50 Useful Blogs for Writers
by Randy Ray
Good writers enjoy reading. They also enjoy words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages. The following blogs offer useful (and sometimes funny) advice and perspectives on writing for writers. The blogs aren’t listed in any particular order, other than by category. I enjoyed reading all of them, but I didn’t feel the need to “rank” them. All of these blogs are worthwhile reading for aspiring writers of all kinds, fiction, nonfiction, literature, genre fiction, etc.
These are blogs which offer writing tips and advice of every imaginable shape and size.
- Writing Advice.biz – Writing tips aimed mostly at academic writers, but a lot of their advice applies to other kinds of writing as well, so it’s definitely worth a visit and/or bookmark.
- Foot in Mouth – Their focus is on writing content for the Internet and writing content that’s search engine friendly. If you’re new to web writing and search engine optimization, then this is a great place to start.
- Lifetips Writing Tips – They haven’t updated this blog in a couple of years, but some of the posts from 2006 are gold. Some of the tips include how to get top dollar for your writing, the importance of keywords in online writing, and how to sell yourself.
- Successful Writing Tips – This blog is aimed at people writing dissertations, but check it out even if you’re not writing a dissertation. Most of the writing advice here is applicable to any writing projects, and the advice is better than most of the writing advice you’ll find online.
- Pro Writing Tips – They offer grammar and writing tips via email, twitter, and their blog. They include sections on style, fiction, grammar, and craft.
- Freelance Writing Tips – Includes updates on “writers wanted” gigs, writing workshops, books, and just about every other writing subject you can imagine. They also maintain a presence on Twitter and Facebook.
- Daily Writing Tips – They include grammar tips, punctuation tips, spelling tips, and misused word tips. They also offer book reviews and news on writing competitions.
- Copyblogger – This one’s aimed at copywriters, and the advice here is always dynamite. Notice his terrific use of headlines for his blog posts.
- Font International – Writing and publishing advice from an actual literary agency. Pay attention to this one.
- Advice from Editors – Aimed mostly at writers of genre fictions. Besides offering writing advice, they also suggest good books to read. (And reading good books will improve anyone’s writing.)
- Writer’s Digest Write Better – The venerable magazine also publishes a blog with advice for writers about how to improve their writing and get published.
- Write Better – The official weblog for LousyWriter.com. Focuses more on nonfiction writing like journalism and business writing than anything else, but quality advice.
- English Software Articles – They offer a number of articles about improving your writing by making it clearer. The main focus of the site is to sell their grammar and spellchecking software, but the information in their articles section is well done.
- CuteWriting – Advice for creative writers of all kinds, including bloggers and fiction writers. Lots of information about writing for the Internet and making money doing so.
- Blogging Tips – Lots of information about the business side of blogging, but plenty of good advice about how to be a better writer too. Some of the more technical articles about CSS weren’t my thing, but it’s a great resource for writers who are into the blogging for money side of things.
- Write to Done – Leo is the author of the immensely popular Zen Habits blog. His insights into writing are well worth taking a look, and the site is updated with new articles twice a week. Focused on blogging, writing for the Internet, and building an audience for your writing.
- I’d Rather Be Writing – Advice and tips for technical writers. Focuses largely on writing for the Internet, which is common enough, considering that this list consists of WEBlogs.
- Problogger – This one is about a lot more than just how to write better, but it’s SUCH a great resource for bloggers that it would be a sin to not include it here. This is the premier source of blogging tips on the Internet. And if you want to make money blogging, it’s indispensible.
- Business Writing Blog – Lynn Gaertner-Johnston writes this one, and it’s exclusively about business writing. Recent topics have included whether or not to indent paragraphs, how much proofreading should you have to do when paying a lot of money to a writer, and how a good sentence evolves from an average sentence.
- Writing to Inspire Writing Tips Blog – This one is aimed mostly at fiction writers, and consists largely of writing prompts. It’s such a cool resource we couldn’t help but list it even though the focus of the section is so narrow.
- Writing Forward – Includes information about how to write better fiction and tips about grammar and language usage. The blog also offers creative writing exercises.
Word of the Day Blogs
Writing starts with words. Without words, you have no sentences or paragraphs. And having a command of the perfect word in the perfect situation will improve your writing. Here are some blogs which offer a new word each day. (I tend to like word of the day blogs which include the word, the pronunciation, the definition, and an example of the word in use. But not all word of the day resources offer all of those features.)
- SAT Tutor’s Blog Word of the Day – This one is well-designed, and the words are well-chosen. You don’t need to be studying for the SAT to find this resource useful.
