My Writing Strategies for Creating Compelling Content

by on March 10, 2014 · 59 comments

in Writing Knowledge

As some of you know, there are times when blogging is not your first priority in life, and right now, I’m going through some times that make blogging impossible for me, so I asked my good friend blogger and writer, Harleena, to write a guest post for me, which I am sure you will enjoy. So, here she is…

I’m Harleena Singh, a freelance writer and blogger. When my good friend Sylviane asked me to write a guest post for her, I couldn’t refuse her.

As a writer, I might not be as good as her, but I do know from the number of comments and social shares I get on my blog – that my blog readers love my writing style.

So, I infer that there must be something about the way I write, which is either different or good to follow.

That’s why here in this post, I’m revealing the writing strategies that I use, thinking they’ll help you too.

Not that this is a complete guide to writing masterpieces, but a practical approach to writing that has worked for me and probably could also work for you.

Let’s start, shall we! Before we begin writing, we need to make some preparations.

Why Have a Writing Strategy

To prepare is to develop, organize, or arrange by systematic planning.

Before you start writing, you need to prepare a writing strategy, which is nothing but an elaborate and systematic plan of action.

If you want to create great content, you just can’t write extempore. You always plan to write an impressive article, and that is what makes it effectual.

When you plan, you know the direction to take, tone to set, words and language to use, and the time it will take you to complete your article.

The plan of action can be different depending on your writing project.

I always plan before I write any article or blog post. For any of my writing projects, I start with knowing my audience and the purpose of writing. Do you too?

TIP: Don’t start writing until you know what to write. You need to have a complete road map before you start the journey. Else, you might be lost in the woods of words, and the final product will be tasteless.

Who Are You Writing For

Writing is like cooking. Not literally, but it’s a good analogy to understand, especially for all those lady writers out there.

As before you start cooking, you want to know who will be eating the food that you prepare. It would help if you knew what kind of food the person loves to eat, wouldn’t it?

Then you would use a special recipe, gather the specific ingredients, and cook them all up in a particular way to suit your purpose.

Similarly, you need to know whom you’re ‘cooking’ the content for.

This is important because it helps you decide among many other things, whether you want to keep content causal or formal, and what level of complexity you want to have in the article.

I follow the tip mentioned below, and then I proceed to conceive an idea about what to write for them so it can be helpful and meaningful.

TIP: If you’re writing for a client, ask where the article would be used and who’ll read it. If you’re writing for your blog, first check your site analytics and know if you really have an audience for it.

How to Develop a Strategy for Writing

Your plan of action to create a compelling content starts with an idea.

Without planning, you get nowhere. You’ve to plan your approach, organize your thoughts, and provide a structure to your ideas.

My strategy for writing consists of 3 different processes.

Conceiving the Idea

An idea takes its own time to come. But when you’re writing with a deadline hovering over your head, you need to create conditions to incubate ideas quickly.

If you look from a different perspective, deadlines are good in a way as they help fuel you with energy and focus. What do you think?

There are 3 ways to get an idea:

1) Your client gives it to you
2) You brainstorm to get hold of the best idea
3) You do keyword research

When you’re writing online web content or blog posts and you want to leverage SEO benefits, the keywords become your seed ideas.

For example, for this guest post, I selected the keyword “writing strategies” on the free Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

This seed keyword helps me to create my plan of action that relates to and revolves around it.

TIP: If you decide to do keyword research, then you should also find related long tail and semantic keyword phrases that you can sprinkle in the main content wherever possible.

Creating the headline

Next, you want people to know what the article is all about.

There are again 3 ways to go about it:

1) Choose a catchy title irrespective of the keyword
2) Create a catchy title including the keyword
3) Have a generic title with or without keywords

Step two has certain limitations but I decided to go with it.

I decided on the title: “My Writing Strategies for Creating Compelling Content”.

This is the first step to create a great content. However, some people prefer to create a headline after writing the article. You can choose whatever way suits you.

For me, the headline lays down a line of action that defines:

a) this article needs to be entirely about my personal experiences
b) it has to be all about developing a plan of action
c) it should contain the elements that make an article compelling

TIP: Google the headline to make sure it is unique. If it is not, then tweak it. Check out the top ranking articles and take cues.

Composing the Article

Your article or post mainly consists of 3 parts – introduction, main content, and concluding section.

This division hugely depends on whom you’re writing for as we discussed earlier, and the type of writing project.

Introduction

Speaking of myself, writing the introduction seems the most difficult part than the other strategies for writing.

It usually happens that when I sit to write, my mind is like a blank paper.  I open the page with a fresh new mind and my first line starts me off. What about you?

You can begin your article with:

1) A quotation
2) A question
3) An analogy
4) A definition
There are many other ways to make an impressive start. I usually start my blog posts with questions, but my commercial articles may start with facts, anecdotes, or something different.

But before writing the introduction, you need to know what your main content is going to be.

TIP: Just as recruiters don’t read your resume if the cover letter is not impressive, your readers may not read your article further if the introduction does not captivate them. Spend time on it!

Main Content

Generally, the keyword and the headline give you a fair idea of what the content of the article should be. However, you need to organize the ideas in written form.

It’s best to jot down the points and make notes before you sit to write the article. Make sure they do justice to the topic or your client’s requirement, and cover all the aspects.

Of course, you should arrange them in a logical and meaningful manner.

You can write the points in the form of “Table of Contents” and in order of hierarchy. It helps you to know the main point and the sub points, as that helps you later to write appropriate headings.

When you start to write the main content, you can expand on these points. It’s this simple, isn’t it?

Another strategy I use to create the content of my article is incorporating the “6 Ws & H”. These are nothing but the question words – what, when, where, which, why, who, and how.

You can see that I’ve used them in this article. You don’t have to use all of them – just choose the ones that serve your purpose.

This strategy helps me to write about a topic in detail covering all its aspects.

