My 5 Most Frequently Asked Writing Questions

My 5 most asked writing questions

A lot of new bloggers, mostly affiliate marketing bloggers, have asked me various writing questions over time.

For this post today, I thought I’d picked some of such questions and try to answer them for you.

I know I’ve written about those questions and answers before on various blog posts, but by gathering some of the most common questions and answers in one post it will be easier for the reader to get them all in one place, and get back to it easily.

So without further ado, let try to answer for you my 5 most frequently asked writing questions.

How can I get More Writing Ideas?

Always keep in mind that writing ideas are all around you.  For example, last year I wrote a post inspired by a bird that made its nest right above my entrance door.

When you’re a landscape painter, you tend to look at landscapes in such a way that you see yourself painting those landscapes. When you’re an actor, you look for true emotions that you have that you could use in your acting. When you’re a writer, it’s pretty much the same thing. You need to use life as a writing idea treasure box.

Learn how to listen when people are talking.  What type of questions they’re  asking, what type of statements they’re making, what unusual things they’re doing, or even what stupid things they may be doing.

Everything could be a subject for writing applied to  your niche!

Observe any type of event you might run into. My friend Carol Lynn Rivera wrote a post once after a real life movie theater event that turned weird.  She used that rather negative experience to write a post about customer service.

Try to pick up ideas from everything you read. In 2011 I’ve written a post that was telling the reader how reading unrelated topics can actually help you write within your niche.

Read with a writer’s eye.

What does this mean, you might ask?

When reading, ask yourself, could I use this for some writing ideas? Could I learn something about what I’m reading that I could use and apply into my own niche?

You could be inspired by style, the content, the topic, the idea…. anything.

Watch videos on YouTube about your niche and try to write about what you’ve learned on the video.

There is a software called FreeMind which is a free download that you can use to put your articles together.  You can use the software to literally build your article as you write down article titles or ideas you may come up with.

How Can I Improve my Writing?

I’m sure you’ve seen that one before, but it’s because that’s what any writer would tell you first if you’d ask them that question.

PRACTICE!

That’s right. There is no substitute for practice. The more you write the better you will become at writing. Last week I had several people telling me in their comments to my post that their older articles and posts were terrible.

Why do you think is the reason for that?

Well, it’s because they had much less practice behind them back then.  Over the years, their writing skill has gotten much better with practice.

In order to practice writing don’t wait to have the perfect idea article in your mind. Just sit down and write. It doesn’t matter what it is you’re writing, and it doesn’t matter if it’s not your best writing either. It doesn’t even matter if you are ever going to publish it or not in the end.  What does matter is that it will serve as practice for you.

You can’t practice in your head. You just have to write.  Like anything else, the more you do it the easiest it will become, regardless of the fact that you are a natural writer or not.

How Many Keywords do I Need?

There used to be a time when if you’d ask this question to 15 different people, you’d get 15 different answers. It was very confusing, indeed. I would even be willing to bet that there are still various ideas about this subject out there, but it doesn’t really matter anymore because too many keywords will not help you as much as they used too.

I used to write articles for clients who wanted an incredibly insane amount of keywords for something like a 400 -600 word article. I had basically to force the keywords even when I wouldn’t have put them naturally.

Nowadays, however, with Google Panda and Penguin, things have changed since some of those forced keyword materials have been taken off Google search pages all togethere.

My simple advice about keyword is to use them moderately and in a natural way. Don’ t force them at the risk of your article sounding weird.  Any specific topic will have its natural keywords coming back several times in the article.  That’s all you should care about.  Just make sure your keyword appears in the title and the rest will happen naturally.

How Can I Write High Quality Content?

The quality or your articles and posts will come with the knowledge that you have about your niche.  The more specific knowledge, the higher quality the article.

For example, if you have only a basic knowledge about your niche, your articles will be of basic to poor quality and it will limit you in your writing greatly as well.

That’s why getting educated in your niche is important and should be a natural process for any online marketer, whether you are trying to write to promote affiliate products or anything else.

More knowledge will give you more ideas to write about, and more “meat” in your writing, so to speak.

More ideas and topics to write about equal more hands on and more practice.

How can I Make Sure that my Articles are Interesting and Entertaining Enough?

