The Simple Guide to Writing Web Content That Makes a Difference

When I began blogging, or writing online for that matter, I was scared of not doing it right. I was scared that my writing was going to scare people off.

I wanted to know the secret formula to writing web content that makes a difference.

It took me a while to realize that the important thing is having a voice, not writing perfectly or in any specific style.

I also realized that developing your writing style and voice takes time, which is why it’s crucial to get started and begin writing as soon as possible, even if you think you suck.

I personally write what I feel like I want to write. I have a lot of excuses and blocks I could succumb to, like anyone else, but this blog is about my journey and my experiences.

It doesn’t matter if someone else has already written about what I’m going to write, because my perspective will be different.

The same applies to you. You are unique, and you have your own experiences to share, so don’t worry about being perfect, worry about being yourself.

Writing As Expression

Who really defines what’s good and what is not?

The writing that speaks to me, may not speak to you. Writing for me, is an expression of who I am. It is a way for me to express what I’m experiencing and feeling.

When you’re writing online content, you don’t have to stick to any rules. There are writers all across the spectrum, and they’re all doing well.

If you plan to write a book, or anything more old-school, you will have to conform to the rules of that domain, but if you just want to get your message out there, there is nothing you have to worry about.

Evolution

When I started blogging, I wasn’t so sure of my writing, and even though I read the same things you are reading now, I still wanted to look at how successful bloggers wrote.

If I found someone who wrote articles that spoke to me, I asked myself what was really going on. Why was I so affected by what I was reading?

Was the content just so authentic? Was it beautifully written, or was it the experiences of the person behind the writing that really made the difference?

As I did this more and more, I realized that I didn’t really care about how people wrote, unless it was riddled with spelling errors or written in a way that I didn’t like. I only cared about the content.

When I kept blogging, I kept having these small a-ha moments, and I saw that the more I was myself in my writing, the better the feedback.

Being Yourself

The more I am able to be myself, the more I attract the right people to this blog.

I feel no rush to share everything on my blog all at once. I follow my feelings and share what I feel like sharing. If I don’t feel like sharing something, I don’t share it. I pick and choose what I want to share, and you can do the same.

There are no rules!

Just look at all the different bloggers out there. The only thing they have in common is that they’re doing their own thing.

I don’t feel any obligation to share anything private from my life, but at the same time, I don’t feel any objections to it. I think about the people I want to attract to this blog, and I realize that the more open I am, the more open people I attract.

The more I specify what matters to me, the more of those people I see reading this blog and contacting me.

In the end, the most important thing I can do is be myself, and have my own voice. I’m still not sure of it, but it has come a long way since I started this blog.

Writing, Writing, Writing

Since starting my online journey, I’ve written thousands of articles, mostly thanks to article marketing.

This has helped me fine tune my writing, and it has helped me convert my thoughts into text. The more I’ve written, the more confident I’ve become.

If I could go back and give myself advice when I was starting out, I would tell myself to not worry that much, take action and go with the flow. I would’ve probably not followed the advice of my future self, because we need to learn from our own experiences.

I always have a tendency to want to make everything perfect before I start, but it has never worked out that well. I’ve tried it for many, many years, and it only slows me down.

The sooner I start making mistakes, the faster I progress.

The 6 Steps to Writing Content That Makes a Difference

Life for me no longer is about perfection, even if I want it to be. Life for me is about experiences, learning opportunities and personal growth. Here are a few tips I’ve used or still use in writing the best content I am able to write.

1. Accept. I can always compare myself to the most successful bloggers and writers out there, but it really isn’t a good use of my time. Once I accept where I am, I have time to look back on how far I’ve come, and that allows me to express more of myself.

2. Write. The more I write, the better I become. You can’t write a home-run every time. Writing and blogging for me is more of a marathon than a sprint. I won’t always write great stuff, but I will always write, because I love to write.

3. Listen. I do my best to listen to my feelings, hunches and impulses. They sometimes lead to unexpected places, and give birth to incredible ideas. Sometimes I have to be a little bit illogical to come up with great stuff.

3. Read. I really enjoying sitting down with a good book. By reading, I show my brain how the language works and how good writers write. I’m showing examples of what great writing looks like, which then helps me write and express myself better.

4. Experiment. There’s nothing like going with a hunch and seeing where it takes me. Experimenting can be scary, but ultimately I’ve found it to be a great way to grow both personally and in my writing.

6. Write some more. In the end, all this comes down to is writing as much as I can. The more I write, the better I become, and the more ideas I have. I’m okay with not being the best writer in the world. I enjoy writing and that’s why I write.

It’s easy to get caught in trying to be someone else, or writing like someone else. In the end you have to write for yourself, because that’s what will make you happy.

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Comments

  1. Anass Farah says:

    Thanks a lot for this great article. I just started blogging and writing is not one of my strengths. moreover I’m not a native English speaker. Actually I started to write each day since one month and my writing become better. To become good writer we have to write. I’ve set a list of books that I would read in the two next month.

    Thanks again for this great article, and I hope that you give us more about how to write, it will help us :D

    • Writing and reading are key if you want to become better. Thanks for stopping by Anass :)

  2. Well done, Henri. My experience with writing is quite similar (when writing a traditional book my editors credo is write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite…) :). I have read about writers from the likes of Emerson to Jack Kerouac essentially say the same thing: write for yourself first, for nothing but your own pleasure. When you write from “within” you will have an eternal audience.