Therefore, my summary of points to create the content of this article was something like this:

Why have writing strategies

Who are you writing for

How to develop a strategy for writing

○ Conceiving the Idea
○ Creating the headline
○ Composing the Article

– Introduction
– Main Content
– Concluding section

● Tips to consider in implementing a writing strategy

This is a bird’s eye view of the action plan, isn’t it?

It should get you going and make it easy for you to prepare your first draft. Of course, you can always change the order, add or delete points in your revisions.

If you’re writing for your blog, you can make out which headings should be marked as H2, H3, and H4.

TIP: Include quotes from experts, reference, or citations to make the article authentic and authoritative, but avoid using rich anchor texts to hyperlink them in case of web content articles.

Concluding Section

This is where either you summarize the article or write your conclusions. It is important to make an impact on the readers and reinforce your point of view.

Here you should provide a reference to something from the introduction that gives a sense of completion or closure.

The introduction and conclusion sections are closely related. The conclusion should give answers to the questions in the introduction.

If the introduction starts with a quotation or paradox, you should refer back and explain it in the context of the main content.

You can state if your hypothesis was right or wrong, or how the information in the article can help the readers. Your disclaimers or promotional statements can also come in this section.

If you’re writing blog posts, then you can even include an “Over to you” section like I do, where I ask questions to my readers based on the article to receive their feedback.

TIP: Keep this section short and do not repeat content except for a few main points that you wish to reiterate.

Tips to Consider in Implementing a Writing Strategy

The task of creating a compelling content does not end here. Revisions and refinement go on until the article is error free and complete in all aspects.

The purpose of a strategy for writing is to create such a content that binds the readers to the article. You can follow the tips that I use in the entire creative process of creating the article to make it binding.

● Keep the paragraphs short. Do not have more than 3 sentences per paragraph if for online purpose.
● Vary the length of the sentences in the paragraph so the reader is not bored.
● Use varying tones to keep the reader interested.
●Punctuation marks will help you modulate your tone.

● Ask questions from the readers frequently so that they remain involved.
● Try that two consecutive sentences do not begin with the same word.
● Write as if you’re narrating a story.
● When you read the article in your mind, make it sound like a newsreader reading the news.
● Write the entire article in second person if possible, as if you’re directly speaking to another person.
● The following paragraph should always be connected with the preceding paragraph.
● Every sentence should logically follow the previous sentence. The link or flow should not break.
● Do not make the introduction too lengthy, not more than 250 words in a blog post.
● Try to use related quotations as fillers to divide sections.
● First jot down your ideas, then read content of other people so your views are not influenced.
● If you’re writing an article that you’re ignorant about, research as much as you can before writing.
● When you’re familiar with the topic, you can write sentences on your own, which increases originality.
● Write in a simple way but keep your own voice.
● Think from all angles and different perspectives, and then write a balanced article.
● Sleep over the article and do a final revision in the morning or to get more ideas and new perspective.
● Re-read and revise the article many times. There’ll always be a scope for improvement.

This list is endless and you can add your own points here from your experiences. You can also take a few tips from my post on how to improve your writing skills.

Don’t expect to write a perfect or near to perfect article at the first go. The article you’re reading now has gone through many edits and revisions, and there still might be some errors in it (though I hope not!)

Sometimes, entire paragraphs are changed, or sentences are rephrased. Still, you may feel more things could’ve been added or things re-written in from a different perspective.

You can always see help of someone you know or even a professional proofreader or editor to help you scan your article with a fresh pair of eyes!

TIP: My grandmother used to tell me that your food would be good if you pour your heart into it while cooking. I’ve experienced that it is the same case for writing with me. Write with your heart!

Phew! This has become a long article, sort of a mini guide, isn’t it? But I guess you got to learn a few new things.

Remember, that this article is only about my own personal experiences and the way of writing that has helped me. You can always write in different ways that suit and help you.

But having a writing strategy will certainly help you and it is not difficult to have one.

While you’re here, you can go through the tips and vast resources Sylviane has to make your writing better.

I enjoyed revealing my strategy and tips that I use while writing. I hope you enjoyed them too.

Over to you –

What are your writing strategies? What makes them different and useful? Share in the comments.

 

Harleena Singh is a freelance writer and a blogger. She undertakes writing assignments on all kinds of topics, and blogs on life, relationship, family, personal development, and blogging related topics at Aha!NOW.

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Sylviane Nuccio is a professional Freelance Writer and a Life Coach. You can check her writing portfolio right here .

Sylviane has written 167 awesome articles for us at SylvianeNuccio.com

Twitter: @SylvianeNuccio | Facebook | Google+ | Blog → Sylviane Nuccio

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 10, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Hi Sylviane,

Thanks for this opportunity and it’s great to be at your blog. I know this guest post was pending for a long time, and I’m glad to be here when you needed it the most.

I hope my writing experiences and tips help all bloggers and writers. I’m here to answer any of their questions and will take over the comments in your absence.

Thanks again and may this be your best day! :)
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2 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Hi Sylviane,

Thanks for this opportunity and it’s great to be at your blog. I know this was pending for a long time, and I’m glad to be here when you needed it the most.

I hope my writing experiences and tips help all bloggers and writers. I’m here to answer any of their questions and will take over the comments in your absence.

Thanks again and may this be your best day! :)

~ Harleena
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3 Sylviane Nuccio March 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Thank you so very much for this Harleena. It is my hope and prayer that everything will be OK.

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4 Himanshu March 10, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Hello Harleena,
Nice to see you here… I am really fan of yours..
You are right, madam, everyone should make Strategy before writing any article on their blog. I personally read my competitors blog, Wikipedia, ebooks & some time fb sharing to get content for my blog post..

These tips are really good & effective to improve my writing strategy. Will surely follow your tips… :) Thanks for writing this post. .. :)

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5 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Hi Himanshu,

It’s good to see you here too!

That’s it, writing strategies are important and they help you to come out with quality articles.

It’s a good strategy to be aware of other similar content in the blogosphere, take cues, and then write original content based on your understanding.

I’m glad you like these tips and I’m sure if you follow the writing strategy, your posts will become better.

