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The Unexpected Way to Write Killer Content: Blog from Your Heart and Break All the Rules

This is a guest contribution from Tova Payne of TovaPayne.com

If you asked me two years ago about blogging, well let’s just say I must have been living in a cave, because I didn’t quite understand what blogging was all about or why people did it.

I’ve loved writing my whole life, but never realized how blogging was associated with business, or getting your message out to the world.

So I started off with writing a newsletter to an e-mail list I had, and slowly, as I was studying more about business, I recognized that my natural passion for writing could reach a wider audience through blogging.

This gave my writing a greater purpose—the ability to spread my message to a wider reach, to share what I love and hopefully help inspire others too.

Simple enough…Or so I thought.

The more I learned about business (and I bet you can relate), the more you start hearing about the “shoulds,” the rules, and the “right way” to blog and write in general.

You learn about techniques such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and how to craft the PERFECT headline so people will read the damn message. Let me be fair—these things contribute to the success of your blog. BUT, what I see and hear people tell me all the time is how they can’t write their blog because they are not sure if they are doing it the right way, or they can’t hit publish until they find that perfect headline.

What’s the problem with that?

Well, it’s an easy way to stay in fear-mode. Too scared you’re doing things wrong that you don’t send your message out to the world. Too scared you didn’t get the right SEO key terms that you never press “publish”. You keep waiting to have everything right until you hit that magic button.

Well, I’ll tell you—the fastest way to sabotage your blogging efforts is waiting to get things right.

Blogging, like anything in life, is a muscle. You need to work it to strengthen it. Through your dedication to blogging and through your consistent posting you will inevitably start crafting better headlines. You will receive feedback on what creates a more popular post and what works best.

And it’s not by spending 80% of your time reading about blogging and 20% of your time starting that blog you never post. The only way to really learn and get better is to get started: Write. And publish. You need to publish to learn.

Secondly, when you try so hard to fit into every blogging rule—you run the risk of seriously dulling down your message to fit the rules, which takes away from the feeling, the inspiration, and the heart of your message.

What posts go viral? It’s the messages that inspire people to share it with their friends. Not the ones that fit the perfect SEO-box.

And I know this from my own experience. Sometimes when I write for other publications I have to write SEO-driven content, and I’ll tell you it just doesn’t feel the same and it never brings me as many likes or new fans as the ones that come from pure heart and passion.

Now, like anything in life it’s a fine balance. I mean if the essence of your writing is to reach people, and if tweaking a few words here and there will help reach more people—then take a few minutes to tweak a few words. Certainly, take advantage of the tag words and writing a good excerpt if you can—but do NOT stress over it, and don’t waste more than a few minutes on this.

Like all rules, they are there as a framework to guide you. But the magic happens when you can chuck the framework and make up your own rules. To allow your intuitive guidance to help you in the decision processing that you make. And yes, this pertains to blogging and all areas of your work.

Certainly, SEO matters to some degree, but when you write from your heart and share your message from that place of passion, the right people will find you.

My vote is to spend more time creating from the heart and press “publish” more often (as you sweep the rules under the rug). So what are waiting for? People are waiting to hear your message. Get to work—Write. Publish. Repeat.

Tova Payne is a Published Author, Writer, Blogger, and Entrepreneur. She helps creative entrepreneurs take action on their dreams. Visit her online home to grab a free copy of 5 Keys to Starting + Finishing your Dream Projectwww.tovapayne.com

Connect with Tova on Facebook here.

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Comments

  1. Rohit Batra says:

    Content is king…!!! This is the most used phrase I think in the field of blogging…!! While as a newbie you should always provide Quality content..!!
    In your whole post, which i liked the most is “write from your heart”. when you write from your heart you are going to be loved by google..!!!

    Thanks for providing such an awesome article

    Cheers
    Rohit

    • newseostep says:

      Blogging mostly must do with writing & in case you can produce lots of quality contents for your weblog then this is great on your part. As you went through and wrote emails to your e mail list, you created some kind of experience that further helped you out on what your audience is actually looking for.

    • Tova says:

      Thanks Rohit!

  2. Sakshi says:

    It is the content which decides how far you are going in this world of blogging..!!! i am purely a newbie in this world and from the very starting till my journey till today, I came to know only one thing while reading across many sites and that was Google needs only one thing and it is the thing by which Blogging is made of and that is only and only Content Writing…!!! rather I would say Quality Content Writing..!!!

    Whether i also saw many sites which were at very higher position but due to lack of content they lost their value…!!!