The first thing you need to keep in mind when you write is that you need to be understood.  If people don’t understand what you are talking about they won’t be motivated to come back.

Here are some key points you need to keep in mind each time you start writing.

  • Write like you talk
  • Write from experience
  • Keep to one subject and one theme at the time
  • Repeat the most important point more than once in your article
  • Describe things in a simple way using mental images and examples
  • Write with authority like you know what you’re talking about
  • Write your thought until you’re done. Worry about grammar and spelling later
  • When you’re done always ask yourself this question: Could anyone understand what I wrote about? 

There you have it. My five most frequently asked writing questions.  What about you? Do you have other writing questions? Or, how would you answer some of such questions? Share your thoughts in the comment area below!

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41 Comments

  • Carol LynnTwitter: carollynnrivera says:

    Hi Sylviane, those are great questions and great answers. I especially like the list at the end because that sums up all the important parts of writing well.

    I agree that ideas are all around. You just have to get in the mindset that anything can be an inspiration, and note down whatever strikes you. Write down everything! I write down things I see, things people say, things that happen. You never know when something will hit you as something to write about, or like your bird example, something you can use to inspire your writing. Sounds like my cat post 🙂

    And of course practice is a must. Everyone gets better with practice. I look back at things I wrote in the past, even just a year or two ago and I think UGH! Did I write that?? So it’s a good idea to stop being so hung up on doing it “right”, and just do a good job as best you can. If you have good ideas and make sure you say your ideas clearly and then you proofread so it sounds professional, you’ll get better over time.

    Good advice on all your points!
    Carol Lynn invites you to read..Help Is On The Way: How To Tell When It’s Time To Hire Someone ElseMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Carol,

      I know that when I wrote about being inspired by everthing that’s around you, beside myself I thought about you right away, because you’re a master at that. I actually browsed to a dozen blog posts of your before I could find the one I had still very fresh in my mind about your “movie theater” adventure.

      I always say that there’s no substitute to practice and that’s something that is acquired over time. We can’t just rush it, it will happen automatically in time.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts we us here 🙂

  • Lee says:

    Hi sylviane
    The big problem I am having is to make sure I am choosing the right keywords to aim for. I don’t want to chase ones I won’t be able to rank for. I have decided to look at long tail keywords that aren’t to hard to rank for to hopefully help give my site some authority.

    What do you think ??????

    Await reply lee

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lee,

      Yes, long tail keywords do work fine still, but the point is not over doing it.

      Besides keywords, I think that building relationships in order to get lots of referrals and branding yourself in the end should pay off even more than the best keywords out there.

      Remember that it takes about 7 times for someone to see a product/service before they buy it on average, so keywords alone are not enough. There’s more to it to build a clientele.

      Here are my two cents on what I think 🙂

  • Sonia says:

    The one I struggled with the most was writing like I talk. When I started blogging, I thought you had to “sound” a certain way in order to be accepted. I was following a bunch of bloggers that didn’t really have an interest in what I had to say and I didn’t fit it at all.

    This made me go back and look at what I was doing personally and how it was affecting my posts. Did they make sense? Or did they sound phony? Not only that, I struggled to just write a simple post because it didn’t really sound like me. The more I got into networking, I started reading other blogs and Ken Pickard and Adrienne really helped me with that. I started to feel comfortable in my own skin and I haven’t looked back.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sonia,

      I think most of us had this problem. We are trying to sound a certain way and that’s so unattractive that nobody want to read our stuff.

      Well, you sure did made a lot of progress and your posts are not only great now, but you’ve got your following now 🙂

      Thank you for your sharing, Sonia.

  • Sapna says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Great post!

    I sincerely believe that practice is the only way to improve. I have started doing that since the time I have been in blogosphere. Though initially I didn’t take that seriously because I started as tech blog but nowadays paying great attention into that.The art of “Writing like you talk” will surely take some time to develop.

    You perfectly said that one should try to get ideas from everywhere possible and for that one need to invest time and energy.

    I try to write on any possible topic that strikes my mind or just the wild imagination.

    Thanks for the share.

    Sapna

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sapna,

      Looks like you’ve got a good writing practice going on and it seems that you’ve understood what it takes to improve your writing. Again and again. Practice and time. That’s it!

