How to Blog (When You’re Not a Writer)

Being a writer, coming up with content for my blog is usually pretty easy. Sure, there's the occasional writer's block or lack of inspiration, but for the most part, my struggles aren't with producing the actual content.

Blog tips for non-writers
Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

Instead, I find myself struggling with focus or motivation. The writing itself is the least of my problems. But I realize that not everyone who has a blog considers himself a writer.

So how do you blog when you're not a writer?

As you know, I believe the discipline of blogging is important for writers. A blog offers you a free platform and a way for you to write every day and get feedback. While blogging shouldn't be a replacement for all the writing that you do, it's definitely worth doing.

But if you struggle to find what to say on your blog, try these tips:

  1. Keep it short. Don't try to be more eloquent than you really are, and stop yourself once you start rambling. The longer you write, the more your non-writer-ness comes out.
  2. Get creative. Do a photo blog. Write bulleted lists. Do a quick step-to-step guide to something you're an expert at. There are some really successful nontraditional bloggers out there (like Gary Vaynerchuk) who are sharing content in unique ways.
  3. Ask someone else. Get another blogger (especially the writing type) to do a guest post for you. Interview someone on Twitter and turn that conversation into a blog post (if the interviewee consents to it). With the author's permission, share short excerpts of other people's content (Guy Kawasaki does this all the time).
  4. Don't force yourself. For writers, sometimes this is necessary, but for non-writers, this could just make you more frustrated. Write naturally. Do something that inspires you, and then let the words come.
  5. Create conversations. Ask really good questions that provoke people to respond. If you're a great provocateur, you can get away with short, thought-compelling posts. The commenters will carry it the rest of the way.
  6. Ask for help. Have a friend proof your blog or help you with your writing. It's always good to do a quick proof of a blog post before publishing.
  7. Keep at it. Writing can be cultivated just like nearly any other skill. If you want to get better, keep showing up. It takes time, discipline, and maybe some coaching.

What tips would you give to someone who blogs but isn't a writer? Share in the comments.