    Google bots are even getting smarter day by day as the main task of Google is to provide everyone with a content which can satisfy their needs,…

    Thanks
    Cheers
    Sakshi

  3. Once you enjoy writing then this is what is needed in order to become a successful blogger.

    If you love to write that means you are sharing what you know with others and you wan then to read as well. If you didn’t then you wouldn’t be writing.

    Blogging mostly have to do with writing and if you can produce lots of quality contents for your blog then this is great on your part.

    Writing can be challenging at times as well but if you find a technique which works well then this can make writing easy. Write in your own style, write each day and then you will become a better writer.

    Great post and thanks for sharing.

  4. Samuel says:

    Couldn’t agree more with what you said Tova.

    Each blogging experience is unique and never should follow book form structure and through other’s complete experience.

    If you have that gut feeling that you should follow through with something, then do it.

    Many times we don’t realize that simple content or content without “imagination” can take off and people will love for what it is.

    Of course, research and observing are both part of the process and something I encourage always.

    As you went through and wrote emails to your email list, you created some sort of experience that further helped you out on what your audience is actually looking for.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for your piece!

    - Sam

  5. This is an excellent post that carefully tells about the difference between constructed content and heart content. not that content written from the heart can’t be constructed well, it most certainly can. but emphasizing that merely following the conventions of SEO and headline perfection is not going to grab peoples’ hearts, that’s a big point. Thank you, Tova.

    I know that sometimes I get writing and everything gets jumbled up as it comes out onto the screen, and then I need to arrange it. But so often I find that those are the posts that get the most attention.

  6. Alex Ivanovs says:

    Hey Tova,

    thank you for this wonderful post, I couldn’t agree more. We should focus around building our own personal voice and brand based on what we believe is working for us. You have to understand that when you start doing something better than others – you will be pointed fingers at ‘because nobody does it that way’.

    Thank you,
    Alex

  7. Jon Rhodes says:

    Hi Tova. You’re totally right about writing with passion. I’ve recently started doing this and my blog posts are getting way more attention.

    Before I start writing I decide what emotion I want my reader to feel. Once I have decided, I get myself feeling this emotion. It might think of something from my past, or watch or read something that will get me feeling that way.

    Once I’m feeling the emotion, I write. I write quickly without worrying about mistakes – they can be sorted in the redraft.

    As a result of doing this my blog posts seem to have a lot more “life” to them. They are lot more interesting to read as I am subconsciously conveying my emotions through my choice of words, structure, and rhythm of my writing.

    • Tova says:

      Wow I like that Jon – start with what emotion you want them to feel. That’s powerful! Great tip. Thank You!

  8. From A-Z it seams you are talking to me. My blogging life is just getting litter by litter than before.

  9. Lee Cole says:

    Great article! I think the best part was this…”the fastest way to sabotage your blogging efforts is waiting to get things right.” Part of what I do is coaching. Not life coaching per se, but business coaching. Can’t tell you how many people get hung up on perfection. Just jump in to the pool!

  10. I totally agree with this “the fastest way to sabotage your blogging efforts is waiting to get things right.” I am actually a newbie to blogging but I know some about SEO and it you really have to be patient and always do the right way of blogging! Good luck to your endeavor and thanks for sharing!

  11. I think you’re right! The blogosphere could really use more “from-the-heart” content. But I DO think the framework for effective and purposeful blogging should be well understood. And I think members of the blogging community have a bit of a duty to embody the blogging framework.

    Writers might consider employing a writing process that nurtures free, “from-the-heart” expression that is then adapted to the blogging framework. SEO aside, without the appropriate framework writers run a higher risk of misguided messages that never get an opportunity to resonate with their most absorbent audiences. For example, I can’t really take a huge and profoundly riveting block of text and call it a screenplay. But a novel can be adapted for the screen by placing it into the framework of a screenplay.

    I think organic expression without regard for framework is necessary. But if a writer understands and embodies the framework that best supports her message, the message will be much more impactful.

  12. Razwana says:

    Amen, Tova! When did writing without personality become acceptable?

    I’ve never written for SEO (for my own business). When I write copy for clients, adding an element of SEO adds more of a challenge!

    waiting for the perfect headline, or perfecting SEO all scream a little PROCRASTINATION to me …

  13. Louise says:

    Brilliant article, meant for us writers out there rather than for those who think SEO is a straightforward keyword building exercise. Writing should flow and for it do that it needs to come from the heart rather than from the structure of a set of guidelines.