Thanks for stopping by and do have a great week ahead! :)
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6 AdrienneTwitter: AdrienneSmith40 March 10, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Hi Harleena,

Thank you so very much for stepping up in such short notice to help Sylviane with this blog. I know the issues she’s having and my heart goes out to her. This is not my area of expertise and I admire both of you for taking on such a demanding profession.

After reading this post and smiling a LOT, I could never do what you both do. I don’t even prepare in any way when writing my posts so I could never explain to anyone how this is done. My goodness, the things you have to go through I don’t know how you have time for anything else.

I mean I know what I’m going to write about when I sit down to compose my post. I also always start with the headine so I’ll write that one first before anything else. Sometimes I’ll have something in my head about what I want to say but most times I just sit down and the words start flowing. There is no strategy for it but since I know who my audience is then of course I’m writing for them.

When I use to write a bunch of articles then I was much more organized with my thoughts and the way I laid it out. Keywords, opening paragraph and closing, etc. I started in the beginning doing this with my posts and they were too stuffy so I just stopped all of that and look at me now! I also don’t write for others either so that’s a big difference.

Great share Harleena and thanks again for this awesome post and helping Sylviane. Have a great week and I know Sylviane will eventually!

~Adrienne
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7 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 10, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Hi Adrienne,

I’m glad I could help her out in some way, and what’s a friend who can’t help when there’s the need. Though I had promised a guest post to Sylviane for a long time, so I’m happy that I was able to fulfill that too. I just wish good times, peace, and happiness to her and all.

Actually, why I emphasized about writing strategy was not only because it helped curate articles to perfection, make it some what easy because the process is systematic, the article looks good too because it is organized and balanced, but also for the fact that search engines love this kind of content.

Present era search engines look for structure, and the relation and harmony between the title, introduction, and the conclusion too is important from SEO point of view. And then, the content needs to be logically related and divided into appropriate sections so that the entire content explains, defines, and talks about the title of the article.

So, in a way you take the right step – you start with the title and then you make the whole article about that title, without really any planning. So far so good, but the only thing lacks with respect to the requirement of search engines is the keywords. But since your articles are naturally coherent and structured, search engines must like them and you probably rank for whatever phrases you use.

You’re right there that we can hardly find time, or at least I’ll say this for myself. Carrying freelance writing and blogging together is not an easy thing to do, and more so when you’ve other things to take care of too!

Why things work for you is probably because you know your audience, your audience likes your style of writing, so you don’t have to follow any other pattern and just keep writing as you write. More than the search engines, its the people who’re important, so its better to write for them instead and value the relationships, isn’t it?

But for those who’re starting or whose writing haven’t yet picked up and found praising fans, following a good writing strategy would certainly help them.

You’re still very organized with your thoughts and your articles are magnetic as well as engaging, and I’m glad you write the way you write! :) These strategies might be clutches that you need initially, and later you can drop them once you found your own standing and voice!

I’m glad you like the post and I’m happy to take some stress off Sylviane and I wish all end’s well.

Thanks for stopping by and you too have a wonderful week ahead! :)
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8 donna merrillTwitter: donna_tribe March 10, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Hi Harleena,

It is so good to see you here helping out Sylviane! The two of you always impress me with your wise words of writing skills.

I am not a professional writer but always need to improve my writing skills. You have given me many golden nuggets here at just the right time Harleena. I am writing a series of emails and it took two days to figure out that I had to do some planning first.

This morning I realized that I had to conceive an idea! Just like you wrote about in this post. I was going around in circles and only wish that I have read this before loosing two days of work.

That, plus a catchy headline was the big problem for me. Now I know I’m on the right path because you just mentioned those questions I had.

Thanks again!

-Donna
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9 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Hi Donna,

I’m glad I could impress you with the writing skills, though Sylviane is much better. It’s good to be here, and I had to be here sooner or later as my guest post was pending for a long time.

Everybody needs to improve the writing skills and I think it’s a continuous process. It’s great that you could take away something from this post that can help you in your campaign.

You know sometimes I just stare blank at my screen and wait for an idea, and I just can’t move ahead until I’m convinced that it’s a great idea, then there’s no stopping.

A great headline is very important. I’m sure Sylviane has lots of resources on her site that can help you. I wish you all the best for your campaign and the course.

Thanks for visiting and do have a great day ahead! :)
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10 Enstine MukiTwitter: enstinemuki March 11, 2014 at 5:31 AM

Wow! You know what Harleena? This is one of the kind of articles I love printing out and reading over and over again. I mentioned in a comment on one of your articles that I hated writing before I ever started blogging. With time, I’m growing big time and articles like this help me a bunch. I love reading something unique that really adds value to my life

Practical and helpful tips

And to you Sylviane, I love you bringing Harleena on board for such a hot topic.

Do have a wonderful week ahead you both
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11 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 11, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Hi Enstine,

Good to see you here at Sylviane’s place. That’s a flattering compliment and I thank you for saying that. I’m glad you like this article.

Yes, you did mention that and you really grow with practice. Reading and exposure too help a lot. I’ll be more happy if you can implement these tips and if they are really useful for you.

Thanks for you kind words and for your visit here. Do have a enjoyable week! :)
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12 Nirmal Anandh March 11, 2014 at 6:16 AM

Hi Mam,

Planning is suitable not only for writing, it is essential for every day to day activities. Without having a plan, we can’t get good result. “Writing is like Cooking”, i like this point, because, if we put the ingredients in correct level, we get delicious food. Likewise, the post should be mixed with proper ingredients like SEO, Keywords, Format of the post etc…

Yes, we have to create a special recipe with special ingredients to our readers with proper responsibility.

Thanks for sharing, strategic plans to create a Best Content…

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13 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 11, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Hi Nirmal,

You’re absolutely right in that planning is indispensable in any aspect or field. That’s it, you need to have the right mix of elements in your writing to be tasty or a feast to the eyes of the readers.

However, its important to not over do things and not to go overboard. Just maintain a perfect balance to make the article effectual.

Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Do have a great week ahead! :)
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14 William ButlerTwitter: wiarbu March 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Sylviane, I wish you health and happiness.

Harleena, nice to see you on Sylviane’s blog. You’ve shown yourself a true friend.
Writing has been a passion of mine for 50 years now. Of course, whether writing for a blog or you’re planning to publish a novel, compelling content is definitely what you want to strive for. Having a strategy in place also plays into book publishing, in terms of marketing. You’ve been very comprehensive here. This should help many people become better writers and bloggers. What’s my writing strategy?
Write from the heart.

Kind Regards,
Bill
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15 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Hi Bill,

I’m glad I could be here so Sylviane can have some time away from the blog and its responsibilities.

Wow, 50 years is a long time and you’ve tremendous experience of writing. I agree that compelling content is a must in every form of writing.

Having a strategy again is essential in everything – blogging too needs a strategy! I’m glad you find this post comprehensive and worthy to help other writers and bloggers.

I just love your writing strategy, which is what I follow when I’m commenting. :)

Thanks for your visit here and do have a great week ahead! :)
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16 Carolyn Nicander MohrTwitter: wonderoftech March 12, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Hi Harleena, How lovely to see you here at Sylviane’s place and helping her out! I hope she’s feeling better soon.

I adore your analogy between writing and cooking. I had never thought of that before but I love it! It’s so true, you have to plan the meal, consider your audience, buy the ingredients and concentrate on the preparation. Even if you have a recipe, you may want to alter it a bit to give it interest and make it better. But if you stray too far you could ruin the meal.

Although I agree with 99.9% of what you wrote, I humbly disagree with one point you made. You said that if someone is ignorant on a topic they should research it before they write about it.

I research absolutely everything I write about. I learned the hard way that there’s always something to learn about every topic. I may be writing about my favorite app I’ve used daily for years but if I research it I guarantee I will learn something new – a hidden feature or a new update. It never fails.

I feel that I would do my readers a disservice if I wrote about something without researching the topic. But that probably is the nature of my niche, personal technology. Other niches may not require research for every article.

Thanks for pitching in for Sylviane, Harleena. We truly are all in this together!
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17 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Hi Carolyn,

It surely is good to be here, and I’m glad I could help her out in time of her need, though this post was long overdue :)

That’s just the way I take it, or perhaps I am a good cook (as my family says!) because I pour all my heart into the food I cook, and the same happens when we write, IF we do so from all our heart, isn’t it? Variety is the spice of life, and just as we want a little in our meals, I think our audience also looks for that in our writing or posts we put up, though we need to decipher what they really like and give it to them.

Ah…I meant that if you are writing about something and you don’t know much about it, you DO need to research it before writing it. Or should I say that even if you know what you are writing about, you should research to double check on it so that your work is authentic before being presented to the audience. Like you, I also research for my posts to validate what I write and to find out the facts. After all, we want to give nothing more than the best to our readers, isn’t it? Research is essential, unless you are just writing a casual post that doesn’t require it. I know your posts do, and so do mine, as I like to go into great details before I weave a post for my readers.

I just marvel at the time you must be spending in researching your post topics and writing about them thrice a week, while I have a touch time with just two of mine a week!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice week ahead :)
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18 Carolyn Nicander MohrTwitter: wonderoftech March 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Harleena, Just from reading your blog posts, people can tell that: 1) you’re a great cook and 2) you do your research. You put loads of flavor into your blog posts with loving care and colorful images. I can just image you as you prepare a family meal, you show your devotion to your family as you show your devotion to your readers when you write your articles.

Your research is apparent within your articles. Your wonderful quotes, videos and information combine to deliver very helpful information. We always learn from your articles!
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19 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Hi Carolyn,

Aww…thanks for saying that! Though I’ve never written about my cooking skills, but that’s just what people say whenever they have something I’ve prepared and it does feel good :)

Yes indeed, I think research is very essential so that you are sure whatever you offer to your readers is the right information, and why not do so if it can help others, though writing such posts takes time because you would at least look up 10 odd pages before writing about anything, isn’t it?

Thanks once again for making me reach 7th heaven with your kind words of appreciation! You always know how to boost anyone’s morale :)
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20 Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 March 12, 2014 at 4:14 AM

Hey Harleena,

No wonder you write such engaging blog posts! I believe I’m half way there ;)

These are some awesome tips. One thing I can definitely do is to figure out who’s reading my posts. Thank God I set up Google analytics to help me with this. I usually don’t check this, but this post was a great remind of how important this tool is.

I also never thought about using the 6 W’s and H. It does make a lot of sense to do this. This allows your posts to be a lot more engaging with your readers. And at the same time this allows me to engage myself.

You said the introduction was the hardest for you, but for me it’s pretty easy. I have a hard time with the body of each of my posts. But one thing that helps me that you mention is that I sometimes list out the major points of the post. This helps me brainstorm a little more and helps me focus to stay on topic.

This was definitely a great post Harleena and it made me feel like I’m heading in the right direction! Thanks Sylviane for having her as your guest! Enjoy the rest of the week!
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21 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 12, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Hi Sherman – good to see you here :)

Oh yes…you surely are there! Glad you liked these tips too. I think Google analytic really help us find out our audience and take the right direction when we get down to write. I don’t always keep a check there because of the vast niche at my blog that I cover in rotation, but I do keep visiting it to see what’s in demand and what’s being liked to keep a track of things.

I think when you write your posts with an aim, which you can easily accomplish if you keep a little of the 6 W’s and H in mind, you streamline your posts and remain focused, and perhaps give your readers what they want.

Introduction is the hardest if you want to write for people and also the search engines, as then you have to tweak them to make them a little keyword rich. That kind of an introduction where you have to place the keyword within the first few lines and also say what you want to to attract your readers, takes time for me. The body is what I write pretty fast because it’s all listed out in-front of me, so that hardly takes me any time.