    • Yes! It seems like a painful journey to write and get a traditional book published, although I’m sure it adds to our life experience points, so to speak!

  3. Hi Henry
    Writing is indeed an expression of yourself. and the more you write the better you become. Most of us worry too much about being perfect. Conveying what you have to say honestly and clearly is what is important. Give people what they are looking for while keeping it simple.

    • That is the best way to go. Sometimes it takes a while to get to that realization, but it’s well worth it.

  4. Onibalusi Bamidele says:

    Wow! Really great post Henri,

    The point I love most is listening, there are a lot of great tips in you waiting to be listened to – that might be the only solution you need ;)

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

  5. Jennifer Hart says:

    Wonderful post Henri! I also found that when I write posts from my heart it attracts a lot of readers and when I post what I think I should be writing, it falls flat. Great reminder to be yourself and keep going! thx

    • Our experiences seem to agree with each other. It’s easy to get caught up in how good writing should look.

  6. Hey Henri,

    I get into that trap of thinking that I can’t write about some topic because Blogger B just wrote about it. I don’t want to be seen as copying anyone, but you’re so right – I can bring my own voice and experience to the topic so it wouldn’t really be copying. I do think that there is a slight echo chamber sometimes with people writing about the same thing. Plus, there is a synchronicity where people can come up with the same topic at the same time. This happens to me all the time.

    I agree that in the end you have to be yourself and write what you want to write about. There is always an audience for someone who is authentic.

    • Yeah, I sometimes feel like everything has already been said, so it doesn’t really matter what I do, as long as I share my own experiences. That’s the only way I can add value, as I see it.

      • Everything pretty much HAS already been said. It is your unique perspective, integrity, and passion that make your version of it worth reading. Great post, Henri!

  7. Thanks for the great advice, Henri! Sometimes we (I) forget about the most basic rule of all, be yourself. This is a great reminder and definitely motivates me to really push my writing to the limit without comparing myself to others.

    Thanks!

  8. Your post came in at the best moment. I´ve started to write 2 weeks ago and I´m doing it everyday. For surely, the best advice here for me is be yourself, write to yourself first. I´ll focus on this. Thanks a lot.

  9. Hi Henri,
    Reading your article, I realized the scariest thing about writing is being oneself while you do it. Which one is best – writing so that people would like you, or being authentic, with the risk of being rejected? Well, as far as I’m concerned… I don’t want to be somebody else so that people like me :)

    • And there’s an upside to being authentic as well. You may just attract the right people to your blog/website ;)

  10. Jill Chivers says:

    Henri, I loved your 6 steps – starting with Accepting, doing some Reading and Experimenting, Listening (my current fascination), and all through it – write, write, write.

    I’d add one more… Get Ideas. I’ve been blogging for about 8 months now and even though that’s an incredibly short period of time compared to some writers, I can sometimes feel like ideas might be running dry, or I’m doing the same thing (for example, writing in the same format) over and over.

    Experimenting (your step #5) is a great way to get out of that… AND, getting some inspiration needs to precede that. For example, I read an idea last week on how to brainstorm 10 new blog post ideas. Really gave me a great starting point for experimenting.

    Thanks for a great post, Henri!

  11. Henri:

    I just found your blog and I must first say Awesome post!

    I used to worry about having to have my website or my blog perfect before I would actually set-it live for everyone to see. I wasted soo much time and potential loss of income because I thought things had to be perfect.

    We will never be able to satisfy everyone so for me I will keeping doing what I am doing, develop a following of people that are interested in what I am saying and them move on. Sure there will be plenty of people that may not like what I am doing and they may even leave negative comments on my blog and that is okay to ( I wrote a post about handling negative comments).

    You are right on with your 6 steps.

    Keep up the great work you are doing here.

    - Rick

  12. The sooner I start making mistakes, the faster I progress.

    Man, that’s like my daily mantra, Henri !
    I have been procrastinating for too many years in my life, and now is the time to change that, once and for all.

    ANd true – your voice is everything. Although you can enhance that by finetuning
    it – re-inventing the way you create content.

  13. Archan Mehta says:

    Henri,

    There is an art to writing and a craft about it.

    Art is about imagination and aesthetics. By contrast, craft is about technical accuracy, for example, getting it grammatically correct and so on.

    Practice is the only way to get better, so your suggestions have hit home.

    Thanks for the valuable tips. You have to cast your fears aside and keep on experimenting and taking calculated risks without worrying too much about how you will be perceived.

    That is something you can always learn from–mistakes can be helpful in the process of learning and you get better every time you err.

    The important thing is to learn. The writer’s life is a solitary and wonderful one, creaitive.
    Not many people are so lucky to be able to earn a living through writing, so you are lucky.

    Of course, luck is just a part of it. Most of it is about hard work and smart choices. Cheers.

  14. You know that your writing is still meaningful when nearly a year later your article/blog post is still being read and enjoyed. I have stumbled upon your blog today and I’m enjoying it alot. I wlil definitely be back!! Thanks for the insightfulness and tips.

    I’m not a ‘new’ blogger per se but I am a new blogger to actually wanting to write. I have a blog for my crafting stuff, I have a blog for my thirty-one gitfs sales but tonight I created a blog for advice. I hear all the time I give good advice so I decided to see what I could do. I hope to have a lot of followers but I realize it will take time.

    thanks again for your help and I will be stopping in often I’m sure
    Terri

    • Thanks Terri!

      When you keep going, the followers and readers will inevitably appear ;)