The Weary, bleary writer

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Do your readers keep asking you for brains. Do they become rabid and try to maul your face? You might have a zombie problem! Ask yourself is my post boring? Am I killing my readers’ interest? Is that why they keep seeking revenge? With all the boring posts on the internet and all the people being forced to read textbooks against their wills, the zombie apocalypse is an ever-present threat. So today we’re going to talk about how to keep your readers from turning into a murderous horde of flesh-eaters Get your can of zombie repellent and a good cup of coffee and let’s get started!

December

Do you have a main topic?

No one wants to slog and slush through a blog post without a point. If you don’t have a point you are telling the reader that his time is not important, and he’ll click over to Buzzfeed to read 15 Hedgehogs With Things That Look Like Hedgehogs – BuzzFeed. And let’s face it, at the point that the reader clicks on a BuzzFeed, his brain is mush and there is no going back! It’s tempting to ramble. I get it! As writers, we love to write just because we love writing, but blogs are business and zombified readers definitely will not pay for your content! They’re too busy shuffling around bothering people.

Action:  Plan a topic

Write the first draft! : This will help you flesh out your point, and your more likely to stay on topic. If you need help writing a draft check out my post How to create a first draft.

Put your topic in your title: So you and your readers know what your writing about.

Edit your post. Nothing attracts zombies like an unedited blog post. It also repels clients!

 

Do you have a variety of sentences?

It sounds pointless, but having a variety of sentence structures adds to your writing. This is why creating a first draft is important. You can add more variety in the editing process. A good variety of sentences will ensure that your reader doesn’t get bored and start scratching around in the graveyard for scraps of meat.

Action: Vary the sentence length

  • Edit your sentences. If you need help check out This article on sentence structure Long sentences can describe things, and convey mood. Short sentences can draw attention to your subject or create emphasis.
  • Pay attention To your sentence length. Highlight simple and complex sentences in different colors.

Does your blog post use sensory words?

Do you hate reading instruction manuals? Do scientific articles make your flesh feel moldy? It might be because those things don’t use Sensory words. Sensory words help readers to imagine the picture in your head. I could tell you that the zombie was old, or I could tell you that his flesh slid from his body like overdone meat. Which sentence grabbed your attention more? (I’m sorry if you hate zombies.) Readers want to see what you see. A good example of this is the ridiculous descriptions underneath menu items. Don’t go this crazy, but you get the idea. The menu isn’t just describing the food. It’s giving you a sensory experience to make you crave the food. If you don’t use sensory words your readers might dissolve into piles of rotting goo.

Action: Add-In some sensory details. 

  • Write a fake menu describe the food in ridiculous detail
  • Go back to your draft Include a vivid sensory word or two in each paragraph
  • Practice writing about everyday events with sensory details.

Is your post pretty?

I know. We’re writers and not graphic designers. Infographics can be difficult to create, and it seems like a lot of extra effort. The truth is no one likes reading long blocks of text. I love to read, but I still get annoyed at blog posts that don’t contain any pictures. There are a lot of tools to make simple infographics and create blog headers, but don’t stop there.

action: Make your blog post visually stimulating

  • Break your text up with headings and subheadings
  • Enlarge your text slightly
  • Leave plenty of white space on the page.
  • Include pictures and infographics. (hint!)Canva is awesome.

Use humor

Ok,  maybe don’t extend a zombie joke for an entire post, (it was fun), but your readers want to get to know you! They are reading information from your blog because they like your style. Let your weirdness shine. You’re a writer. You have a right to be bizarre. Actually, you have a duty to be strange, so show your personality.

Action: Add-In some personality

  • When talking to friends think about the humor you use. What makes your speech different from theirs?
  • Write funny descriptions of things.
  • Go back to your draft and add in some humor, or any elements of your own voice.

 

Writing blog posts is hard. I’ve had about four cups of coffee and restarted this one three times. Remember that writing takes practice, and the only way you get better is to write. Your awesome, weird, unique tone will emerge as you practice, so don’t give up!

 

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