The Art of Writing #3 {Essays & Articles}

Hello hello hello! We’re so happy to see you here on LTBL!

I’m Introverted Thoughts aka D and today I’m going to talk about how I write essays/articles for my blog. This is by no means the best or only way to write them, this is merely my take and how I go about it.

#1 Deciding on the Subject

This is pretty self-explanatory but deciding on a subject and feeling in sync with it is incredibly important to making sure the write-up turns out the best possible way. I usually choose topics I’m learning more about or those that are relevant to the times. A few of my common criteria for choosing a topic include – non-offensive subjects, age appropriate topics and informative.

#2 Compiling

Pretty much most of the time, I’m far from being an expert on the subject matter. So I turn to Google. I visit several sites and read those that are from verified sources. I mark the sentences I think are relevant to my essay and copy-paste it to a Google doc. I repeat this on atleast 8-9 sites and by the time I’m done, I have a doc flooding with disordered and unorganised information that has been copied word for word from several sites.

Once I feel like I have all the information I need, I order this copied info, grouping several like points together, making sure there is a distinct, structured and sensible flow of information with a clear start and end. For example, if I was writing about a 16th century poet, the essay would likely begin with the poet’s birth and not his death. This is also what takes me the longest while, since I prefer reading over the whole write every time I add a point to a group to ensure the flow.

The flow is very important. It helps the reader connect points and helps them arrive at a plausible conclusion the same time you present yours. It’s all about providing a comprehensible and fun reading and learning experience.

Photo by cottonbro on

Once the structuring is done, I go to google again and search for any news articles that could potentially supplement my write. Most often, I usually include statistical results from news articles more than factual ones. Once I add the stats to the right place, I begin the next step.

#3 Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is the rephrasing of sentences to avoid plagiarism and copyright issues. It is also essential to keep your essay to an optimal word count and aids redundancy in terms of repeated information and unnecessary words. I usually try to keep my articles and essays less than 2000 words and cramp as much information as I possibly can in the most clean and structured manner. My compiled information is almost always at the 7000 – 7500 words mark, and after paraphrasing, I get it down to less than 2000.

Paraphrasing can take a while. There are plenty of sites that do this for free but I’d recommend against using them. While they do the job for you, the results often feel forced and impersonal. It’s important that you dissect the information and decide the best possible way to phrase it for the most effective comprehension. Paraphrasing manually also gives you the freedom to choose your words depending on your audience.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

#4 Beautifying

As weird as that sounds, making your writes look neat and pretty is just as important. Most readers tend to respond to visual proof more strongly than to its verbal counterpart. I tend to use free stock images for all my writing but if you have your own images pertaining to the subject, feel free to use that. Use images in regular intervals. I tend to insert an image or a graph after every 2/3 paragraphs to avoid the article/essay from looking too crowded.

As I keep saying, structure and the flow of information is crucial. Use headings and sub-headings, bullet points, lists etc. whatever you can to present your information in the most comprehensive way possible.

Punctuation is your friend. Use commas, periods, hyphens and semi-colons as perfectly as you can. They give your writing a clean form, a structured sound and a sensible form of conveying information. If you’re not sure about your use of these amazing marks, use Grammarly. Grammarly is a trusty resource when it comes to correcting, checking and inserting punctuation marks.

#5 Proofreading

Often, by the time I’m done with my article/essay, I’d have already read the entire essay alteast 20+ times, the majority of those fall in the compiling process. No matter how confident you feel, do a proofread and ask a friend to do it too. It’s always a good idea to get an opinion from someone who’s reading all of it for the first time unless you need to keep it a secret which isn’t too probable a scenario in the case of an essay/article.

Photo by Life Of Pix on

Read through the essay slowly, from a stranger’s perspective to understand how your work appears to someone else, digest the information presented, evaluate the coherency of your paragraphs, the flow of information and the effectiveness of those good old punctuation marks.

#6 Citing your Sources

This is the last but an extremely important step. Mention your sources, let your readers know where you got your information from. Not only is this a way to maintain transparency on your part as a writer, but is also a way to express your gratitude in a polite manner to the sites you sourced your information from. Besides this is also an invitation to the reader to explore more on said topic at their own pace. I usually add a ‘Referred Sources‘ section at the end of my posts, and link back to the specific articles I used.

