There’s a fatal flaw in the mindset of most bloggers. Far too few seem to realize that at the heart of blogging is your ability to write. The more that you develop that skill then the more that you’ll be able to draw in your audiences and the more that you’ll be able to move them with your prose.

I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it’s well worth repeating:

I have people ask me all the time, “How can I grow traffic to my website and gain more subscribers? And don’t tell me that content is king because my content is already awesome.”

Then I look at their site and I think to myself, “Really!? Was this a joke? This stuff is awesome?”

— You Should Be Your Own Strongest Critic

If you ever come to the place where you feel like you’ve really arrived, like you’re really great at something, then it’s time to shift your eyes to someone who’s better. I guarantee you’ll be able to find someone, and when you do, you’ll be able to learn from them.

In other words, regardless of how good you feel that you are, it’s always important to recapture that attitude of an aspiring young writer, to maintain that thirst to aggressively hone your skills with the pen.

2 Rules to Becoming a More Effective Writer

Here’s two simple rules that will guide you as you continue developing your ability to write.

  1. Write every day. There’s something about the mindset and the habits that you develop writing every day that really move you to another level of ability. But don’t stop at writing every day. Just as Michelle Nickolaisen wrote recently at the Problogger blog, writing every day isn’t enough.
  2. Learn every day. You should be writing every day, but I’m also finding that it’s incredibly helpful to be consuming material from which you can learn.

I enjoy stopping by Barnes and Noble, getting a Venti White Chocolate Mocha and reading a book for a while. Of course, I enjoy the book for the subject matter, but I’m constantly analyzing the book and comparing it against my own writing.

What can I learn from the way it’s written? How can I describe things the way that they do? How can I elicit emotion the way this author does?

So let me stick it to you like this: Are you actively working to become more effective writer or are you stagnating at your current ability level?

Nicholas Cardot

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

41 Comments

  • Kari Waldner says:

    True. An article (and its writer) lose credibilty when written poorly. An author can have all the knowledge in the world, but if it is not presented properly it can hurt your image.

  • Izzat Aziz says:

    Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. – Einstein

    You may write everyday as you wish, but just write and write and write doesn’t make you better in writing, it make you write more not better.

    That why you need to write everyday, for post and also for practise, always make what you write today is better than what you wrote yesterday, and everyday keep repeat the same thing.

    Make sure that you satisfy and said “This post is better than yesterday” before that don’t stop find way to make it better.

    You may end up got no post in your blog, if you think you couldn’t find how to make it better, just publish it, but make sure you don’t stop learning on how to make it better and more effective,keep writing and keep learning at same time. Trust me its not rocket science.

    I as new blogger, need to do lot more better in my writing, and I agree with you I should be my own strongest critique.

  • Daniel Rose says:

    Some great tips. I don’t think it’s ever possible to reach a stage where your content development and writing skills can’t improve.
    There’s always improvement to be had.

  • Nick I write just about everyday..if its not an blog post..then its articles..if you continue to do something in a everyday pattern..sooner or later you will get better at..all about being consistence.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • I enjoyed this article very much and I’m always letting writers know how much they need to practice their craft by reading and writing everyday.

    I’m going to make sure everyone at my writers group meeting in the new year checks out this article.

  • I too enjoy going to barnes and noble, or the local public library, in fact almost everyday. I actually write most of my content offline which helps me edit it a bit more than hashing it out on the computer.

    There’s always room for improvement so I think anyone who already thinks they’re doing everything they can probably won’t succeed with that attitude.

    • There is always room for improvement. Not only are you right about that but I think that many people fail to realize just how much they could improve. Most fail to realize how much they don’t know.

  • JohnG says:

    I agree with Kari and Izzat.
    Having writing skill is important, as it’s hard to take someone seriously when they make grammar mistakes and use simple English.
    More imp[importantly however is fresh content. If you blog about blogging months on end, it becomes repetitive and useless to anyone but other bloggers!

    • Don’t think in the scope of blogging about blogging. That entire niche is really where most new bloggers end up jumping in and starting at. It really doesn’t make much sense to me.

      Think about writing in general. Authors of columns in the New York Times are likely to have college degrees and have taken many writing classes. People often scoff at college and proclaim that they can learn just as much on their own, which is true, but then they fail to get out and do what it takes to learn that information.

