encouragement

How To Write a Great Blog Post Without Losing Your Soul

It can be hard to write a great blog post that is popular with a large audience but also true to who you are in your soul. It is possible with these 6 tips.

Is It Even Possible to Write a Great Blog Post Without Losing Your Soul?

It is an all too common scene in my blogging journey. I sit down to write a great blog post and I can almost instantly feel the battle. There is tension between the desire to write what is truly resonating in my heart and to write what will be popular with readers and create a lot of page views and maybe even a little income.

I sigh and start writing. I am not immune to the pull of the world, to write what is popular and what I know will create the most page views. I also have this intense desire to write from my heart and to write what I believe I am supposed to write. The problem is that what I want to write is often not what is popular in the Google searches and the Pinterest Boards.

Thankfully, I have come to the place where I can do both. I can write a great blog post while staying true to myself. Do want to know my secret?

You can read all kinds of blogs about blogging. Blogs about blogging are definitely the thing to do these days. You can learn about traffic, seo, images, proper writing, social media, etc.

I can tell you that what people really really want from your blog is to hear from YOU. They want authenticity. They want vulnerability. Trust me, readers these days can smell fake from a mile away. They want real and they want the truth. 

So, how do you write a great blog post that people will want to read while not losing your soul?

Here is 6 Tips.

A Great Blog Post Starts with the Habit of Daily Writing.

I have written quite a bit about the importance of a daily writing habit. I confess I am definitely not perfect at keeping this a priority. I slip away for a few days at a time or even a few weeks at a time.  I can tell you that my writing suffers greatly when I am not writing on a daily basis.

Set a goal to write for a certain about of time or a certain number of words each day. Then sit down and just start writing. Write whatever comes to your mind. It does not have to make sense. It does not have to flow. 

Just start writing….and don’t stop until you are done for the day. Stop when you reach your goal or just keep writing if you are really on a role. 

Daily writing is so important for maintaining your voice. Your voice is unique to you and is what makes your writing so special.  The more you write the more you are in tune with your own writing voice. Write daily and your voice will become quite clear.

Blog posts written in your voice are way better and more likely to be successful than if you wrote in an inauthentic way.

A Great Blog Post Has a WHY 

Why in the world did you even start this whole blogging thing anyway? Lord knows blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It can take a very long time to be really noticed. Not only that, blogging is HARD. There is a big learning curve and it is a job that never sleeps.

There has to be a really big reason for doing something so hard. That reason is your WHY. 

What is that WHY?

  • Is it to spread an important message that is weighing heavy on your heart? 
  • Do you have a cause that is super important to you?
  • Do you want to make money to help support your family? 
  • Do you want to make money so you can donate to a very important cause to you?

If you stay in touch with your WHY and you remind yourself of it daily, it will come through in your writing. Your voice will be heard and your message will be told.

It can be hard to write a great blog post that is popular with a large audience but also true to who you are in your soul. It is possible with these 6 tips.

To Write A Great Blog Post is to be Focused

Turn off the gosh darn social media and other distractions. Turn it all off when you are doing your daily writing and when you are writing your blog post.

I am easily distracted.  I’ll be writing right along and then I randomly click over to Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or YouTube. Next thing I know I am indulging in cute puppy videos or reading the comments on some overly funny or controversial post. I fall down the rabbit hole and when I finally climb out of the hole who knows how much time has been wasted. My focus is gone.

Focus is one thing but if I allow myself to go down some rabbit holes I end up losing my focus on what’s really important.  My emotions get all riled up and there goes my focus, my voice, and my message. I get wrapped up in other people’s business and lose the importance of what I was trying to write.

Stay focused. How do I stay focused?

Promise yourself to STAY OFF social media, news sites, cute puppy/kitten sites, etc. Just Say No.

Promising yourself doesn’t work? Okay. Install a time management blocker program on your computer. These type programs block unnecessary programs and websites during pre-determined times of the day. Even if you can’t help clicking over the program blocks the site and you can’t get access. You can find all kinds of free programs that serve this purpose. 

