping spree?
Or, a nice warm bath and a cup of hot coffee or tea.
Pamper yourself today.
You deserve it.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
Phase 3 Polishing
Day 11 Grammarly
How’s your draft?
I hope it’s all coming together now.
For our third and last phase, we’re going to get a little technical.
As much as I love playing with words and defying norms, going back to the basics is still a great foundation in writing blog posts.
Forget about poetic justice (at least for a while).
Let’s dive into Grammar 101.
Let me introduce my BFF, Grammarly.
You hear a lot of people say that in writing blog posts, it’s better to work smart than work hard.
And that I can say is true.
Grammarly helps you to write smart.
It provides an opportunity to help writers check grammar lapses and punctuations.
And when you go premium, it helps you avoid committing plagiarism too.
Just go to https://www.grammarly.com/, paste your text, and watch it work its magic.
You can even install it in your Google browser for easy access.
But before I end this.
We only have 4 days to go before this program ends.
With that, I’d like to share a dose of inspiration for you, who made this possible.
Who says there’s no money in writing?
Day 12 Hemmingway
Good day, everyone.
Today I introduce you to Hemingway.
No, not the one who wrote The Old Man and the Sea.
He’s my other BFF.
You see, there are times when I’m writing blog posts for my clients and having trouble breaking the text myself.
So much for giving tips, right? Lol
Kidding aside, Hemingway helped me with it.
He tells me if the sentence is too difficult to read, or suggests a much simpler alternative.
In the upper right, it gives you a rating of how your sentences go.
At first, I thought the higher the Grade, the better.
But the truth is, the LOWER the better.
Check it out: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/
Day 13 Refine your external links
One of the reasons why a blog ranks incredibly on Google is because it uses reliable resources which readers would benefit on. And when I say “reliable” it means websites with authority.
Avoid using Wikipedia, Quora, or Reddit.
Conduct thorough research about the niche you’re writing about. Remember, you are not competing against these websites. Instead, they will help your blog rank better, This is how Google would know that your resources are true and correct, making you a person of authority or an expert in your field.
Day 14 Write your author’s bio
We’re down to our second to the last day in writing blog posts that help you become a disciplined writer. Yass.
How’s your project going? Looking good?
Today, we will focus on YOU.
Are you ready for this?
Now’s the time we establish a reputation.
What do I mean by this?
If you want to be called a freelance content writer or blogger? Well, OWN it.
We start by writing a kick-ass bio.
This can be seen at the bottom of your blog post. You can even use it in your social media profiles.
Here are tips on how to do it.
Keep it short
This actually depends on where you’ll put it. If you will write a bio on Instagram, it should be 160 characters or less. But if you will put it on the about page of your blog or website, it can be a up to 5 sentences.
Write in third person point of view
Address yourself using pronouns he or she. Imagine someone is giving you an introduction
Eg. Cherrie Ann Balictar is the founder of The Greatest Digital Creatives.
Mention your accomplishments
We want people to see the best version of yourself. Flaunt your awards. Tell your readers what you’re good at.
Tell your readers about your hobbies and interests
Your readers would want to get to know you on a more personal level. But without giving away too much, try to say something witty.
Add a little bit of humor
You don’t have to be too serious. so readers can have a good impression on you.
Ready to write your professional bio? Share it in the comments below. 🙂
Brofist, everybody. You made it to our last day. Woot woot.
Thank you for staying with me until the end.
Sharpen your knives, and have your guns locked and loaded.
Bring it on, bitches.
Want to write about self-love? Go create that stunning blog site.
Apply to that content writing position you’ve been eyeing for days.
You got this.
Remember, LEARN, APPLY, and MONETIZE.
Because YOU DESERVE THE GREATEST.
Let me know if you need anything.
All the love in the world,