I’m sure you are dear friend – just keep at it!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Have a nice week ahead as well :)
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22 Micah March 12, 2014 at 5:45 AM

Hi Sylviane,

I hope that whatever challenges you are facing, you are able to face with an inner strength that you harvest from yourself and from those around you that care about you. See you back on your blog soon!

Hi Harleena,

It’s very nice to meet you. As a writer, there are times that I struggle finding the right ideas, even with years of experience. You just can’t help it when that happens.

Other than that, I do find organizing my thoughts with the use of sticky notes and random short phrases on my work pad helps a lot with the formation of a thought process. The mind is sometimes like a Lego puzzle. There’s going to be this extra piece that you’re not sure where to put it, so instead of leaving it alone, you get another set of blocks and build around it. This leads to what can possibly an unending variety of ideas to build from.

Looking forward to reading more from you Harleena!

All the best,
Micah

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23 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 12, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Hi Micah – nice to meet you at Sylviane’s blog :)

Absolutely! I think that happens with most of us, especially if we have a single niche to write about. I’ve gone through that phase when I was covering just 1-2 niches earlier. Thankfully, I don’t have that problem now because of my multi-niche blog. I guess I have to stop my ideas from going overboard at times…lol!

I agree with you there – penning your thoughts on paper, or even your cell phone at times, helps you later when you sit to write. There have been times when a post idea has struck me while I was out walking and I noted it on my cell phone as that’s what I had with me that time, but it worked. I think the mind is great there – it gives you enough to think about, you just need to know where to put it.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. Hope to meet you around too :)
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24 Nanda RahmaniusTwitter: NandaRahmanius March 12, 2014 at 6:08 AM

Hi Harleena and Sylviane,

I knew that this is an article from you, Harleena. I see from the title of this article. I know because some time ago I also read an article about this topic in the Harleena blog, and I see there are some similarities in this article :)
But indeed, this is a good article. I have no doubt about it.

Nice to see you here, Harleena.
Keep the hard work!

Regards,
Nanda
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25 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Hi Nanda – good to see you here :)

Lol…is that so? Then it’s good if you could make out – I guess you could from the title, though I haven’t written about the my writing strategies so far any where. On my blog, the first writing post was on how to improve your writing skills, if you meant that. But I guess you get glimpses here and there because both are my works, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice week ahead :)
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26 Nanda RahmaniusTwitter: NandaRahmanius March 16, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Hi Harleena,

Yes, as you said, since both works it is your work so I feel the similarity, especially the two articles that have quality content and useful for many people, especially for bloggers and writers, I think. :)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Harleena.
Hope you have a splendid weekend.

Regards,
Nanda
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27 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 17, 2014 at 3:50 AM

Hi Nanda,

Yes, perhaps you can make it out from the writing style or the title I guess. I do hope these writing strategies help bloggers and writers in more ways than one :)

Thanks once again for your feedback :)
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28 James Frost March 12, 2014 at 6:31 AM

I have to admit these strategies that you mentioned above are really something new than the others that I”ve read in the past.Some little points that you mentioned like knowing for whom you writing and if writing for your own then you have to know if there is any audience.Such detailing really made this article special than the others.

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29 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Hi James,

Glad you found these tips to be different, or perhaps as I mentioned in the post, this is how I write in most of the cases :)

I think it’s very essential to know your readers or audience, and what is being searched for when they visit your blog, so that you can write your posts keeping them in mind. It would relate much better with them I think and they’d also find them useful.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us :)
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30 LisaTwitter: Lisapatb March 12, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Hi Harleena, nice to see you over at Sylviane’s place. I really liked your writing strategies and the reminder to google a headline before using it. I sometimes forget to do that one and I’m working on a new post today so it’s a great tip for me , thank you! you are truly one of the best writers and an inspiration to me for writing.
Sylviane, I hope things are going okay for you and that they do get better….
I hope you both have a wonderful Wednesday!
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31 Sylviane Nuccio March 13, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Hi Lisa,

I think it’s finally time that I give a break to Harleena, maybe, or at least until she gets here again. I’m glad you enjoyed her post and great writing tips.

Have a great weekend.

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32 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 14, 2014 at 2:11 AM

Hi Lisa,

Glad you liked these writing strategies that I usually use for writing my posts :)

Yes indeed, checking up your title on Google is important, though sometimes we forget, just in-case it’s not already taken earlier. It’s good to make sure I think or else you just land up with two titles of the same kind and that isn’t very interesting.

Aww…thank you for saying that! You made my day a lot brighter with your kind words, Lisa. Yes, we pray for you Sylviane and hope all is well soon.

Thanks for stopping by – we appreciate it a great deal :)
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33 GladysTwitter: coachgladyscruz March 12, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Hello Ms. Harleena and Ms. SylvianeIt is good to see you on this blog and I appreciate you and your gift of writing.,This is definitely an article that can be printed out and use over and over, especially when we are stuck writing a post.I love it because it is detailed and easy for people to understand.In my short time of blogging, I find that coming up with the headline is difficult, but I try to search out the matter and something pops in my head. My heart wants to write, but I still do not know my style of writing. My goals are to be effective in the content in order to help the readers.What I am currently doing in closing out the post, I am looking how other people end their article and so that I am also picking up.Ms. Harleena I think you were the best person that Sylviane chose to write for her. There is so much to learn, and my God, I have learned a lot just from this article.Thank you againMs. Sylviane, Be well and we miss you.Gladys

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34 Sylviane Nuccio March 13, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Hi Gladys,

I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed Harleena’s post. She did a great job, didn’t it she? Giving details and very useful tips that we can all benefit from.

We all went through a learning curve and I might add we all still learning to improve our writing, so just keep writing and loving it while learning from others as you do, and you will get better and better.

Thank you so much for coming and have a fantastic day!

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35 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 14, 2014 at 2:13 AM

Hi Gladys – good to see you here :)

Is that so? You make me reach seventh heaven by saying that! Yes, I tried to remain very focused and to the point, and make it easy to read, but I guess I always do run into a long post, but that’s just being me!

