Ignite Your Writing, Part 2

by Gigi Ross on February 7, 2012

Welcome back to part 2 of Ignite Your Writing – a mini class on taking your writing to the next level! Yesterday, I shared Part 1 of Ignite Your Writing, in which I made-up a sample story and 5 ways to take the story from boring to entertaining. Today, I’m going to show you 5 more!

writing tips

Let me quickly share the sample story again in case you missed yesterday’s post.

The Story:

I stayed up too late last night watching Toddlers and Tiaras. When I woke up this morning, I decided to make a green smoothie before getting my kids ready for the day. It was delicious! Little Kate woke up first. I put her in front of Dora the Explorer while I finished my breakfast, then I went upstairs to go get Baby Johnny. My 7 year-old, Noah, was on his way downstairs. Little Kate started yelling because Dora was over. I quickly got baby Johnny and went to the kitchen to find – yup, you guessed it. Noah had spilled the orange juice I had left for him – all over the floor! Sigh.

After getting everybody cleaned up and dressed, we all piled in the minivan to take Noah to his Saturday morning soccer game. Gee, I wish I didn’t have to drive a minivan anymore! Anyway, Noah scored a goal at the soccer game and we were so excited that he got the game ball. I missed the goal because I was on snack duty, darn it! Unfortunately, he cried the whole way home because they lost the game 4-3. His dad and I explained that he would lose games sometimes, and encouraged Noah to be happy that he scored a goal! To celebrate, we took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. They earned so many tickets playing video games, but had a hard time choosing from all the prizes at the prize booth.

It was a fun time. We got back into the car and headed home. Halfway home, little Kate said her tummy hurt and before I could turn around to ask her what was wrong, she had puked all over the minivan. What a day!!!


Now let’s get to ripping that snoozer of a story apart and create better posts out of it.

Write A Letter Post

One of the best ways to change up a blah story is to write a letter! Remember, the letter doesn’t HAVE to be from your perspective. Our sample story could be changed up by having the oldest child write a letter to his mom about how the day went. For a humorous twist, maybe the author’s mother in law could write a letter back to her on all of her parenting fails that day.

Examples of Letter Posts

A Letter To Kyle Richards
Are Momy Is Not Momy of the Yeer

Write A Minute By Minute Account

This sounds like I’m telling you to write a story exactly like the sample above. Not exactly, though. A minute by minute post details the funny or sad events of a day in a bulleted format, each beginning with the exact time it took place. This has to be edited carefully, because if it’s not well, it can come off long and boring. Keep the entries short and sweet and try to only include items that are truly necessary.

Example of A Minute by Minute Post

Waiting is the Hardest Part

Write A Post That Incorporates Celebrities

Everybody loves to dish about celebs. These posts can also get you great SEO traffic because celebrities are frequently searched in Google. More often than not, the most successful of these posts poke fun at the celebrity or compare the celebrity to a person in the author’s real life.

Examples of Celebrity Posts

She’s Not In His League (Why I Hate Entourage)
Why Gwyneth Paltrow and Pinterest Make Me Feel Like An Ass

Write About A Timely Topic or Current Events

Keeping abreast of what people are talking about today can make for a great post tomorrow. Whether it’s a political issue, a Twitter trending topic or who got booted off of American Idol, these posts usually tend to garner a lot of comments and sharing.

Examples of Current Events Posts

Wikipedia Down.

Do A Sendup or Parody Post

It’s super fun to take the format of your blog post and turn it into a parody a famous song, poem, children’s book or movie plot. They are lively and really entertaining to read. I’ve seen parodies of Dr. Seuss books, television shows, and more used very effectively. If you find yourself repeating a phrase from a song or movie over and over throughout a particular day, use that as inspiration.

Example of A Parody Post

Ode to Dora the Explorer (the end of an era)

That’s it – my ten ways to ignite your writing. Which have you not tried yet in your own writing? Do you have others that are effective? Come back tomorrow. I’ll be talking about ways to come up with ideas for blog post topics when your tank seems empty!


Sorta Southern Single Mom February 7, 2012 at 4:38 am

Great advice tips and advice, but I couldn’t help thinking as I read it that I’d love to see you try some of these on the actual snoozer post. I know, I know, never happy, but it would be fun to see your take on all of them.

Or maybe you could host a little contest and let us try our hand at it! (Okay, no, I didn’t just type that… I like my first idea better!)

Barbara Davis February 7, 2012 at 5:47 am

Very true about celebrities. I posted one thing about Jenna Elfman’s haircut and I get hits looking for something about her almost every day.

Alexandra February 7, 2012 at 6:24 am

You’re right on, Gigi: have FUN with things and the words will flow.

Great advice and inspiration here.

So nice of you to share what you’ve learned, and are so good at.

Iris February 7, 2012 at 6:56 am

This is great! Thank you Gigi. I have never done many of these and will definitely make use of your inspiration/techniques. I didn’t realize that celebrity posts were such an SEO boost! Hmmm…who can I put on the spit?

Stephanie February 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

I love this series so far!! Hoping the lessons will stick in my sieve of a brain 😛

Just so you know, the link to Why Gwyneth Paltrow and Pinterest Make Me Feel Like An Ass does not work. It gives a 404 error.

Mrs. One Day February 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

Love! I think you’re right. Changing it up a bit is a good idea. No one wants their blog to become stagnant. As a newbie blogger myself, I look forward to your advice each day. I’m soaking it all in like a sponge, honey. Thank you, as always.

Diane - It's All Good Until You Burn Dinner February 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Oooooh…..good ideas! I’m firing up my matches right now with some splendid new ideas! Thank you!

Carolina February 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Oh, great tips! Twisting a boring blog into a wow blog isn’t so hard anymore.

Kristin @ What She Said February 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I just wrote a celebrity post on Monday comparing myself to Meg Ryan. Or at least one of her characters – one of the more neurotic ones. 😉

I haven’t yet tried the parody post. I just don’t think I’m creative enough to pull that off. (And I’m not fishing here – I’d really struggle with that!)

Philip Werner February 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I’ve had great luck with parody posts but they tend to be a little to local to go viral. I like the idea of celebrity posts though, I’m going to try that. What an awesome idea to spice up a blog post.

Book india trip February 8, 2012 at 5:35 am

Yes this post will prove so nice for all newbie bloggers and one thing more if you have good ideas then you should start write for that thing for which you are passionate in your life without waster any more time.

John February 8, 2012 at 6:57 am

Minute by minute accounts are really, really difficult to pull off . . . but, you’re right, if they’re done well, they’re great. I don’t know if it’s because “snark” is my default or what, but I find they’re always best with something like “8:31, set up a incredibly complicated domino pattern; 8:32, placed a ‘cat, free for a good home’ advertisement on Craigslist.”

Carol Ramsey February 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Where do I pay tuition because I want to stay in this class. I tried your minute-by-minute suggestion in the Saturday Night post that is linked here. Thanks very much, professor.

kludgymom February 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Bravo!!! I love how you did the post! And man, that sounds like quite a night :) I’m so happy those days are past me now (except for the cuddling part).

Keirstin March 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Love these ideas! Can’t wait to apply them to my blog. Found this through Pinterest. Got to love Pinterest! 😀

Jessica, The Debt Princess March 31, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Great tips! One of my more recent popular posts was about New Kids on the Block and Money. Comparing the two seemed to work pretty well for me. Anytime I have taken something in current events or pop culture and related it back to money or debt, the post has gone over well. In fact writing this comment is reminding me about a blog post I wanted to do. I’m going to jot my notes down now.

Thanks for always being so awesome Gigi.

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