“It is the little writer rather than the great writer who seems never to quote, and the reason is that he is never really doing anything else.” ~Havelock Ellis
Few things will improve your post like well positioned quotes. Many authors are not only more brilliant than we are, but they’re also superior writers. By taking their brilliance and inserting it in your posts, you’re boosting your arguments credibility and making your articles more interesting to read.
Non-fiction book authors virtually always pull quotes from other authors to give their arguments more power and to increase the overall enjoyment of their work. By doing the same for your blog posts you’re guaranteed to increase the quality of your writing.
For an entire week I read every post from five A-list bloggers to see how many of their posts included quotes. Out of 31 posts, only three did.
There are two implications to take away from this: One, if you’re a blogger and use more quotes you’ll definitely stand out. And two: the reason quotes are seldom used is obvious, it makes writing more time consuming. If you want to include this highly beneficial component to your writing, however, you’ll put in the time for it.
You should follow at least two blogs within your niche that will give you excellent quotes to include in future posts.
Since I often do guest posts on writing and blogging, I ensure that I never miss a post from Write to Done or Copyblogger; they’re both blogs that offer a constant stream of good material for me to include in future guest posts.
I strongly recommend, however, that you don’t stop with just blogs. Read books and magazines too. It’s always impressive to find material outside the blogosphere inside your post.
Every time you’re reading a book or magazine, ensure your highlighter is handy. By highlighting quotes that stand out while reading, you’re providing yourself amazing material to include in future posts to support your arguments and increase the overall value of your writing.
There’s another bonus of reading more books and magazines beyond acquiring great quotes, and it’s even more significant than the benefits these quotes offer.
Every book and magazine you read is like a garden of ideas. And as much as I enjoy reading blogs, let’s face it, the best writers aren’t posting blog posts; they’re getting paid to write books and magazine articles. You’ll usually find the most profound and well articulated ideas not in blogs, but in books.
Here’s what Brian Clark of Copyblogger has to say on the value of not just relying on blogs for inspiration:
So many people are reading RSS feeds and joining the conversation and blogging about what other people are blogging about and guess what, it’s really hard to stand out when you do that type of thing. So here’s an idea, read more books, read more magazines, take in other media and then add your own perspective to the new ideas that you’re exposed to. And all of a sudden you have a fresh outlook that no one else is blogging about.
Using more quotes and reading more books and magazines is certain to enhance the quality of your blog.
Secret tip: get yourself on the waiting list for the A-List Blogger Club, the amazing ongoing training environment for bloggers that Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch have created.
The A-List Blogger Club has changed my life. A month ago I didn’t know a tweet from a widget. Now I’m running my own blog and the club is right there with me. Everyday I connect with someone new, and not just connect, but get to know them, laugh with them, befriend, share, support and exchange ideas. Mary and Leo have created a community that is a reflection of who they are — generous, genuine and successful!
~ Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering
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