Writing catchy headlines, and even a good introduction are the two main things that will surely attract first time readers to your blog. So, if they are well written, you got traffic for sure. It takes me time deciding mine too and sometimes I come to this part after I end my post so that I can give it a deeper thought.

I think when you close or end your post, there must be a call to action, either in the form of a question or though-provoking summarisation of all that you wrote above, or perhaps asking people to share your post after giving their views in the comment, or giving away of an eBook if you have one – anything that makes people move.

I appreciate your kind words and am glad that this post could be of help to you. There’s so much more to writing and blogging, so I guess starting these new categories on my blog was a good idea after all :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice week ahead :)

BTW – I had my comments written and ready Sylviane, was just waiting for the commenting problem here to be resolved :)
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36 Kumar GaurawTwitter: kgauraw March 13, 2014 at 1:30 AM

Hi Sylviane, Glad to hear from you and wish you health and happiness and a speedy recovery!Harleena: Great to see you here as a guest author here to cover for Sylviane. And you have shared some great tips from your own strategy which helps all of us. Thank you for doing that.Writing is a skill that I\’ve been improving intentionally with each day progressing because I know it\’s not about me. If I am writing, it\’s for my readers. I must meet rising expectations and that\’s what I strive to do in every post. I think that\’s my strategy :-)Regards,Kumar
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37 Sylviane Nuccio March 13, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Hi Kumar,

Thank you for coming here and I apologize for not having been at your blog for so long, but again I haven’t even been at my own blogs for almost 2 weeks now.

Thankfully two nice ladies have covered for me this week and Harleena is on of them. I’m glad you enjoyed her post.

See you at your blog soon.

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38 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 14, 2014 at 2:18 AM

Hi Kumar,

It was great to be here too and good that I could cover for her while she wasn’t around – that’s what friends are for, isn’t it? Nice to have her back I’d say :)

I can understand that writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you write very well, or perhaps it happens overtime with every blogger as the more they write, the better they become. Practice is the ONLY thing that works, and I think every blogger who is consistently writing and updating their blogs will vouch for this. We are living examples, aren’t we?

Absolutely! We need to write for our readers and know what they are looking for when they visit our blogs, that’s the key to make them keep coming for more. Good strategy indeed :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us :)
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39 Carol LynnTwitter: carollynnrivera March 13, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Hi Sylviane and Harleena, nice to see you both in one place! What a perfect place for this post since both of you are so thorough about your writing and really pay attention to the purpose and outcome. My husband Ralph just wrote about his writing process and it\’s really interesting to read about how different people approach it. One way or another I think the important thing is that you do have a process. Too many people go out there and dump some words on a page without much thought and you can tell when that happens. Like you said here, you have to now who you\’re writing for and what you\’re writing about, then you have to pay attention to all the details from headings to keeping your readers involved. Great tips!

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40 Sylviane Nuccio March 13, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Hi Carol,

Wow, it’s my first day at my own blog in two weeks and am I glad that Harleena could cover for me. Not only was I sick with a cold-like-flu all week last week, but Sophie had an issue too, and the result of it all wasn’t pretty and kept me from blogging and visiting other blogs as well.

I’m getting back on track rather slowly, but hopefully every thing will be behind us very soon.

I’m so glad you came even though I was absent at your place and enjoyed Harleena’s great writing tips. I’ve got to go read your husband’s own writing tips too now :)

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41 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Hi Carol,

Glad you like the post, and yes, I think being writers we have to! However, I feel that even bloggers nowadays, those who are consistent are getting so good in their writing because they write a lot – practice is what makes them better with time :)

I agree with you there – each person’s writing strategy would be different, and it certainly depends a lot on what suits each one, just as your husband’s would be different from mine, and Syviane’s too perhaps.

Having everything planned and chalked out in-front of you ensures that your work or writing is focused and streamlined. Knowing your audience and what they want are essential factors to make them keep coming and reading your posts. Oh yes…the more variety you add to your posts, in way of color, quotes, videos, images, the more appealing it gets – every detail matters :)

Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. Have a nice week ahead :)
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42 JeevanjacobjohnTwitter: Daringblogger March 14, 2014 at 1:57 AM

Good to see you here, Harleena :D

I have to be honest…I skip most of this stuff (mainly because I love winging it! And because I hate all this..because it reminds me of formal essay writing in school!).

Anyways, I am not sure whether my strategy is working (can’t say if people are just being nice..or whether they actually my stuff). In any case, my writing strategies differ from time to time (but, if you look at it generally, it is mostly on winging it).

I do plan..but most of it is just on ideas. I note down the idea and move on (and only worry about it when I write the post. I keep thinking about this..and sometimes, I do get insights, and I note them down too. Lately, that hasn’t been happening, perhaps because I have the idea exercise?).

Nowadays, I find myself doing a lot of research (most of my ideas are based on research…I borrow data from studies and write my opinion on them :D).

These days I also write a week prior to publishing the post (my initial plan was to be prepared with 10 new posts, but that didn’t work out). On a side note, I have been able to write extra posts..perhaps I can implement the 10 posts plan next week – It’s spring break here!

Anyways, thank you for the awesome tips, Harleena (and sorry about making the comment all about me and my strategies…hope you don’t mind :D).
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43 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 17, 2014 at 4:02 AM

Hi Jeevan – it’s surely good to be here and good to see you too :)

Lol…I agree with you entirely! Let me be honest with you – I never used to follow this format as well, until a few months back when I felt it made my working a little better. I love to write freehand and used to develop my post as I went along, but it takes a little longer that ways compared to this, because here you have already done the planning beforehand.

Each one of us has our own style of writing, and yes, our strategy to write would differ too – these are just some ways I follow and they seem to be working for me so far. However, sometimes when the posts are light or don’t require too much of research, I don’t entirely follow this method too, so I’m flexible there ;)

Yes, planning the post idea is something we all need to work on, and penning your thought as and when they come, helps. But the work after that of executing those ideas and everything else takes time too, so perhaps this way reduces the time spent on it all.

