So you want people to read your blog?

The thing is most of us don’t do it right. We sit down, face the computer, gently put our fingers on the keyboard and stare at the screen for hours. Blank.

We have something to say but we don’t have anything to write. We will spend hours dwelling on topics that will make everyone click, read and share. In the end, we don’t produce great content.

What are we doing wrong? We are seeking approval. At the back of our heads, we ask “is this something that people would want to read?”

 We want to please people instead of pleasing ourselves. We focus on the future — how much likes or traffic will this receive?

If we are writing without energy, excitement, love, fun, we will never create good content. We are so busy thinking about what others might think that the piece becomes stale. Blant. Like a plate of fries without salt or ketchup.

I am no viral content guru as I only wrote one piece that I considered went viral. What do we mean by ‘viral’ anyway?

Viral content is a piece that becomes an online sensation overnight. When I wrote 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date A Mexican Man, I didn’t have any idea my inbox would be flooded by hate, love, collaboration, asking for permission to reposts mails from all over the world.

I was even asked to translate it in two languages (Spanish and Italian) for reposting. Within 24 hours, the post was retweeted, reposted and any ‘res’ you could think. I was astounded.

The secret to creating viral content

Honesty. In order for people to read your blog, you should present your true, authentic self. Tell them what makes you happy, what makes you scared.

Every one of us have our individual truths and that is the beauty of writing — there is freedom. You are in total control of publishing as you don’t need to seek approval before it goes live. Why not take this to your advantage?

Ask yourself when was the last time you wrote something honest, something brutal, something that just came out of you? What are the worst and best things in your life?

Whether it’s about lost love, grieving from a loss of a family member, winning the lottery, shout it out to the world and let them know how you feel.

You see, honesty actually saves you time. The faster you write what’s in your mind, the lesser you think, the more you get results of a great content.

Most of the time, people ask “where do you get your article ideas from?” I can’t help but chuckle. I don’t think about it. It just comes. Why do I need to think of a certain topic when I can write about anything under the sun?

How does one get lost? Through incorrect aims, as I have said. Through wanting literary fame too quickly. From wanting money too soon. If only we could remember, fame and money are gifts given us only after we have gifted the world with our best, our lonely, our individual truths.

Ray Bradbury

Another mistake that most of us do is copying other people’s content. Not literally copying but basing your thoughts on someone else’s work is a total wreck. I’ve read a lot of blog posts from other people where hesitation is so visible.

People can see if you are stiff, if you are going through something, if you don’t really like what you are writing, if you have no idea what you are writing because you just saw it from someone else’s blog — but then you need to maintain a certain number of posts to keep your blog out and about. I know that feeling and when I arrive to this situation, I don’t get desperate.

Additional writing tips

In my article, How To Be A Confident Travel Writer, I’ve listed some few writing tips for beginner bloggers but I want to add the following:

  • Repeat after me: “I am a writer.” Claim it. Own it.
  • Read everyday. Reading can actually exercise your brain. It can trigger thoughts that have been in hiding for ages.
  • Write everyday. The moment you wake up, get a pen and a paper and write the first thing that comes into your mind. Believe me when I say this is a fcking effective exercise.
  • Select books, articles, materials from people whom you think you have the same writing style. You don’t have to copy them. You just have to feel. Open your senses and let these writers inspire you. We all need to be mentored at one point.
  • Do not be self conscious. Remember, you are a writer. You need not seek approval from others before publishing your work.
  • Learn how to walk away. You don’t have to be sitting down, facing your computer all day. Go out. Experience and participate in the world. Remember, writing is the broth of our experiences and without a tangible experience, there is no possibility to write something moving.
  • Be armed for criticism. The problem is, the online world likes (subtle) lies and superficiality. When you speak about the truth, people become uncomfortable. They get affected and this can lead to violent reactions. As the saying goes, truth hurts. But that is good! The more people react, the more of an effective writer you become. Someone actually gave a damn about what you think so don’t fret. Sit down. Watch. Let them throw mud at you and throw it back by writing more. Like what I did when the “dating a Mexican” article got shtloads of trash talk, I wrote: 8 Things I Learned From Mean Comments On My Article About Dating A Mexican.

If you are worried that nobody is actually reading your blog, take a step back. Analyse your writing style. 10 years from now, what kind of writer do you want to be? What valuable message do you want to send to the world?

Write, write and write. And may it end up really really beautiful.

What’s your writing style?

