Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 22, 2013

Using a Blog to Develop Your Writing Skills

Scarecrow (S.Liu web)

The above fall themed Illustration was illustrated by Sylvia Liu. You can see more of her work at:  http://www.enjoyingplanetearth.com/

Guest Post: Stephanie Green

Practicing with WordPress: Ways to Use a Blog to Develop Your Writing Skills

You don’t have to be a hardcore blogger in order to use WordPress to develop your writing skills. In fact, there is a great amount of good that can come from using a blog to practice your writing. Developing your skills as a writer takes constant vigilance and regular usage. The more you write, the better you’ll become. How can you use a blog to develop your skills as a writer?

1. Daily Posts – While the purpose of a blog is to share personal thoughts about any given subject, there is nothing wrong with writing a short story here or there. In fact, blogging daily about what you’ve learned as a writer can help you as well as the person reading your content. Keeping up with a regular routine for posting content gives you a chance to flex and hone your skills.

2. Lead-Ins – If you’ve had your work published before, you can always use your blog to develop a lead-in to the story or a connection point between two books. This could be a great method to market your material and gain favor from those who enjoy your writing. You can use your blog to further detail a character’s background or provide information to use as a teaser for upcoming developments.

3. Plugins – One of the most attractive aspects to WordPress is the ability to install plugins. There are many that can help you fine tune your work. One of these that stands out is called Word Stats. This plugin will count how many words you developed as a writer or in an overall total if you have other people writing for your blog as well. How does this help you?

  • You      can set a goal for the number of words written in a week.
  • You      can see what your most common keywords are in your posts.
  • The      readability aspect can tell you what grade level the content is best for.

Using the readability section of the plugin is very useful if you are trying to develop content for a certain age group. Using the Automated Readability Index, the plugin will have a running score of what grade level your readers should be for the content you are writing. This is similar to the Flesch-Kincaid scores.

4. User Comments – As long as you have a thick skin, you can use comments from users to help you develop your abilities. By asking questions at the end of your blog posts, you are leaving a “call-to-action” that encourages readers to interact with you. Just keep in mind that not everyone will have the same tastes or understanding as you and could leave criticizing comments. However, the majority of those reading your material should provide a great amount of feedback in order to help you grow as a writer.

While you can monetize your blog and make a bit of additional money from posting regularly, using WordPress can be of great benefit as it stands. With the amount of tools and plugins you can install, you can fine-tune your skills and develop enriched content for all ages. Most plugins are free to use and can be greatly beneficial to your cause. If you have your own WordPress-based blog, what kind of success have you seen as a writer developing your own skills?

Author Bio:

Stephanie Green has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.

Thank you Stephanie for sharing your ideas with us.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I think the plugins are only available for premium accounts though, right?

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    • Donna,

      The free WordPress version has some widgets, but if you want to get fancy you need to do that with on a self hosting site using their WordPress.org.

      Kathy

      Like

      • Yeah, I know about the widgets, but haven’t found the plugins. I’m probably just being blind or dense. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at my blog-to-be in any depth and need to refresh again anyway.

        Like

  2. This maybe a stupid question…but how does one get a plugin?
    Great post, by the way! 🙂

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    • Isabella,

      WordPress has widgets in their dashboard to use.

      Kathy

      Like

  3. I’ve used both WordPress and Blogger. It doesn’t matter what you use, but having a blog is worthwhile for me because it helps me connect to a larger community. I am partial to blogger at the moment because it’s more intuitive for me.

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    • Sue,

      Thanks for the comment. I like WordPress, but that is because I am used o using it. I am sure Blogger is just as good. The bottom line is having a blog with good content provides a lot of benefits, including keeping you writing. The problem, just like everything else, we have so many things we want to do and not enough time to do everything.

      Kathy

      Like

  4. Kathy, great to view Sylvia’s art. The scarecrow is delightful. I have a self-hosted wordpress blog and I haven’t paid attention to the plug-ins, but I will now. Thank you. 🙂

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  5. I completely agree with the thought written in the post as these all are the fact about blog writing as a beginner, to improve our skill as a blogger we must keep writing about various niche which interest and we should also dare to face our mistakes and criticism from reader through commenting so that it can help improving our writing skill and it also make us understand the readers expectation from a blog.

    Like


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