Can you hack your way past all the blocks of your blocker programs like me? Okay. Go Nuclear.

Install a program like Cold Turkey Writer. I am writing this blog post right now through Cold Turkey Writer. Y’all, this program is epic. CTW literally shuts down everything on your computer for a certain amount of time or until a certain number of words are written. I have tried to hack out of this program and I can’t. I’m stuck. I’m stuck as I write these words. I currently have the program set to 30 minutes. I won’t be able to do anything else on my laptop until those 30 minutes are over. I might as well be writing this post!!

Stay focused so you don't lose your message in the message of the world. Click To Tweet

A Great Blog Post is Vulnerable

A great blog post is one that written from a place of vulnerability. How do you get your message across? You get it across by being vulnerable and telling your story.

Have you noticed how much people love stories from people who are willing to tell everything, the good the bad and the ugly? That’s because people like REAL.

Being vulnerable will help your special and unique voice come out. Being vulnerable will give credibility to your message. Being vulnerable will help keep your WHY alive.

I have learned through experience that when I close the doors to my vulnerability my writing suffers greatly. It becomes fake and cold and doesn’t even flow. You can sense the lies through the page. I eventually lose the actual desire to write and oftentimes stop writing altogether.

Once I allow the doors to open and I am willing to enter the arena put myself out there, my writing takes off. I can’t keep my fingers still. That calling to write comes back to life. 

Always be appropriately vulnerable with your audience. Be a person who struggles and celebrates. Allow your readers to enter into your world. Show them the real you. be real and true. And your readers will thank you for it by coming back over and over again.

A Great Blog Post Does Not Check Itself.

I know that one of the most frustrating parts of writing for a blog is making sure everything flows and reads nicely. If the writing is poor then readers will pop right off your site in one flick of a lamb’s tail. Trust me I know about this. I am that reader.

Even if you do your daily writing, remember your WHY, stay focused, write with authenticity and vulnerability, your blog post still needs to be readable. Punctuation, grammar, and flow all have to be considered carefully. It all matters if you write a very formal post or a very friendly and casual post.

That’s why I have become best friends with Grammarly.

Oh my goodness. Grammarly saves me day in and day out. You can install Grammarly on your computer, as a Chrome Extension, and on Microsoft Word. I have it set up for Chrome and with Word.

Grammarly is like having a proofreader and editor in your back pocket. He is with you every time you sit down to write. You can choose to pay attention to his corrections or ignore them. 

I am a pretty good proofreader and editor in my own right. I was raised by an English major and a professional proofreader who never let bad writing leave the house. I am also not perfect and I always need help.

Instant Grammar Checker - Correct all grammar errors and enhance your writing.

Grammarly proofreads as I write. I can see my mistakes as I go along. I can choose to fix right then or I can choose to fix all the mistakes when I’m done writing.

Grammarly forces me to think about how I am writing. For example, Grammarly hates passive voice. Well, I shouldn’t be using the passive voice anyway so I am grateful for the reminder.

I confess I can be a rather lazy writer. I just want to write my heart’s thoughts and push publish. That isn’t fair to my readers and that isn’t fair to myself. Grammarly does not allow for lazy writing. If I am being lazy about it then Grammarly will let me know, politely.

Just remember, though. Grammarly does not do your work for you.

You will still need to read your writing and make your own adjustments. Grammarly makes suggestions, albeit good ones, and you can choose to use them or not.

Grammarly does not and can not know my unique voice and funny little sayings. That’s okay. It isn’t fool-proof and doesn’t claim to be. Grammarly is a breath of fresh air and a trusted friend. I can count on Grammarly to give suggestions to make my writing better. If I take the suggestion that’s totally awesome. If I don’t take the suggestion because it really doesn’t go along with my voice then that’s okay too. We’re still friends. Grammarly can handle the rejection.