What are the writing practices that helped you create amazing content? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Leave your tips in the comment box below and help other writers and bloggers succeed in their writing endeavours.

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48 Comments

  1. At last, you posted an article about this 😉 I know from the time you coached me that you will post something about writing and I’m proud that I learned a lot from you. This is awesome Trish! It’s been months since we talked over skype, and I still do what you shared to me – TO WRITE, TO PRACTICE WRITING! I’m still learning and I know that I’m also progressing (little by little, step by step)

    Keep inspiring us Trish! You truly rock!

  2. great tips. I always try to write from the heart and be totally honest with my readers. I think it comes thru in my writing.

  3. Hi Trish,
    I’ve been a fan of your writing. Super. I also really love that you wrote this. Perhaps I should get into the spirit of waking up and writing everyday ☺ continue doing what you’re doing. Your blog is really interesting ☺

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head with “You need not seek approval from others before publishing your work”

    Write for yourself!

    To paraphrase a movie line… “If you write, they will read” 😉

  5. You definitely speak some great truths here. I have found that the pieces I write that come straight from the soul, I mean the pieces I really want to write, get the best response. I enjoyed these tips greatly.

  6. GREAT advice. Sometimes I worry about being too….honest? transparent? about how traveling with the kids can be hard, but you’ve inspired me to be brutally honest and throw it out there! Now I’m off to read your article about what you learned from the comments on the first article. What a great idea for your to write it!

    1. Not a lot of people travel with kids so it will be really amazing if you can share the truth about it! One time, I asked myself “will I still travel if I have kids?” I still don’t know the answer to that so I salute you for doing something different!

  7. What excellent advice. Although I can’t say that I have had any posts go viral, I certainly have found that my most successful ones have been those that have shown the most vulnerability and honesty. As a family travel writer, a lot can go wrong on trips and I think people appreciate when you don’t try to pretend everything is perfect. 😀

  8. The more you write the easier it becomes. Try to make it a habit, something you do all the time, then it’s not sitting down to “have to write” something.

  9. You utter beauty. It’s like you jumped into my brain, found all my worries and gave them a good talking to. You read my mind. Thank you for writing such an informative and inspiring post. We’re still in the early stages of developing a style and a voice and I spend too much time worrying about what people think… this has given me the push I need to just write what makes my soul dance. Thanks Trisha – you are brilliant :).

    Gabby

  10. I agree with read, read, read. However, i think a problem that could arise from that is that, we might think that a thought is originally ours when in fact we are just forgetting that we have read that somewhere?

  11. Very interesting to think about–great tips! Totally agree with reading a lot. I’ve been trying to dedicate more time to reading lately, and it’s been really great!

  12. Great tips! I’m definitely guilty of not always claiming the fact that I’m a writer, especially that English isn’t my first language. BUT I’M A WRITER.

  13. This is great advice, and something I needed to hear. You’re right, my most honest posts are the ones that always get the most traction, and I know those are the types of posts I like to read too. Sometimes it’s a little scary to put yourself out there though. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  14. Great tips! I haven’t had anything go “viral” but my most popular posts are about travel tips. Unfortunately I don’t have a burning desire to write that stuff, I’d rather write for ME. So I’m trying to come up with a happy medium between the two

  15. We (as writers) really need to watch with ‘scare tactic’ articles. We didn’t love our time in Cuba but have had to reel in our opinions, we’re professionals after all. Don’t want to go creating stereotypes and impacting too heavily on other people’s opinions. My issue isn’t about not being able to write, it’s finding the time to get everything I want to write about live!

  16. I love this post! I agree that we should say “I am a writer, ” and that we should claim it and own it! I was and still am sometimes feeling self-conscious about my writing like many others, but I know, like you said, just keep on writing and reading and experience everything 🙂

  17. Honesty is definitely best but the trolls come out quickly! I’ve had some criticism and negative comments but my opinion and experience is not going to be for everyone. I try to read and write regularly. It takes energy and dedication especially with a full time job. As you say, its trying to not worry too much about what other people want or writing for traffic. Great advice!

  18. Exactly the motivation I needed at this moment as I am just about to go back to a blank screen that was supposed to be a post…yesterday! It’s really hard to ignore the desire for that approval as you stated. It’s easy to read all the snarky remarks and harsh criticism in Facebook groups, comment feeds and the like and think “I really don’t want to feel like crap when people direct those comments at me”. It’s a constant effort to push those thoughts away and just write what feels authentic and real. Thanks for this added boost!

