Blog like you’re Edgar Allan Poe. Or some other awesome writer who’s less creepy.

If you blog, you’re a writer. A writer is someone who writes. You do. You are leagues ahead of the people who claim at cocktail parties to be writers but don’t actually put words down regularly.

So it’s time you started acting—and writing—like the writer you are. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Set a writing schedule and stick to it. Blogs are great for this, but you have to keep at it. Even if it’s only weekly, give yourself regular deadlines and meet them. This not only allows you to keep your claim on being a “writer,” but also allows you to get better at writing. Nothing beats practice when it comes to getting better at writing.
  • Read. A lot. Read other blogs like yours, other blogs not like yours, magazines, books. Reading is almost as good as practicing when it comes to making your writing better. It’s sort-of like practicing, or at least like watching other people’s game tapes to improve your football playing. You have to see what works and what doesn’t, which moves you want to swipe or even improve upon.
  • Learn grammar, punctuation, and spelling. For the love of Hemingway, you have to do this. I know it can seem boring. But no one is going to keep reading your work if it’s full of mistakes. If this is a weakness of yours, check out a website like Grammar Girl or sign up for a class like Gotham Writers Workshop’s Write It Right.
  • Read over before hitting publish! You will catch stuff. You will be happy you did. It’s so tempting to rush through blogging, but this one step will save you from commenters obsessed with correcting your typos and grammar instead of reading what you have to say. You won’t always be perfect, and the nice thing about blogs is that you can fix them at any time. But it’s best to have that first draft out there be as close to perfect as possible.
  • Know who your audience is. This will inform your voice and tone, which is a real-writer kind of thing. The more you picture a specific person to whom you are writing, the more your voice will come through.