You CAN do this!! You have the tools to write a great blog post that people want to read without losing WHO you are.

This post was proofread by Grammarly    

   
It can be hard to write a great blog post that is popular with a large audience but also true to who you are in your soul. It is possible with these 6 tips.

It can be hard to write a great blog post that is popular with a large audience but also true to who you are in your soul. It is possible with these 6 tips.

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What To Do When You HATE Your Blog

Over the last few days, I’ve been feeling like I should share some parts of this whole writing/blogging thing that you don’t often see in all those flashy Pinterest pins, Income Reports or Blogs About Writing Blogs. *wink* 

The last few days have been hard. I was having so many doubts and lacked major vision in my writing. I was having MAJOR doubts. It was like I was convinced that absolutely no one would ever read my stuff and that all this effort will be for nothing. UGH! It has been rough. To say I didn’t love my blog is an understatement. It was more like hate. 

Now, I am feeling much better today. And I have more focus. What was it that helped me push through these problems? How did I come to not hate my blog anymore? 

I Go For A Run

It is amazing how getting some exercise and getting those endorphins moving can do for a cloudy vision. I was in the pit of despair one minute and then within a few minutes of running I felt tons better and I was getting more ideas pretty quickly. 

It never takes long for my mood to lift and my perspective makes a full 180 turn. 

When you are in the pits of creative despair and lack motivation or inspiration, get outside. Get some exercise.

I personally love running outside. Do what works for you. Move your body and remove yourself from your work.

Or as my husband will say, “Go for a run and don’t come back till you are in a better mood.” 

 

 

 

Change What I Am Working On

When I am feeling defeated and ready to quit, I switch what I’m working on.

For example, let’s say I’m working on getting some writing done. Ugh! I’m so tired of writing! So, I switch to creating a bunch of graphics for the blog. That’s a switch in what part of the brain I’m using and it can be such a sweet change.

Or, I switch to creating the printables I make for all the posts.

Finally, I like to turn off the creative side of blogging and go straight into consumer mode. I’ve invested in some blogging/writing courses. It often helps for me to put the creation side of my brain down and invest in myself through coaching. I turn on one of the courses and just watch and listen.

I’m still working and moving forward towards my dream. I’m just doing it differently.

Different is good, especially when I need a reboot. Click To Tweet

 I Go Back To Where It All Started

Why did you start blogging in the first place? 

What is the WHY behind this whole thing? 

For me, that means going back to the writing.

It is so easy for me to lose sight of the fact that I started this whole thing because I love writing. I get so caught up in SEO, social media, page views, stats, etc. I’m not saying those are not important. They are absolutely important to this important.

But, sometimes I need to be reminded the WHY of this whole thing. I love to write and I have something to say. When I feel downcast and ready to quit, I put aside all the business stuff for a day or two and I just write. I write and write and write and write.

I process my thoughts and feelings (yes, I’m a very emotional and sensitive person, INFJ) and as a bonus, also get quite a few blog posts knocked out.

What you need to do is go back to the beginning. Why did you start this whole thing? Go there. Click To Tweet

JUST STOP

Take the day off. Take a few days off. Just let it sit.

Writing and keeping a blog can be an emotionally exhausting thing.  Take a complete break from the blog and writing.

Personally, I have this built into my week already by observing a Sabbath every week. On that day, I don’t do anything related to the blog whatsoever. It gives my brain and my heart a nice reset and I’m rested and ready to go when work resumes.

The Sabbath is the day that I focus on Self-Care. I do all the things that make my soul sing. That includes watching movies, napping, lingering over my cup of coffee, reading good books, going on adventures with my two favorite men, and unplugging from the Internet. 

What would your self-care look like? 

Listen, there will most likely come a day when you just want to throw your laptop out the window and swear you will NEVER ever blog another word again. That’s pretty natural. 

Take some time to sit with these feelings and figure out WHY you are feeling this way. 

Then, take some time do one or all of these steps to refresh and reset.