  19. You hit it so spot on! Not even just in writing but it everyday life. It seems everything humanity does now is seek out approval from everyone around them… How are we supposed to live life the way we want or do things that we want to do if we’re wasting so much time waiting for others to give us their approval. I guess the worst is that everyone is different, someone may want something yet another wants the opposite.

    I appreciate this post you’ve written, it’s such a great reminder to take a step back and find out the real reason you’re doing what you do; and if it isn’t because you personally want to, then change it! 🙂

  20. Hi Trisha. This is not consider as any of the best blogging tips I read so far but it’s definitely the most brutal, honest and true content that I really appreciate to see people publishing it to the public. I have been writing since few months back then. I only read people’s blog once or twice a week when I’m having a great morning coffee time in a cafe so I don’t consider myself learn alot of others. But one thing I always kept in mind when I’m writing is to write the most honest, true and original content that comes from my own mind even if people would say that my ideas are not based on any trustable sources. Keep up the great content and inspirational writing style. You are always in my reading list when I’m having enjoyable coffee moment.

  21. Great advice there Trish! I like that you associated writing/blogging with individuality. I’m planning to establish my own blog as well which i have been planning for a very long time already since the advent of blogs but never had the guts to do so. Reading this article made me rekindle my love for writing.. I hope I can finally share my own experience to everyone around the world. I’m also very excited to share stories of my first travel overseas and all that will follow.. You’re an inspiration! Thank you!

  22. Trisha,

    Somehow I found my way to this post and I was blown away by what you have written. I am bookmarking your blog and read other posts.

    Great stuff here and I hope learn more from you.

  23. Love your post! Great sharing as usual my dear!

    I would like to put more effort into my blog with your tips~yay
    i wish I could be as successful as you.

  24. I noticed writing has become a stiff, dark and heavy process for me in the past weeks. Been so busy with my day job but I still promised myself to keep up with publishing content on my blog. The result, I became tired and felt disconnected with what I write.

    You’re right Trisha, I’ve been thinking too much about what I write. thinking of what others would think and focusing on what I felt was good for my readers. What they like and all. I forgot that writing is more about for myself. Thanks for reminding us that it’s okay to be open, honest and vulnerable.

  25. I’m very new to the blogging world and have just come across this. I’ve always adored reading and writing but lost touch with it ever since uni. Now that I’ve graduated and ever since I started travelling, I have been writing everything down. Thoughts, feelings, opinions. Everything. And not only did I learn that I could potentially reach a few people with my ideas and feelings, but it has also made me a better person. It’s very hard to write about personal experiences but once you’ve done it, it’s hard to start. I’ve just started my own blog and hope to touch as many people as I can. But I’m also writing for myself, and in the hopes that someday my children will read my stories. And if people are interested that’s an added bonus! Great piece, I absolutely love your writing style.

  26. Aaaahhh. I love this so much, Ate Trisha. You are such an inspiration and your blog has always been my favorite ever since I found it. Keep on writing, Ate! We will always be here to support you. ❤️

    Love, Amielle

  27. Thanks for the tips. I stopped reading a few years ago and have noticed now that I am blogging and reading so much more that my mind is slowly getting sharper.

  28. I love this so much. I haven’t been able to get a lot of traffic, but I think for 6 months having 3-4 hundred views per months with 2 or 3 posts per month, is not that bad. I didn’t go viral ever, but I like the idea to have this chance once. You made very good and interesting points about bloggers “copying” ideas. Keep your style up and write more of this

  29. There’re some great tips in here. Being authentic is the best thing you could ever right. I’ve never had anything be viral, though. I have to say I need to get back into reading – I always feel more inspired when I take the time to read.

  30. Great tips for being a writer. I am still getting used to the idea of being a writer and learning/ developing my own voice. I do struggle to explain my excitement and passion sometimes. Although I do get more ideas about writing when I read so need to pick up my reading game.

  31. This is a great read. I believe we all start writing to put our original thoughts and views on paper but somehow the social media, blog monetizing, traffic all these terms influence us so much that we lose the purpose. Completely agree with you on we need to hold on to our main purpose and be true to ourselves in what we write.

  32. I am a writer–truly, it’s what I do for a living for the past 20 years–and even I fall into the kind of traps you’ve described. Thanks for remaining me to be blatantly honest and write whatever comes out.

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