      Then we can add knowledge, imagination, ideas and all that good stuff, and that’s what is going to give us the necessary practice.

      Thank you for coming and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    The best advice I get out of this is to write like you talk. I like it because I’m a talker. But the problem is I “tawk” lol.

    So when I write, there is so much editing to do. But that’s OK because the ideas flow.

    The other problem I am working on when I write is that I shift from writing from the first person to the second person. Oh boy! Talk about editing….

    When you say keep to one subject at a time…that is my biggest problem. As I write, I tend to get off the topic! I write and write and then have to make it two different posts. I’m working on that one Sylviane!

    Your last nugget of advice is: When you’re done always ask yourself this question: Could anyone understand what I wrote about? That is were so much editing comes for me for all the reasons I mentioned above.

    But, as you mention the only way to write is to keep on doing it, and I do, even if it is a struggle. I just don’t give up. Plus, I have incorporated this year to make sure I read more. Yes, I read blogs and information all day long, but a good old book in hand is something I am making a habit of.

    Thanks for the free writing course here! I do enjoy learning from you,
    Donna
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..Organize Your Space, Clear your MindMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      You so made me laugh, Donna. For one thing you are very honest and gave lots of details about the difficulties you encounter as you write.

      At least you know the areas where you need to work and improve. When we read your posts, however, none of the hurdles you mentioned here are obvious at all, so you must be doing a great job with editing.

      Thanks for your insights, Donna.

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    I know you’ve written about these before but it’s just like any other post you write about there will be new people coming online who are just now finding your blog and have totally missed all those fabulous posts with all this great information you’ve shared.

    Those are all great questions and you answered those beautifully. I look back and it’s hard for me to believe how long I’ve been doing this now but when I started I had those same darn questions.

    What I love about you Sylviane is that you explain things so easily which you know is the best way I learn things. I know that your readers, new and old, really appreciate how you make things so simple for us to understand. So for that I want to say thank you even though you know I’ve said that before. I don’t think we ever really get tired of hearing that you know.

    Great tips Sylviane and I actually have nothing “new” to add. You’ve covered it all so guys, listen up. Sylviane definitely knows here stuff and knows what she’s talking about so take her advice because it’s good stuff.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne invites you to read..Some Anniversaries Are Not Worth CelebratingMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Well, that’s funny, I have been thinking to look through all my comments and take the ones that mentioned how people understand well when I write about something (since I’ve noticed it’s a recurring item), and put it on my testimonial page. It’s like you’ve read my mind… You’ve done one right here!

      That’s great. I am going to put the later part of this comment in my testimonial page with your name attached to it if you don’t mind.

      No, I never get tried to hear good stuff, Adrienne, because like anybody else I have my unsecure issues so it’s always good to be reassured.

      I always wished I had more time to polish my own posts more, but I just don’t, so I’m glad they still seem to be OK, even though they could be better. I tend to do this more for clients, since they are paying, they get the best of me 🙂

      Thanks for coming and for your great comment, Adrienne!

      • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

        Great minds think alike. No, I have no problem at all with you sharing this on your testimonial page. I really appreciate how you explain things and I know so many other people do as well. I’m happy to shout it from the roof tops Sylviane. 🙂
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  • Babanature says:

    Hello Sylviane,
    A great post indeed. i believe writing great content comes along line when you’re becoming more experienced in your field knowing what people really want and how they want it. The best way to write great content is to be your self and not the next person. Thanks
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Babanature,

      You’ve said it so well, I have nothing to add to this.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Barbara CharlesTwitter: BarbaraCharlesl says:

    Hi Sylviane. I am always in need to advice on writing. Although I doing better, I love that you’ve provided information that I need to help us write better blogs. Thanks.
    Barbara Charles invites you to read..Journey To My 7 Successes – Working To LiveMy Profile

  • Corina Ramos says:

    Hello Sylviane,

    Wow…you’ve definitely summed it up for us newbie bloggers/writers. Thanks for putting this post together. It’s like Adrienne said there are people like me new to your blog and missed the first time blogged about this topic so I for one am glad you got “the best of” and created this post.