Come back stronger and a better writer and blogger. You went into the pit and then came back. 

Why? Because YOU ROCK!! 

 

 

 

Stock Image Credit:
Tim Gouw

It's going to happen. Are you prepared for when your blog loses its luster and you just might hate it?
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New Bloggers: Finding Your Expert Field

New bloggers,

I see you out there just itching to get your blog started. You know you want to dive into this thing called blogging but you feel stuck and that is what prevents you from hitting that PUBLISH button. 

In this time of information saturation, a big hurdle to getting out there in the blogging world is wondering if you are enough of an expert in your chosen field or niche.

I know I really struggled with this. I wanted to write from the most innermost places of my heart and mind. It was a burning desire that was only growing hotter and hotter as the years went on.

The thing is that I didn’t feel like I had any authority in anything. How in the world would anyone be willing to listen to what I had to say? I don’t have a ton of degrees, nor do I have a large portfolio of published writings. I’m not an expert in anything. 

Here’s the thing, though.

There is one thing that I AM an expert in and that is ME. Click To Tweet

I know myself better than anyone else in this world.

Let me share a short story with you.

I am sitting at my desk and I am writing out my 1000 words a day or I’m out for a run or I’m perhaps even in the shower. I have this absolutely wonderful and revolutionary post idea that I just know will change the world. I can’t wait to sit down and punch out this post for the entire world to see.

I do a quick search on the topic only to find out that no less than twenty people have written on the exact same topic.

What?! That’s not fair!!

I could’ve sworn this was an absolutely original idea!!!

“.... and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 Click To Tweet

You can just assume that your amazing and revolutionary post idea has indeed been written about by at least one person and probably more.

Don’t lose heart! That’s not the end of the story.

There is a completely original idea that you are not considering.

No one has written on this amazing topic from YOUR perspective.

YOU are amazingly unique. Your perspective on the world is 100% original.

So, even if you do write on a topic that has already been addressed by others, your post is completely original because it is from YOU.

Isn’t that amazing?!

Having this mind-blowing realization is the key to me going from unfulfilled writer to fulfilled writer and blogger.

You are an Expert of YOU and no one can take that away from you. Click To Tweet

Get out there and start writing!!!

Okay, Sarah, that’s cool.

I’m an expert on myself. I kind of, sort of get that, but I’m not really an expert on anything else. What can I write about?

That’s a good question!

First, I would recommend that you just start writing every single day.

Or, at least pick certain days that you will write no matter what. I don’t write on the Sabbath, and that is because I don’t work that day and rarely even turn on my computer.

Make writing each day a non-negotiable. 

Find a routine that works for you and make a covenant with yourself that you will write every day on those days.

Writing on a consistent basis will help you find your unique voice and it will help you get those ideas stuck in your head out and on paper.

This daily writing does not have to be organized or publishable.

Just write.

If you want a good challenge to get your writing fingers moving really well then join me in writing 1000 words a day.
 


 

Second, you don’t have to be an expert on something to write about it.

But, if you write on it long enough you will become an expert.

And remember, you are already an expert on YOU.

What do I mean by you don’t have to be an expert to write about something?

A good example is all those fitness blogs out there. 

Most of those people weren’t experts in fitness. They were just people like you and me who wanted to get healthier and chose to document their journey in a blog.

Each person who writes a fitness blog is an expert on their own personal journey first.

The blog starts off simply as a diary of her progress and personal journey. And then as she learns more and more she shares all the knowledge she is gaining. The blog grows and so does the readership.

Why? Because people can relate to the story.

Third, find what makes you…YOU.

What makes you tick?

What are your passions?

Write about those.

When you write about what you love most you will be your most authentic self.

People today more than ever what authenticity and vulnerability.

The Internet is a world of fake news and fake stories and fake people.  It is the projection screen of everyone’s highlight reels.

