Tips for creating better blog posts

by Joe Kuzma ( joe_kuzma)

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or someone terrified of making typos, writing an entry into your blog shouldn’t be a hassle. With the following tools and tips, you can circumvent making errors while also working more efficiently and effectively.

I use each of the following tools when creating blog posts. I hope you too will find them useful.

Microsoft Word

I’ll be straightforward here: I used to hate using Word to draft my articles.

And yes, “hate” is a strong enough word!

One of the big problems you may face copying and pasting your text out of Word is that the format will get jumbled when transposing it into a WordPress website. Luckily there are a few ways to get around carrying over any goofy formatting.

First, strictly stick to the default settings. Do not change fonts, font sizes, font colors or anything other than the standard bold or italics formatting. The only exception is if you use the “styles” panel in the task ribbon to set Heading styles (such as Heading 2; don’t forget that Heading 1, by default, is your WordPress title on well-formed sites).

And by all means, never use underlined text! Your website visitors may confuse it for a hyperlink and you wouldn’t want them to miss any important links in your post by thinking anything with an underline “doesn’t work”.

Before you paste your finished product into WordPress, however, there are some other tools which will help you quickly fix up any errors you may have made and clean up your copy.

Note: Many of these tips are for Windows users only. However, some of the programs listed below can be replaced with a Mac-equivalent. For example, you may use Apple’s native Pages app instead of Word, or sync your files in the cloud using Google Docs.

Lightkey

Lightkey brings predictive typing that you’re likely familiar with from your smartphone or tablet, over to the personal computer.

If that’s something you like the sound of, then I highly recommend using this software, which is free of charge as well! Lightkey will custom tailor itself to your specific writing genre and help you avoid having to retype long or difficult words and phrases within the same document, or in future documents after you’ve used it for a while.

You can download Lightkey here.

Spelling & Grammar

Word’s built-in spellchecking tool will catch a lot of grammar errors, but it won’t get all of them. I like to use this first, as you may have industry-specific terms you want to ignore by running a different spelling and grammar tool. You can avoid having these terms marked as errors by right-clicking on the word which has the squiggly underline and choosing the “Add to Dictionary” option in the context menu.

Once you’re finished checking your document with Word’s built-in tool, there are a few more steps you should take to ensure nothing was missed.

Grammarly

You may have seen this utility advertised on TV. Or if you’re a YouTube user, I can guarantee you haven’t gone long without having one of their ads interrupt a video.

The barrage of marketing lets you know Grammarly offers a paid service, but their basic free service is something you can integrate directly into Microsoft Word. At the click of a button Grammarly will make suggestions: just be wary of which ones you need to change, as, with the built-in Word tool, Grammarly is still a robot.

If you click on changes without reading the context of what you wrote, you may make your blog post worse! That’s important to note because Grammarly will warn you that you cannot revert changes using the undo button. Tread carefully by saving before and after you run Grammarly before proceeding further.

You may sign up for Grammarly here.

You’re Ready to Publish

Once you are satisfied that your writing is a masterpiece (or at least improved from its rough draft iteration) it is time to go live with your new post.

In most cases, you should be able to simply copy all of your document (you may use the shortcut Ctrl+C), open your new draft in WordPress, and paste.

But what if some of the formatting is messed up? Well, I have some helpful hints for that too.

The most common “goof” when going from Word to WordPress is paragraph spacing. If your paragraphs don’t have line breaks, delete what you pasted in WordPress and go back to Word. Within Word, select all of your text (Ctrl+A) and go to the Design tab on the ribbon. You should find a button with the label “Paragraph Spacing” near the top-right and within its corresponding drop-down menu, there are a few options to correct the spacing issues.

More than likely your fix will be the “open” option, but you may need to use trial and error to determine which setting works best for you.

Conclusion

I hope these blog writing tips have helped you out. If you have further questions on how to improve your writing or need some help proofreading documents you produce, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Hello! My name is Joe Kuzma, and if you’re reading this, thank you! I’m pleased to virtually meet you and I hope we get to know one another well throughout this crazy journey of producing content.

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