    I think what made it easier for me to pick up blogging was the conversational flow it has. The only thing about that is you can pick up my Texas accent quick, LOL. And you’re right, the more you write the better you become and I had to remind myself when I first started. For the times I wanted to throw in the towel that kept me going because I knew I had to practice to get the hang of blogging.

    I love the points you share at the end, that is a great list to write out and post around the work area 🙂 Thanks for sharing these great suggestions. Have a great week!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Corina,

      Well, I’m glad that someone new to blogging can take advantage of the tips on this blog. While I had written about each individual question separately, I’ve never put them all together at once, so I thought it would be a practical post.

      I’m happy you can take advantage of this and thank you for coming and commenting here.

  • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I still remember the image you had on the post about Mother bird and nest 🙂 That was a creative and wonderful analogy. I just went there and read it again 🙂

    Practice indeed improved me as I wasn’t a native English speaker 🙂 Actually I’ve never given a thought about keywords when writing Sylviane. It’s just what I wanna say and you are correct that necessary keywords will be integrated within the writing. It cracks me up when I see job postings require 40 – 50 keywords need to be included. I know it’s a requirement nowadays as they are looking to attract more readers through online marketing practices. If you had to hire some freelance writers, would you ask for keywords or take a look at how they write Sylviane?

    I’e come across some posts that implying what is quality content too. I remember in one article, author made a comment ~ Select one topic. Go through top ranking posts in same topic and write a post merging ideas of all. Ugh… I don’t know why some blogger tend to follow easy ways.

    The last point is very good one linking to simplicity. You have listed the tips well there and I can see each tip can be converted into a post too, no? 😉

    Now I’m sure many of your readers don’t need to contact you and ask the same questions over and over again 🙂 You have put it all beautifully here for everyone to understand very easily.

    Cheers…
    Mayura invites you to read..Download All Your Tweets and Information on TwitterMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      HI Mayura,

      Well, I can tell you that I would never take on a writing job that ask me to put 50 keywords in one article, because that’s just crazy and they probably don’t know what they’re doing.

      I like natural keyword integration, and not when it’s forced and really sounds weird for the reader.

      I’ve never heard of the tip you mentioned here, because I really don’t need to go that route. I prefer real posts that come from my own ideas whether good or not so good maybe.

      Thank you for your input, Mayura.

  • RobG says:

    Hello Sylviane, nice post very informative. Becoming a great writer takes practice that can only be acquired over time, we learn as we go.

    I would have to say I have trouble keeping on topic as I write because I tend to drift into a whole different area as I write. I try to make things as easy as possible for people because I know it can be kind of hard for some people to understand when you’re trying to explain something so jumping off topic will only confuse them.

    Thanks so much for a great article Sylviane very well presented.

    Have a wonderful day.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Rob,

      Yes, you definitely want to stay on topic. That is a MUST, because for one thing people will get lost while reading your post and second they won’t take your post seriously. And last but not least you post won’t be as valuable either.

      Thank you for bring this up.

  • Theodore Nwangene says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Those are very important questions and you’ve just giving a very comprehensive answer to them.

    The one i normally ask when i was starting out is the number of keywords i should use on my posts, but just as you said, that question will get different answers from different people.

    What i do these days is just write my posts and the keywords will be entering naturally where needed.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Theodore,

      I see that you got it. You don’t need to worry too much about keywords as they will be included naturally in your article.

      Thank you for bringing is up!

  • Neamat TawadrousTwitter: nkeriakos says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    A great educating post. I enjoyed reading it as I picked up something from each question you answered. You always cover all the areas and no one can add anything above your answers.

    Indeed these five questions are asked by us all as bloggers as we want to improve on our writing. I am very happy I read it as each one of them is really informative and this post is a great resource for writers and I loved the points you mentioned at the end of your post which sums it all up.

    Thanks Sylviane for a beautifully put post that helped me and I am sure will help lots of other writers.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..10 Tips On How To Engage Facebook Fans!My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Neamat,

      Thank you my dear, I certainly appreciate what you’re saying here. Those are questions that I get a lot so I tried to make it as clear and complete as possible.