  • I think that is one thing many new bloggers don’t realize- you always need to be learning….

    Blogging is not for the lazy…you can’t create a blog and then sit back and never change it..

    It takes hard work to keep it in the “limelight” – that hard work involves good writing and keeping up with the current online/blogging trends and SEO stategies.

  • Kevin says:

    This is one of my goals for next year. I’ll try to write more and be active in guest posting. That’s the only way to become a better writer.

  • Another reason I feel really lucky to have a HUGE arsenal of drafted posts. Also why I recommend it to all bloggers.

    Without thinking, I can write post or two per day, any day I feel like it.

  • Great ideas can be destroyed with bad writing.

    Decent ideas can be enhanced with great writing.

    You talk about having the whole package which of course is great ideas combined with great writing.

    With the whole package- a blogger can change the world!!

    • That’s very true. I actually haven’t written much about the concept of the total package in quite some time. I’m glad that you remember that because it really applies here. It really takes so many different concepts all working together to build a powerful presence.

  • Whiztechy says:

    Since I started my blogging career, I never got a feeling of expertise in writing,the more I write the more I learn new things. And I believe that’s the only reason I enjoy and love blogging because there is no full stop in learning from others, you learn new things everyday.

  • Writing all day, I honestly don’t have the will power to do it consistently, I try to write as much as I can, but I wouldn’t put myself in the “pro” list at all in this.
    Learning every day, that’s something different. In every field, there’s always something to learn every day, as long as you have enough “stimuli”.
    I personally think that learning every day is the very essence of being an entrepreneur, be it a big business or a “personal brand”.

    • I would take it a step further and say that it’s really the essence of life. However, don’t let that just be generic. Learn something real every day. Something specific, something helpful. Find a way to take in real knowledge.

      • You’re right, from how I usually put my words about it I understand it feels kinda too cliche, but there should be more thought behind it.

        • I actually spend a lot of time trying to slow down when I hear common phrases. At one time, the concept of ‘learn something new every day’ could have been life changing. Now, I hear people say things like, “I’m learning that I just need to take life one day at a time.” or other generic life principles but if you want to become a better writer, a better graphic designer, better at your job or better at anything, it’s going to take more than butterfly, feel-good sayings. It takes a serious determination to learn new aspects of a skill, to practice something new and to gain real knowledge. That’s the reason why most people have to go to school. It’s because they’re can’t figure out how to gain real knowledge on their own.

  • Shari says:

    I agree, reading and analyzing with a venti white chocolate mocha is the best way to work on your craft. Really enjoy your blog:-)

  • Amitash says:

    Nick, How do I test the level of my Writing??

    • Two ways. 1. Find a close friend and ask them to read an article or two and provide feedback. 2. Find a really good book and read through it looking for writing patterns that are different from the way that you write. Then, modify your writing to be more like the patterns that you noticed.

  • This is great information I agree with. The only way to get better at some is to practice, practice, practice. My blog is new and still raw because I haven’t blogged before and I haven’t been writing but I am trying to publish twice a day.

  • […] don’t read or learn much. I’ve never met a good writer who does not. Nicholas Cardot expands on this for bloggers. Writers are a fantastic source of information, and we’ll find anything you […]

  • ChickenFreak says:

    I’d add that a writer needs regular criticism from other writers. Blog posts generally get silence or praise, not criticism–and when criticism comes, it’s usually about the information or opinions, not the writing. The same writing flaws could go on for months or years without ever being pointed out to the blogger. People tolerate them, or, more often, they just don’t read the blog; they don’t complain.

    I suggested once, on a blogging forum, that bloggers _desperately_ need a workshop where they can get honest feedback on their writing. Not much interest. 🙂 I still think that it’s an urgent need.

    Bloggers can, of course, participate in forums about writing and get desperately needed criticism there, but I don’t think that many do. Many bloggers seem to feel that if they write their own posts, they’re ahead of the game, and that all future progress is based on frantic marketing and SEO. Improve the _blog_? The writing? The content? Increase reader appeal rather than search engine appeal? That’s crazy talk.

  • Write everyday? Why we don’t write twice a day?

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