Once you’re satisfied, your essay/article is ready for the world (or a teacher) to see!

Given below are the other posts in this series!

Thank you for reading! I hope you found this helpful!
What’s one thing you always take care to do in an essay/article?

D is a teen blogger @ Random Specific Thoughts who loves reading, drawing and anything Science. She adores poetry and enjoys writing creative non-fiction as well!

Guest Posting 101

Hey there! Welcome back to yet another post on Living The Blogging Life! It’s D here and today, we’re going to be talking about what guest posting is!

Guest posting in very basic terms is the act of posting or submitting a post to a blog that isn’t your own or one that you’re not part of. You’re person A’s guest who’s posting on their blog with their permission and these posts are called guest posts!

Guest posting works in mainly 3 ways:

➼You request and in turn, invite a blogger to guest post on your blog OR someone approaches you

Say for example, you’re starting a mental health series on your blog. Coincidentally, you also know a blogger whose mental health posts are absolutely informative and inspiring. And because you want your series to be amazing, you head over to their blog and ask them whether they would be interested in doing a guest post on your blog on mental health.

I personally prefer this method too because you get to curate what is published on your blog and you don’t have to go through the agony of saying no to a blogger who ‘sends a post in for guest posting‘.

Requests are usually made through contact forms on blogs or through emails. If you are requesting a blogger to do a guest guest post, always make sure you ask a blogger you have known for a while and trust to deliver a good post that both you and your blog’s readers will find interesting.

Photo by cottonbro on

Now, switch places. A blogger is asking you if you’d like to do a guest post on (insert topic). You’re the guest in this case! Most bloggers usually agree as long as the topics are good and it’s also a way to increase exposure for both of your blogs.

Opening guest posting

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do this. This is basically an open invitation. When you open guest posting on your blog, you’re inviting and permitting all your readers to guest post on your blog. Assuming you have an active readership, you’ll get a reasonable number of posts. You can either choose to publish all gradually or choose the most appealing, out of the submissions and post those.

Bloggers usually do this, via email or google forms. You can either mention your email in a post and ask everyone to email their posts to that email. Or, the more organised way would be to create a google form which those who are interested could fill out and send their posts through.

➼ Swap posts

This is when you write a post and give permission, to person A to post it on their blog and, they write one and you post it on your blog. In other words, you swap posts. This can count both as guest posting and collaborating, especially if the two posts are on a similar topic. This is also very common in the blogosphere and a great way to expand your readership and make friends with other bloggers!

(This point was suggested by Diamond who blogs over at I Have 12% Of A Plan and Build A Bears Furever apart from being a contributor to LTBL).

Why Guest Posts?

They increase the diversity of posts on your blog.
They provide more exposure to the guest’s blog and yours too which may or may not result in increased readership (depends on the quality of the blogs).
Provides opportunities for strengthening your community.
Helps you discover more bloggers and learn from them and their writing.

Like everything, guest posting isn’t always healthy. Opening guest posting to all, might result in you receiving posts that you don’t necessarily like, so having to turn them down can be a hard task. A huge number of guest posts might force you into a creative slump and take attention off your blog’s subject. Like everything, too much of it can be harmful.

Photo by Andrea Davis on

Sometimes, bloggers whom you request to guest post on your blog may say, no too. But trying guest posts on your blog and guest posting on others’ blogs is always a fun and learning experience as long as everything is carried out in a healthy manner!

So, that was all for this post!

This was written in response to Rayna’s @ Ray is Writing idea, “Hi! I was thinking: maybe one of you could make sort of a guide to guest posts?”
I hope this answered it, Rayna! Thank you so much!

What are your thoughts on guest posts? Have you ever done it or have you had a guest over before?

Thank you so much for reading!

D is a teen blogger @ Random Specific Thoughts who loves reading, drawing and anything Science. She adores poetry and enjoys writing creative non-fiction as well!

12 Easy Ways to Beat Blogger’s Block

A fresh draft has been opened. The blank template awaits your creative inspiration.

It beckons to you: “Add a title, and start writing here.”

Every fiber of your blogger being wishes to bring the next new blog post to life.

But try as you might, the blogging canvas remains blank.

Your brushes remain dry. Your paint is still unopened.

You click off from the empty draft, a subtle feeling of defeat welling up inside you. Doubt begins to kick in. Your inspiration fades away.

What do you do?