      Have a great rest of the week 🙂

  • Melly Schug says:

    I love your explanation with regards to “getting more writing ideas”
    Sometimes, it’s really hard to write something. We all experience this writer’s block. There are many ways to refresh our minds and unwind so we could get and start a brand new chapter.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Melly, and welcome to this blog.

      Yes, this blog is to help such writing blocks. I hope you enjoyed and will come back soon.

  • Sue PriceTwitter: suejprice says:

    Hi Sylviane

    This is a good list of what many of us struggled with when we started blogging.

    Regarding topics I am forever scribbling down ideas as I get them. Even my husband now says “you should blog about that” when I say something he thinks would be good for me 🙂

    I am with some of the others on finding “write like you speak” the most difficult when I started. I think for many of us it is coming out of a professional background or something where we wrote that corporate style. I found it really difficult to put down.

    Great post as always Sylviane and I love you have given tips on these things.

    Sue
    Sue Price invites you to read..Do What You LoveMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sue,

      Yes, you should write about that as your husband told you. People love it when people blog about how they do things or how they get things done.

      Writing as you speak can because a habit with practice. I think that we all have written in a formal way at one point, and as we progress in our blogging career that writing as we speak becomes more evident.

      Have a good rest of the week, Sue 🙂

  • CarartaTwitter: ArtaGene says:

    Adrienne always finds the Cream.
    Those nice little bullet points at the end are a great reminder of what you made a point of talking about, especially that KEYWORD thing.
    I’ve always had a problem with them, so fewer now (for me) is better!
    Thanks for sharing.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Cararta, and welcome to my blog!

      I’m glad you found me through Adrienne 🙂

      Keywords used to be a real headache for me too in the past, because people wanted to make it so darn complicated. I am not worrying about keywords anymore at all. they get there naturally.

      Thank you for coming and leaving a comment.

      Hope to see you here again soon.

  • Michael Buccilli says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    I enjoyed your questions and answers; for a newbie like myself you have chosen the perfect time to compress the most asked questions and the well explained answers into one great post.

    Yes, it does make it easier to come back to find answers if one needs to get re-acquainted with the answers.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Michael,

      I’m glad you found this post at the right time for you. Now that your blog is ready you are going to be able to use all those tips on a regular basis, right?

      Thanks for coming.

  • Michael Belk says:

    Sylviane, I love your answers to these questions, because the bottom line is you have to be very creative with your content.

    Ideas for articles are definitely all around us. I love your idea about a bird in a nest outside your door, that is creativity. 🙂

  • Sue Neal says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    You’ve given some great answers to some important questions here – I’d second your point about getting inspiration from anything and everything, and to read as a writer, picking up tips and ideas as you read. I actually find that enhances my enjoyment as a reader, even when I’m just reading something for pleasure, like a novel or story.

    I’m glad you made the point about not focusing on keywords. I don’t enjoy writing at all if I feel I have to shoe-horn keywords in just for the sake of SEO – I really hate that! So I’m quite grateful to Google’s Pandas and Penguins for knocking all that keyword stuffing rubbish on the head.

    As regards your last two points, about writing high quality content that people will find entertaining and satisfying, I think it’s important to try to address people’s problems and issues in some depth – one of the mistakes a lot of bloggers make is to dash off brief, superficial articles, top ten lists etc., which don’t go into any detail or provide much genuine value.

    I think the most important point you make is probably the one about practice – write, write, write, that’s the answer!

    Sue

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sue,

      Since you are a great writer yourself I certainly appreciate your thoughts and feedback on this one.

      I know what you mean about superficial articles. Sometimes I see very enticing titles, but the articles is pretty superficial with very little in depth information. That happens a lot with the content I see online. That is definitely something I’m trying hard NOT to do.

      Thank you for you input, Sue.

  • Lee says:

    Hi sylviane
    Thanks for the reply to my other comment. What I am trying to do now is to build my clientele and a mailing list so that I can hopefully make wise use of it and not to make people think I am spamming them. Have you any tips on the best way to go about this??????

    Await reply lee

  • Radu says:

    I think the best ways is to write from your own experience. From what you see, hear, read and feel. These are the best ways to get topics and to have great articles. Plus research of course.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Radu,

      Yes, all you’ve mentioned are good areas to find insight to be able to write.

      Thanks for this input.

Comments are closed.