Oh yes…I like the little experiments and research you keep conduting on your blog and that’s being innovative and creative – carry on my friend! I don’t go that deep into studies and research, though a little I do for gathering the data or stats for my posts, if required so that what I give my readers is authentic.

Ah…I still have to work those many posts in advance, though I manage sometimes with keeping 1-2 ready, but sometimes even those aren’t ready and it’s writing, writing, writing ALL the time! Good that you have your spring break there – my kids too are having their little break and festivities this end are on full swing too. I guess poor Moms are caught up with kids wanting goodies to be cooked up at home – so no break for me ;)

I never mind your lovely comment, Jeevan. And it’s good you shared your strategy and way of working with all of us too. I appreciate that and your time spent here as well.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. Have a nice weekend :)
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44 Cole WiebeTwitter: ColeWiebe March 18, 2014 at 3:17 AM

Hi Harleena,

You’ve hit all the key points, but the second one I believe is particularly important: knowing who we’re writing for. I’ve actually found it helpful to tape a stock photo I selected to represent the persona I’ve developed for a particular customer type, when I write for that “person.” It may sound silly, but I understand many of the copywriting legends like Bob Bly, use the technique.

– Cole
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45 Sylviane Nuccio March 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Hi Cole,

Thank you for coming here and I’m glad you enjoyed Harleena’s post. I know it does sound silly, but having a specific person we write for works for a lot of people.

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46 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 22, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Hi Cole,

Sorry for being a little late here – just slips off my mind about the post as I don’t get any notification in the mail, though I’m glad I’m here to take up the comments now :)

I agree with you there – it’s essential to know who you are writing for so that your posts are focused and relate to your audience. You write very well and I love the way you have your own unique voice that stands out from the rest.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Have a nice weekend :)
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47 Liz McGee March 20, 2014 at 2:21 AM

Hi Sylviane,

You were so smart to ask Harleena to guest post, she always offers useful and thorough information for us. Comparing writing to cooking is a good analogy because they are similar.

There\’s no right or wrong way to cook. Everyone has their own special recipe, their own tastes and their own way of preparing a dish. It\’s the same for writing. but I also love what your Grandmother said about putting your heart into your food makes it taste better. I think that\’s true and putting your heart into whatever you do, including your writing, will always make it better.

Thanks Harleena,
Liz

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48 Sylviane Nuccio March 20, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Hi Liz,

I think that I need to take my turn here as that whole week not only did I let Harleena write for me but reply to all comments too. It just wasn’t an easy time for me.

I totally agree, putting your heart in what you do, whether it’s cooking, writing or anything else can make all the difference.

Thank you for your valuable input, and thank for coming. I will come see you very soon too :)

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49 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 22, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Hi Liz,

Glad you liked the post, and yes – writing is so much like cooking, isn’t it? :)

You are absolutely right, we all have our own ways to cook, which depends on what we are cooking, the ingredients we use, and all the spices we add to make the final dish better! Oh yes…my Granny used to cook so well and take her own sweet time to make the dishes so delicious. Her secret was just what I shared – put your heart into whatever you do and you will come up with something wonderful :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Have a nice weekend :)
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50 MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva March 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Hi Harleena and Sylviane,

Wow… What a surprise! Can you imagine two favorites, and writing experts on top of my list and I’ve been learning from, hanging out at the same place? ;)

Right on, Sylviane! Bloggers can be busy enough and priorities can get in the way. But we get you when you busy with yours too dear :) I’d like to congratulate you for your accomplishment as a Certified Professional Coach too. You’re AWESOME, my friend! I’m really happy for you :)

You couldn’t have asked a better expert on this one. I’m thrilled Harleena is here for you to support and believe this space is very apt for her as a writer.

NOW, Welcome to the Sylviane’s place, Harleena :) You have nailed this topic with your personal experiences and strategies! I recall you shared many tips at your own place too, but once again I’m grasping more tips from you to incorporate in blogging.

I really like the extempore approach but it doesn’t work out for most I believe. Actually, I like how travelers, gamers and developers use that approach in blogging though. Some are just full of codes though :D

As I’m sharing tutorials, I’ve got started with a simple approach to introduce what is it about in one – two paragraphs and taken readers to the steps. Over time, as I learnt from blogging experts in my circles, now I find my writings become bit more organized with subheadings and other added elements. But they are not professional as yours or Sylviane’s. Nothing wrong with embracing the basic casual style, right? :)

Talking about the strategy of writing, yours way advanced than mine Harleena ;) I suspect mine is a strategy though :D lol… Before start, I just list down what I wanna cover in the post editor (In case if I get lost while writing) and keep writing as thoughts flow. Can’t pause while thoughts flowing though. It has been working great for me, in my own way.

Then editing takes a lot of time, and sometimes I have to rewrite the whole paragraph from scratch like you mentioned ;) Once or twice I had to write a post from scratch too. As I’m slow in writing, it consumes a lot of time eventhough I write few paragraphs. Have to keep editing until I feel satisfied enough to be published.

You’re right! Keywords can maximize the effectiveness and help attract targeted traffic. But I admit that I’ve never peeked into keywords for blogging. It’s just I prefer that way, Harleena. You know, I’m kinda obstinate ;) What do you think about that?

In tutorials, I always like to keep things short but convey every detail that matters, so readers can proceed to steps quickly without spending a lot of time on just reading. From my experience, too much to read is what kept me away from tutorial blogs / websites. Yet in some posts I find some readers didn’t even read but just followed the steps when I read their comments.

I can really use some tips in the list you have shared, and thinking of expanding the summary of points from now on. I’ve already learnt few other tips you shared from you both and Susan :)

You both have a fantabulous weekend, Harleena and Sylviane :)

Cheers…
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51 Sylviane Nuccio March 28, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Hi Mayura,

I wanted to personally thank you for your kind words and for coming here and enjoying Harleena’s great post.

I’m so sorry that I haven’t been of a good helper with the comments, but this month of March has been such a though time for me. I may not even be over with all those things, but I’ll try to keep my head up as much as I can.