  14. Nice to read a spot on post. I agree that ‘fear’ can stifle blogging and I think one decision that contributes to this ‘fear’ is choosing the right theme.

    There is one one point I rarely see mentioned which I think all new bloggers should be aware of – WordPress has very strict guidelines about what a Theme can include and what should be a plugin. The division exists to ensure that the functionality of your blog will work across all themes.

    Premium themes downloaded directly from the developer don’t have to obey these rules and very often include plugin and theme specific functionality to appeal to users.

    This is why you can’t download premium themes directly from WordPress. New bloggers should therefore stick to free themes from the WordPress repository until they’re a bit further along the blogging learning curve and know what they want. Most of the additional functionality of premium themes can be emulated by using plugins.

    Choosing the free theme and plugin route initially, means no unexpected surprises or loss of functionality if you change later.

    It’s human nature to want to present yourself in the best possible light but I seriously doubt your theme choice is going to make much difference in the beginning. Most of the premium themes worth buying have their own learning curve and are a further distraction to a new blogger.

    Just ensure the theme you use is responsive. If you type the term responsive-layout into theme search on the WordPress dashboard you get 500+ results. My personal favourite is supernova .. clean and simple with more than enough options to get you started.

  15. mamun says:

    Now i can realize how false I am. I can fix my target by reading your this article. Actually i never thought like you. But now i am thinking that hobby can my success. I don;t need to look back but i need to work and work.
    Thanks for increase my dream.

  16. Emphasizing more on information related to the topic is emphasized nowadays. Even if you don’t give the targeted keywords, Google will not mind. But the text should be contextual and to the point. I case, you use the targeted keywords, please use them in the most natural way possible. Google has started to like those content that have original and new information on the topic. So, try to include examples from real life to increase quality of content.

  17. poorblogger says:

    yeah..content is king.. I’m now more focused on content than playing with SEO

  18. The next big great thing to do is probably something that no one else has done before…
    Your best chance to achieve this is to DO YOUR THING but with a quick glance from time to time at what others have done that can help you on the way.

  19. Your mode of explaining everything in this piece of writing is really pleasant, every one be capable of simply understand it, Thanks a lot.

  20. Bob Trotta says:

    It is quite useful to learn to read this post. Lets hope it is solely the beginning of this amazing facts.

  21. Fantastic post, Tova!

    I see a lot of new bloggers who struggle with those insecurities you listed. Seems to be human nature, but thankfully there are people like yourself who have already traveled down that road and are willing to give back to others. I’m going to share your article with a few of the neophyte bloggers I know. This is definitely share worthy. Thank you.

  22. A very motivational post. I couldn’t agree more on the point.

  23. Tova,

    Heart felt posts rock. Heart felt posts can go viral.

    Power message here. Thanks!

  24. Excellent post.
    This is all so very true. As a fairly new blogger, I relate to all of this. We make the mistake of comparing and trying to compare to others. In reality, we need to be ourselves with our unique voice instead of coming across as a stereo type copycat.
    Thanks for the great post
    David

  25. Jessica Yang says:

    Great post, Tova! There are so many articles out there about the “correct” way to blog and gain an audience but I think there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way. However, I do think that writing with passion, as you said, is the best way since the reader can see the author’s enthusiasm for the topic and is more tempted to follow along.

    For me, I write whenever inspiration strikes because that’s when I feel the most enthused about something and I write until I’m done. I’ll fix the grammatical errors and clear up the meaning in another round.

    I do agree that hitting “publish” a lot more is necessary since you can get feedback when you publish something whereas letting it sit in the draft folder will probably never get feedback. One of the guides that I found helpful recently about how to improve writing is an article that Belle Beth Cooper wrote for the Buffer app blog: http://blog.bufferapp.com/6-ways-ive-improved-my-writing-in-the-past-6-months

  26. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that the passionate posts are typically the one’s that drive the most community engagement.

  27. toukir says:

    well i always write my articles with simple words. Don’t try to find anything very attractive. I just keep my articles easy so that everyone can easily read and find it helpful. do you think it is better i should improve my ability of writing ?

  28. Ambar Bawono says:

    I cannot agree more. Write the topic that you are good at and have a passion for it. It will be certainly a blast. Thanks for sharing and reminding it.

  29. liz scully says:

    Tova – such wise words. And you’re so right that you need to learn all the rules before you throw them away – look at Cezanne, Francis Bacon and Warhol, all classically trained, and then they went freestyle ON TOP of what they’d already learned.