But, if you step into the Internet world and present yourself and who you truly are. If you are open and honest, and perhaps even raw, then other’s will sit up and listen. And they will follow you because they have found a safe place. A tribe is born.

Be YOU!  You’re the expert, after all.

New Blogger, you have a voice that the world hasn’t heard from yet. You have a voice that the world NEEDS to hear. 

Get out there and let the world hear YOUR voice. 

 

 
 


 

New Bloggers: Finding Your Expert Field
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I Hear You Are Starting Your Fitness Journey…Again

This blog is not specifically a fitness blog but  I do love fitness. Exercise is a very important part of my week. Exercise helps keep me level emotionally. It helps me focus and go after my goals. That endorphins hit is almost always exactly what I need to get out of whatever funk I’m in or to reboot my creativity.

I used to not be that way.

I have stopped and started fitness journeys more times than I’d like to admit.

I start running or lifting or swimming or whatever. I am so gung-ho about it for a few weeks. I talk about it all the time. I POST about it on social media as a way of patting myself on the back. There is nothing wrong with posting on social media about your fitness journey. For me, it was a way of trying to gain recognition so I would feel better about myself.  Hopefully, that is not you. 

Life would happen and I would stop exercising.

This would happen over and over and over.

Then there would come a point where I felt gross or depressed or whatever and I knew I needed to start all over again.

Every beginning is just that….a new beginning. It is good. It is to be celebrated. Click To Tweet

But, every time I would start I didn’t feel good about it because I just KNEW that I would quit eventually. And then, I would think about what everyone would think about me starting all over again.  I just KNEW that they were thinking about how I’ve started ten million times already and I quit every single time. 

Does any of this resonate with you?

I have a feeling that at least one person out there is nodding her head up and down right now.

Well, this is for you, Honey.

First off, I want to say that I am proud of you. You are doing it!!!  You are taking responsibility for your own health and that is no small thing!

YOU are putting yourself first for a little bit each day. By doing that, YOU are saying, “I AM IMPORTANT!.”  That’s because YOU ARE important.

I could gush and gush and gush about how awesome it is that you are taking this step. If you need some extra support, PLEASE shoot me a message via the CONTACT ME Form. I would be honored to support you and encourage you.

Honey, please don’t listen to anyone else.

Pffffft. Pish Posh.

People Schmeaple.

It doesn’t matter one iota what other people think of YOUR fitness journey.

It doesn’t matter one itty bitty bit what other people think of you starting again.

Why?

This is YOUR journey!

This is YOUR Body!!

It belongs to no one else.

You do what you need to do and celebrate how you want to celebrate.

Embrace the Suck

This is when it gets a little less mushy.

There will be days, especially in the beginning, when going out to exercise is going to suck.

Yep. It’s going to happen.

It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to test your dedication.

It’s okay to say that it sucks. It’s okay to be honest with yourself and OTHERS that this journey sucks…at least right now.

Embrace the Suck. Confess the Suck. Use the Suck to propel you forward. Click To Tweet

Believe me when I say it gets easier. With dedication and consistency, your body adapts to the exercise and it feels a ton easier. Whoohoo!! 

You can do this!!

Every new Beginning is GOOD!!!!!

I have stopped and started writing AND exercise probably a thousand times. Ugh. I hate admitting it but it’s the truth.

I have another goal that I’ve stopped and started numerous times throughout the years.

A big bucket list goal is to run a marathon.  Just finish a marathon.

I have started training for that marathon about as many times as I’ve started writing again. Each goal comes to a screeching halt.

So, with better coaching under my belt, I thought it made sense to combine the goals of being a professional writer/blogger and running a marathon once and for all.

I am chasing HARD after each one every day.

I am starting a fitness journey AGAIN….just like you.

This time I have the tools I need to be successful.

If you need the tools, I am here to help you!!!

Please don’t let a lack of skill stop you from going after fitness or any other dream.

I am here to support you 200%. Just click over on the CONTACT ME form and we will talk.

 
 


 

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