Thank you so much for your great comment and really appreciate you as always.

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52 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas March 24, 2014 at 5:27 AM

Hi Mayura,

Wow! What a mini-post comment…lol…I need to sit with a cup of coffee to answer it :)

I join you to congratulate Sylviane, Mayura – she’s done it at last and what an accomplishment I’d say.

This post was long overdue and I’m glad I could help her out in her time of need. Yes, I just started the writing category on my blog too, mainly for helping bloggers and other writers, and I don’t think it’s wise to handle two blogs separately, though I wonder how Sylviane manages three of hers!

I do write some of my posts just on the spur of the moment too, but they are the kinds where I know the subject, or personal ones, or those that don’t require much of time or research. But those are very few as I like to go into little more details and give it all to the best of my abilities to my readers, so don’t like to leave anything out as such.

Yes, some hobby bloggers or travelers, and even those who write on DIY, crafts, cookery etc, manage to even get away with daily small post updates, and that too doesn’t need much of planning or thinking as mentioned here. So, it all depends on what you are writing exactly, isn’t it?

Your tutorial posts are wonderful, and because you know the subject well enough, you can easily share it in the format you mentioned and don’t need all that much of planning I’d say. Not at all – I think your posts are perfect and sometimes you don’t need subheads as your tutorials already have the bolded points and the pictures showing how to do things, so that’s pretty good in itself I’d say.

Well, we all have our own way of writing, Mayura, so what works for me might not for you and vice-versa. At the end of the day we all have to follow what we like and are comfortable with, that’s why I clearly wrote in the title ‘My’ as this is the way I do it and if it helps someone take the same direction (because some people are rather lost about it), it would be good for them.

Oh yes…editing, not just once, but perhaps many times over to perfection, does take time. Re-writing a whole new paragraph isn’t something what I like, though I hardly have such problems because I am very careful with what I write as I take my own sweet time I should say :)

Keywords only help to get your posts in the search engines, though where they will rank isn’t something I care much about either, though I do know that a little of SEO one needs off and on. I do use keywords from the little I know, though I use no software or tool, and some posts do very well even without any keyword, so it also depends on a lot of other factors I would say.

I agree with you there – if readers are used to your tutorials, they’d spend less time in reading the usual content text posts because they prefer tutorials from you, and those are very easy to read and follow too. For me, because I write long posts, perhaps my readers are now used to it and know what to expect from me, though I keep adding a few short ones (I try to make them short!). So it again depends on what you give your readers and how you put it all across, in an interesting and nice way helps.

Thanks for your awesome contribution to the post – you are always so good with your comments dear friend. Have a nice week ahead :)
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53 Wayne Brett March 26, 2014 at 5:17 AM

As I read through your article I could picture myself doing most of these things at one time or another. The biggest challenge form me is finding the time to write. I do often have time late at night but after months of writing content I have found that my best work is done in the mornings. Most of my ideas come from late nights. So now when it\’s late and I get the urge I outline my ideas. Having a map is always a good idea. Some of these outlines never make it to a finished product but they also give me ideas when my creative side lets me down.

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54 Sylviane Nuccio March 26, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Hi Wayne,

If your ideas come at night and your energy to write in the morning, just do a quick draft with your ideas while they’re there and write the full article in the morning. I do that myself all the time, and it works great.

I’m glad you enjoyed my guest, Harleena’s post and thank you for coming.

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55 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas April 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Hi Wayne,

I can well understand that, though with me, writing is never the problem because that’s what I do for a living. It’s usually the things after writing that are time consuming like editing, setting up the post on WordPress, finding the apt images, social media promotions, return visits, and of course, the most time consuming – comments!

Early mornings work best for me too, and I think that’s the time without distractions and you can do so well with a fresh and clear mind. Chalking out a plan and keeping it aside for the time you sit to write works best, but you finally need to do what suits you best :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us :)
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56 Dr. Diana April 27, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Hello Harleena Singh,Now, I am a regular visitor of your blog. I have read so many posts on your blog. It is also another interesting guest post. Before writing a blog post we should take care about keywords also. I am using Long Tail Pro for this purpose.Any advice from your side will be best for me.ThanksDiana

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57 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas May 31, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Hi Diana – good to see you here :)

Sorry for the late reply – I just happened to visit this post and saw your comment now :)

I know you visit very often, and I am grateful for that. Glad you liked these writing tips mentioned. Yes indeed, if you are a blog writer, you should use SEO and keywords, and using them in variation is what’s preferred, so that takes care that your words flow well too.

Honestly speaking, I don’t use any software at all, though I have heard Long Tail Pro is very good for keywords. I use just a little of good old Google Keyword Planner and that’s it. I guess it’s your content that matters more than anything else, isn’t it? And if it helps your readers, nothing could be better.

Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it a great deal :)
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58 Chaitali Bose Bhattacharjee May 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Hey Harleena hi !How are things with you. After going through few of the indian blogs, I must say yours I found the best in terms of what your vision is. Simple writing, eloquent style but meaningful rational messages. Indeed trying to bring happiness in our life in one way or other. I write from quite a young age… But recently started blogging..stay home mom as my family is my world my strength but somewhere I don\\\’t want to loose my identity too…..so starting this humble initiative….will be glad if I can contribute in some way. Appreciate the insights you are spreading across. My best wishes to you and your family.

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59 Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas May 31, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Hi Chaitali,

Good to meet you here :)

Well, thank you for your kind words of appreciation. Yes, my main aim of blogging was always to help bring happiness in the lives of others, besides imparting a little knowledge and helping others in whatever way I can.

Nice to know more about you and your blog, especially as you’ve been writing and now blogging too. It’s a good decision to open a blog, as you have a family to take care of as well, similar to my case. It would be nice if you visit the blog, connect with others to build relationships with fellow bloggers, that’s the best way to get started.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice weekend :)
Harleena Singh invites you to read..The Aha!NOW Chat With Harsh Agrawal [Interview]My Profile

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