    Great post and wonderful food for thought

  30. In your whole post, which i liked the most is “write from your heart”. when you write from your heart you are going to be loved by google..!!!
    Thanks for providing such an awesome article.

  31. Kalen says:

    “the fastest way to sabotage your blogging efforts is waiting to get things right” – I agree 100%. Writing should be fun. Blogging is about creating a resource for other people. It’s best to focus mainly on providing content with value not marketing tricks.

  32. Chris says:

    I also think that in the very complex world of today where the level of customization is infinitely immense, it would be impossible to have everything right. So yeah, start from somewhere and improve as you go. You’ll do much better!

  33. Satish says:

    Good information. I want to know how can i write good content for my own site when i do not know how to write well.

  34. Kelly M says:

    Thanks for sharing your valuable insights on blogging, Tova. :-)

    The best way to learn about blogging is to simply dive in the deep end and write content that people *want* to read rather than focus too much on SEO. Well-written, informative content will be shared by others on social media or on their own blogs so never underestimate the power of (digital) word of mouth. Just keep on writing. Practice makes perfect and there’s always room for a little trial and error. You can’t always predict what will go viral so why not experiment a little and see what works? What works for one blog may not necessarily work for yours.

    And don’t forget about your readers. It helps to find out what they want from your blog and what interests them. Connect with them, reply to their comments and make them feel like they’re being heard. For some, blogging goes hand in hand with community building so do make time to reach out to your readers. That way, you’ll build up a loyal readership and they will go out of their way to spread the word about your blog.

  35. Faust says:

    Does seo still matter nowadays? I just simply write and publish content from my own perspective, google is scaring me these days..

  36. metz says:

    Blog from your heart and break all the rules? A blog post that is written with passion, will be triumphant.

    Well, passion is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing and an intense emotion compelling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.

    So, with passion, you can make all things possible.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing content aggregator site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  37. When you have passion for something you can draw inspiration from within you and when you produce contents from the heart without minding the rules of SEO it always stands out and now that Hummingbird update is in full swing, you don’t have to worry much whether you got the SEO rules right or not, write a free flowing content from the heart and when people read it they will feel the passion in it and will naturally share it and such posts usually go viral even with less effort as people can easily like it and respond to it.

  38. Koyesoke says:

    Good sharing,I am actually a newbie to blogging.I do just a little bit about SEO and wait to do it

  39. brilliant write-up Tova, indeed inspiring. yeah – admit at times we are so concern the SEO – content like and forget to write from the heart. this one article change the way i look at it now. one step at a time. thank you.

  40. Hi Tova,

    Thanks for this nice post. It’s a very important lesson.

    Thank you,
    Marcio

  41. sara jasmin says:

    lovely This is an excellent post that carefully tells about the difference between constructed content and heart content. not that content written from the heart can’t be constructed well, it most certainly can. but emphasizing that merely following the conventions of SEO and headline perfection is not going to grab peoples’ hearts, that’s a big point

  42. This is the good alternative. Anyone content incredibly wonderful, incredibly useful for individuals. Thanks a lot.

  43. Hardy says:

    Well, we all know that content is the king, and without quality content our blogs can’t go any forward.

    If you write from your heart, the reader will know and they will naturally share it, and such posts usually go viral even with less effort as people can easily like it and respond to it.

  44. Shafee says:

    Contents are king and will be for all the time. Starting from the expectation of a better blog or better ranking, contents are the foremost things. Without contents, these are such a dream.

    You have provided some awesome strategies for writing contents. Thanks a lot as it helped me a lot. Wish you all the best…

    • Mark says:

      Good post and you nailed it with this bit “And it’s not by spending 80% of your time reading about blogging and 20% of your time starting that blog you never post. The only way to really learn and get better is to get started: Write. And publish. You need to publish to learn.”
      I’m guilty of doing that too and its the fear of not fitting everything in the right place and feeling like you have to keep reading up on blogging to find the little bit of gold you seek.. But to be honest, with all the posts i’ve read from so many people over time, if you put them all side by side, a lot of them say the same thing anyway. Theres only so many ways you can say something new.

      Time for me to write a new post today…

  45. Mark says:

    Meant to add but ended up adding it in my Gplus post promoting this article

    The only way you can learn is by writing. When you learned to swim or ride a bike, did you read?? No you sunk or you fell off and you learned from your mistakes and you got better and better .. you do that with blogging too

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