Be a better writer by blogging

At a workshop I presented this week, I mentioned Zen Habits, a well-known successful blog, and neglected to share it with the audience. So, for all writers, here’s the quick run-down on Zen Habits owner, Leo Babauta, on the seven critical points for blogging.

This is an especially effective resource for writers, since blogs are free and as easy as composing email. Having a place to write, even once a week, is a nice way to stay grounded in your writing. And who knows, you may find what you’re writing is indeed worth sharing. Leo started out as a stay-at-home father of six children. Read on…

Zen Habits successful blogger Leo Babauta offers these seven practical tips for effective blogs:

His crucial steps are summarized here. I’ve elaborated on the two points I think are most relevant for writers. If you start with Tip #1, you’ll be on your way:
Tip #1: Use a blogging platform that will grow with you.

Tip #2: Choose an attractive topic

Tip #3: Hit on a hot blog title and create a punchy tagline.

Tip #4: Create a Brand
“Let’s take a look at two blogs that have strong brand, Zen Habits and Goodlife ZEN. The domain, blog name, tagline, and the minimalist design and the content all support the Zen Habits brand which is about simplicity, productivity, and creating good habits. Another strong brand is Goodlife Zen, the blog of my colleague and friend Mary Jaksch. If you take a look, you will see that everything from the  URL to the blog name, to the design creates a sense of peacefulness.”

Tip #5: Choose a flexible design

Tip # 6: Write great content
The key to long-term success is to write great content. Great content needs to be:
·       extremely useful for your target readers,
·       well considered and well structured,
·       well written in a conversational style,
·       scannable through using lists and headings,
·       informative and entertaining
There is a lot more to say about writing great content. It is a skill you need to learn in order to grow you a big readership.

Tip #7: Grow your readership

HG Note: Readership, of course, will follow, but first you have to start… The two easiest places to begin are blogger.com or wordpress.com. Both are free.

Helen Gallagher

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