PTBA Blog

Hacks to Eliminate Bad Blog Posts

Let’s leave out the blogger versus journalist debate. It’s about as tired as the tourist versus traveler debate. But even if you don’t have a fancy degree from J-School or English isn’t your first language, there’s no excuse for poorly written blog posts. Not only is it painful for your readers, but it doesn’t look good for potential sponsors and partners. Leave those run on sentences and misuse of “their, there, and they’re” behind with these easy (and often free!) tools.

For Distraction-Free Writing

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re supposed to be writing, especially with all of those windows open. No matter how well you think you’re multi-tasking between that Facebook group chat and your to-be-written blog post, you’re not. The first tool you should download is RescueTime, a program that tracks how much time you spend on various websites. It’s not a perfect tool, since most of us use Facebook for “work” as well as “play.” But at least then you’ll have an idea of what is taking up most of your time. It has both free and premium options. Freedom is another one that charges a fee but takes it one step further by blocking the websites of your choosing during certain times. It works on Mac and Windows software and even on your mobile devices.

WordPress also has a feature called Distraction Free Writing in the top-right corner on your editing screen. It eliminates all the sidebars while you work, leaving you with just a blank white screen while you write. Another program with this feature is Writer, which allows you to type freely, even adding headings, without distractions.

For Editing Your Posts

You’ve written your post about the latest destination you’ve visited, but now it’s time to edit. This is something not enough bloggers see and you can certainly tell when there are plentiful spelling and grammar mistakes. There’s no excuse with so many free software options at your disposal! Grammarly is the first you should download, which can correct spelling mistakes not only in your blog posts but also in emails. There are a few software programs out there that have similar functions, including Scrivener and Ulysses, but Hemingway is my personal favorite. It highlights not only spelling errors, but also structural issues like run-on sentences.

For Organizing Your Posts

How do you keep all of those blog posts organized? There are a few methods that will work. You might want to write in Google Drive or Microsoft Word and have file folders to denote whether something is in draft mode or ready to be published. I also use Trello (free!) this way with columns for “Ideas,” “Written,” and “Published.” There’s a calendar setting that allows you to place the posts on different day. CoSchedule organizes your content and lets you schedule social media posts around it. It has a number of different pricing structures based on your needs.

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