Posted on 07 July 2008
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One of the biggest problems I have when writing new articles for LookLinkLove is staying on topic. I almost always end up writing about something completely different from what I was originally trying to say. Thanks to computers it’s easy to remove unwanted lines of text and start over, but sometimes you can avoid doing that completely. There are five different, but equally simple ways to stay on topic while writing a new blog post. If you’re like me and you believe that everyone in the world has at least some level of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) then you might find some of these tools useful.
- Tip 1: Close all windows other than your post window, and your research windows. Even music can be a distraction sometimes, it all depends on how good you are at focusing. If you leave windows open to sites like youtube, you’ll probably find yourself watching music videos, or checking out one of those optical illusions your friend sent you through an email. Then once you get back to what you were writing you won’t really know WTF you were originally trying to say.
- Tip 2: Write down some of your ideas on a piece of paper. Kind of like the brainstorming you did back in school. This will give you something to look back at if you ever lose track of what’s going on. If you want to be even more Geeky, you could write down an entire outline and then your post would practically write itself. I doubt you would have much problems staying on topic unless you decided you absolutely had to stray from your outline.
- Tip 3: Use Dark Room for a “distraction free environment”. As described on the website, “Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Unlike standard word processors that focus on features, Dark Room is just about you and your text.”
I use Dark Room on occasion, but in my opinion it is a little bit too extreme. It blocks out beeps from any programs like Norton, MSN messenger, and etc… While this could be very useful, maybe you would miss out on something important.
- Tip 4: Close the doors and lock out all intruders. If you’re a parent then you probably shouldn’t block your toddlers access, but try and stop the people you care about less from bothering you while you write. When you’re at home, it’s harder to get work done because of the constant distraction that comes from family members and phone calls. Then again, I’m not saying you should become some sort of recluse either, absolutely not… socialize!
The Most Obvious Tip:
- Tip 5: Review your post before you post it. Although this is probably the most retarded tip you’ll ever read for staying on topic, it’s also the most effective. Even though you may not have been able stay on topic while you were writing the post, you don’t want your random ramblings to escape to your blog readers. While this tip completely defeats the purpose of this article (since it was supposed to tell you how to avoid needing to remove offtopic strains of text after you were done writing) I still think this is a useful tip to add to the list. No article should go un-reviewed, even if you were perfectly on-topic the entire time.
Posted on 30 June 2008
I’ve recently come to the understanding that publishing just about anything is not the right way to go about with your blog. Blog owners will agree with this statement, especially the professional bloggers that bring in hundreds of dollars each day. The downsides to publishing half-baked articles are numerous, and in order to retain your reputation, you really shouldn’t do it.
I know I’ve lost a good number of readers for the multitudes of blogs I’ve created because of my tendency to carelessly publish my uncreative posts. Bloggers all around the world and from each corner of the web have lost potential readers because of this bad habit. When you publish an article that’s not up to par, visitors that happen to make that fateful voyage to your site can only grimace in disgust and sail away. This can be extremely frustrating when you’ve worked so hard to write perfect posts, and then readers see your sloppy side on one occasion and decide that your blog just isn’t worth a read.
Some Advice For Publishing Good Articles:
- After you write something, save it but do not publish it. An hour (or more) later you can come back and reread your potential post. If you think it’s perfect, then go ahead and publish it. If you think it’s garbage than just scrap it completely. What’s most likely to happen though, is that you’ll notice a bunch of mistakes and be able to fix them. After fixing your article you’ll think, “phew, I just saved my self from a huge loss of readers!”.
- Don’t scramble to get a post done: Some people think that being the first person to publish an article for a viral news story is the only one that will get visitors to their blog. That fact is badoozie, and completely incorrect. Even if you’re first, and you’ve got the only post on the internet about a popular subject, people won’t read your article unless you’ve written in perfectly.
- Peer Review: If you’ve got a good friend on the internet that you can trust won’t steal your content. You can ask him to read over your post and tell you about any mistakes he may find. Better yet, get your mom, dad, brother, wife, husband, or sister to look over your article and see what they can find (assuming they have equal or higher education than you).
- Make sure you find your own post interesting, if you don’t then just get rid of it. Trying to post something that you don’t believe in will not help you at all. Also, make sure you know what you’re talking about, don’t try to completely BS (balonswivel?) your way through an article. Anyone who knows more than you do about the subject will discredit your article, and in time your entire site.
- Practice: A highly redundant thing for me to say would be “practice makes perfect”. I’m going to bash that cliche statement and say that you’ll never be perfect. Nobody is, not even the professionals at Problogger, DoshDosh, or CopyBlogger. Godzilla forbid I call myself a perfect writer, I find it hard just to follow my own advice. The truth is, you’ll get better and better with practice, but reaching perfection is like trying to reach absolute zero for a chemist. It just ain’t gonna happen!
Despite how simple this advice may seem, it’s still extremely hard to follow. The more confident you get with your blogging skills, the less you’ll want to leave your posts just sitting for an hour. Even if your not confident yet, impatience can get the best of you. Try as hard as you can to follow atleast a few of these steps, and I guarantee your blog posts will come out 200% better than before.