10 May 2017

Surprisingly Simple Steps to Take to Improve Your Blog Writing (and See the Difference)

Essentially, a blog post is most often the arrangement of letters to make words. It goes without saying that behind every great blog, is usually a great communicator. Great writing capabilities can definitely be a useful arsenal to have in your corner.
I've been told that I write well; But obviously, you're free to form your own opinions in that regard. I definitely have some devices that I like to use in my blog posts- for form and effectiveness. It's important to remember that whatever words or symbols you use when writing, should be easily understood by your target audience.

#1 Use Alliterations/Assonance
"Betty bought a bit of butter, but the butter Betty bought was bitter so she went and bought some better butter to make the bitter butter better" is an extreme alliteration, but I think you get the point: That's a whole lot of B's. For a simpler example: Steph is simply spectacular at spelling. An alliteration is the repetition of consonants (any letters other than a,e,i,o or u) where as an assonance is the repetition of those very 5 aforementioned letters. 

Repetition of certain sounds create different effects. It's important to know these effects to enhance the message that you're trying to communicate. For example, if you're talking about bricks, repeat noises that mimic the harshness of a brick's surface, like the plosive 'b' and 'p' sounds. If you're talking about snakes slithering soundlessly, use the sibilant 's' to imitate the sound a snake makes. 

#2 Get Rid of those Cliched Metaphors
Are you still talking about dogs barking up the wrong tree? Or someone having a bee in their bonnet? Well, STOP! These phrases have been over-used to such an extent that they've lost their effectiveness- although someone will still know what you're going on about. Traditional metaphors have become boring! Reminder: A Metaphor is a form of comparison, without the use of 'like' or 'as'. 
How's this for an ace example: Marriage is a deck of cards; In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you wish you had a spade and a club.

#3 Improve. Your? Grammer!
If someone HaS too reed ur Post like Dis becoz of ur lack of grammer (& speLling), they're very likely not to come back and read your next post. A blog post without good spelling and grammar would be like Washington D.C. without the White House, Athens without the Acropolis and Paris without the Eiffel Tower- not worth visiting... that's a large hyperbolization, but my point stands. There are many proof-reading websites that offer their services for FREE. A good one to check out is Grammarly. If you don't want ANOTHER place to sign up to, you can always take an extra moment to read through your post carefully once you're done writing it, but if you're of the lazier kind, Grammerly is worth a try.

#4 Double-Barrel Words (-)
If you put two words together, with a hyphen in the middle, it can be considered one of two things: either a compound adjective or a compound noun. The word before the hyphen usually helps to add more detail to the word immediately followed after the hyphen. For example: Brightly-lit bedroom, open-minded educator or well-behaved bulldog.
The use of double barreled words not only looks sophisticated and reads well, but it helps you add in more information, allowing your reader to gain a full and larger picture of the topic that you are discussing.

#5 Use Semi-Colons(;)
Yes, punctuation other than full-stops, question marks and commas do indeed exist. If I were you, I'd learn how to use this one- the ever-important and elegant semi-colon.
The longitudinal full-stop and comma-like punctuation symbol helps the writer add in more information or connect two related sentences together. It has to be related. For example: I have a test tomorrow; I can't go out tonight
So, next time you consider placing a full-stop to seperate two related sentences, opt for the fancier semi-colon instead. It serves the same purpose as a full-stop (whilst demonstrating grace and literary poise).

To Summarise:
  • Use alliterations/assonance e.g. (Ashley Ate Apples on Tuesday)
  • Stop using cliched metaphors e.g. (the trees stood next to the road, like guards)
  • Improve your grammar 
  • Double-barrel your words to form compound adjectives and compound nouns
  • Correct use of semi-colons makes your writing appear eloquent and well structured


What's the best writing advice that you've ever received? Did you find any of these tips helpful? 

Till next time-
Steph
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15 comments

  1. Semi-colons are something I want to start using, I already use hyphens a lot! (Too much if you ask me...). I never thought about using alliteration though, I suppose it would be pretty useful when it comes to describing a scene or an event!
    This was a really interesting post, I liked it quite a bit!
    the-emo-wolverine-writes.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think you should use semi-colons. I use exclamation marks abnormally (so don't worry about hyphens).

      Yay! I hope you are able to take something away from it.

      Delete
  2. I have to say... my grammar in Spanish is amazing. And it's really very similar in English. But god... I struggle so much some times! Thanks for the tips. I'll have them in mind.

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your English grammar is impressive.
      It's okay to struggle, as long as you try and learn!

      Thanks Melissa!

      Delete
  3. These are great tips!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they help you, Katherine!

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Delete
  4. Semi-colons terrify me, even though I have an English degree and a good few years of writing experience! These are some fab tips though, Steph - a lot of people could learn from this. I definitely still make mistakes, but I think that's because I try to write in my voice, and as I'm a bit jumbled and scatter-brained... well, you get the picture!

    Olivia - The Northernist x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I first started using semi-colons, they petrified me too.

      Mistakes are all part of the process.

      As long as your voice comes through, you're doing great!

      As always, thank you for the lovely comment.

      Delete
  5. These are some great tips! I'm always looking for ways to improve my writing (both on my blog and the fiction I write as a hobby). I admit that I haven't yet mastered the semi-colon. Thanks for sharing!

    Beccah xx
    thehonestolive.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You write fiction as a hobby? That's amazing!

      I hope this helps you.
      The semi-colon took me a while, too. If you look into it more, I'm sure you'll ace it!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Delete
  6. These are some great tips! Semi-colons are something I introduced to my writing a few years ago but, after reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves, I was put off using them by the snobbery of some writers. Personally, I think they're an underused, unappreciated form of punctuation and I now throw them into a sentence if I can make them work.

    Raise The Waves

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    Replies
    1. I fully support the full (but proper) usage of semi-colons!
      We need people to keep the semi-colon alive. I agree that it's underused and under appreciated.

      I really think that they have a way of boosting the appearance of a writing piece!

      Delete
  7. I really liked this post; so eloquently written. I really enjoyed reading it. I've always been a pashon writer. I get to excited write really fast. I always re read everything because I know I'm like that. I've never really been the best at using the tools of writing? I don't know how to phrase that. Hopefully you understand. I've been trying to work harder at it reading a third time. Also getting others to check my work.
    love Always,
    Cinthia Grace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cinthia!
      I know I write very quickly... but that hasn't done anything to make me check my writing! It's a terrible habit, I know!

      Getting others to check your work is a great way to improve and better your writing! I fully understand what you mean by writing tools. I was fortunate to have them drilled into my head all throughout school- which is a BIG help!

      Delete
  8. These are some really helpful tips; I'll definitely try to incorporate them in my writing. See what I did there ;). Thanks for sharing!

    All the best,
    Madhiya
    www.lilacprose.com

    ReplyDelete

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