Having crested the one-year mark of publishing on a website, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things I’ve learned about writing (and other issues around the craft) in the last year. I’m not an expert, but I’ve learned quite a bit throughout this process.
It’s been a rewarding year, even though it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve grown through the writing process, and I look forward to the future.
Although I could write many lessons, here are six things I’ve learned in the past year about writing.
- Be honest with yourself. The gift of writing is beautiful, but not everyone is made to communicate in blogs. That’s a great thing! God makes us different because he has a unique purpose for all of our lives. If you are interested in writing, make sure you have something to give an audience.
- You need a mentor/editor. If you want to write well, you have to reach out to experienced, influential writers who can guide you along the way. Were it not for my mentor, my site probably wouldn’t have made it past September of last year.
- Website looks matter. Sadly, almost more than the writing. People love a site that looks good. The better looking your site, the longer people want to stay.
- Keep it short. When I first started, I was writing 650 word articles, then editing them down to 500. With the exception of a few posts (like this one), I rarely crest 350 words now. Remember, people are reading on their phones, so 500 words is quite overwhelming when accessed via smartphone. Keep it short, preferably 300-350 words.
- Write about what you know. Readers will figure out whether you know what you’re writing about in the first 100 words. They can easily spot dense writing. Expertise carries a weight that your readers can sense.
- Serve your readers. Ask for feedback. Personally respond to comments. Be grateful for the “thank you’s.” No one owes you a view on your site. Each visit is a gift. Keep that in mind.
This year has grown me as a thinker and communicator. If you’re considering starting a site and have the talent to do so, do it! The internet needs more quality Christian writers to share the light of the gospel through personal websites. We need your thoughts online.
If you have questions about starting a site, feel free to fill out the contact form, and I will help in whatever way I can.