- Ted’s Word – A word of the day from journalism professor Ted Pease. He finds his words of the day in the pages of actual magazines and newspapers, so these are words which are actually in use.
- Word of the Day Blog – A lovely and well-written blog that’s updated daily with excellent examples of these words in actual use.
- The Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day – Another well done word of the day blog, from a real authority on words and their usage.
- Dictionary.com Word of the Day – A service of Ask.com, which also owns Reference.com. You can subscribe to their word of the day for free.
- OneLook Word of the Day – OneLook is a dictionary search site, and they have a computer program which selects five words every hour which are getting unusually high traffic in terms of searches. So these words are popular for some reason, usually because they’ve been used in the news somewhere.
- A Word A Day From Wordsmith – This is a newsletter, not a blog, but it’s a useful enough word of the day resource to be included here in this article.
- Infoplease Word of the Day – Not only do you get a word and a definition, but you can actually listen to the word in order to learn how to pronounce it.
- Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day – Another famous dictionary’s word of the day resource. This one is organized into an archive by calendar date and word, so it’s easy to browse through.
- Nerd Word of the Day from Hot For Words – New and “nerdy” words which are finding their way into the vernacular. Some of the latest words on the site include “nerdic”, “textpectation”, and “vajayjay”.
Some creative types think grammar doesn’t matter. To them I would suggest that writing is not just an art, it’s also a craft, and mastering a craft includes understanding the rules of that craft. In writing, the rules are grammar. These grammar blogs offer fun, entertaining, and/or educational posts about how to improve your grammar.
- Blue Pencil Editing – Their tag line indicates that they’re a blog for editors AND for people who need editors. The author of the blog is a professional writer and editor with a client list on the site. Interesting posts.
- The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar – If anyone thinks good grammar is boring or bad grammar isn’t funny, check out this blog. You’ll laugh while your grammar sensibility is improving.
- Bill Walsh – He’s a copy editor at the Washington Post, which makes him an authority on grammar and usage. He’s also written two books about usage and editing. If you love reading about words, this man’s blog is a “must-bookmark”.
- Richard’s Grammar and Composition Blog – Richard Nordquist offers quizzes on correct word usage, tips on proofreading, and all kinds of additional information about grammar and composition. A terrific resource.
- Grammar Done Right – Useful and specific tips to improve your writing, not just from a grammatical perspective, but also from a style perspective. For example, one of the recent tips mentioned: “Make your modifiers specific. Instead of writing that the car was “old,” say it was “dilapidated.”
- Celebrity English – If you want to learn grammar and vocabulary from the stars, then this blog is the place for that. If Billy Bob Thornton makes a mistake using parallelism, or if someone else who’s famous doesn’t know the difference between “a while” and “awhile”, then they’ll write about it on Celebrity English for your edification and entertainment.
- Cheryl Norman, Grammar Cop – I don’t generally list blogs which haven’t been updated in a month or more, but this one has such a great archive that it would be silly not to include it here.
- Grammar Monkeys – A language podcast from the Wichita, Kansas new site. Lots of really good advice on usage here.
- Editrix – This is a blog for anyone who thinks that grammar is “hot”. You have to love that kind of attitude from a blog about grammar.
- Grammar Blog – Finds grammar mistakes everywhere in everyday situations and shares them on the site.
- Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips – Episodes explain the correct uses of various words in various situations.
- Mighty Red Pen – Another blog which teaches grammar by pointing out some of the more amusing mistakes made by various public figures.
- One Step Forward – Includes grammar content, like when to use parenthesis versus brackets, and also style guidelines, like how to consider the mood for what you’re writing.
- Triangle Grammar Guide – Answers questions about correct usage and points out common mistakes. Written by professional journalist Pam Nelson.
- Syntax Sisters – Two sisters write a blog about the correct use of apostrophes and grammar in the news, among other grammar-related subjects.
- You Don’t Say – A blog from John E. McIntyre about language, usage, journalism, and other “arbitrarily chosen subjects”. Recent posts have covered subjects like whether or not it’s wise to correct other people’s grammar.
- Words at Work – Discusses grammar and usage from a career-based perspective. How you write affects your career, so this is a good blog to read even if you’re not a writer.
- The Grammar Vandal – A terrific blog from professional freelance editor Kate McCulley. She claims to carry a Sharpie and comma stickers with her at all times, so that she can eliminate grammar errors in public wherever she finds them.
- Motivated Grammar – A completely different perspective on grammar, from someone who claims that “prescriptive grammar must die”.
If you enjoyed this article, please bookmark it at del.icio.us »