If there were a simple formula for writing good songs, everyone would be doing it. My intention here is to offer ideas—food for thought, if you will—that may help you in writing good songs.
1) Writing a song that reflects another artist’s style is OK, but avoid writing tunes that sound just like someone else; originality is central;
2) Write from your heart; first hand experiences regarding relationships, insights into life, or losses you’ve suffered often provide a good basis for strong songs;
3) Avoid “sing-song” obvious rhyming motifs as this type of writing tends to be overly predictable in terms of lyrics and is often “corny;”
4) Try switching a strong lyric that occurs late in a song to the beginning of the song, then redo the rest of the lyrics accordingly; you should try to grab the listener’s ear at the start with an unusual, intriguing, captivating and unusual lyric that leads coherently into the rest of the song and its lyrics.
Finally, use chord structures that are musically logical. Many songs are written around a basic chord structure that is fairly simple to determine for any given major key. Here’s an example:
Suppose your song starts in G major. The second chord in that key is a minor chord one full step up—that is A minor. The third chord is also a minor chord another full step up—B minor. The fourth chord is a half step and is a major chord—C major. The fifth chord is a full step up and is another major chord—D major or D major 7th. The sixth chord is minor and is a full step up—E minor. The seventh chord is diminished, not used as often , which then takes us back to the root chord—G major.
So, to review, to write a song in G major try using the following chords in whatever variation fits your melody, lyrics, and feeling:
G major; A minor; B minor; C major; D major or D major 7th; E minor.
The same musical steps between major and minor chords work in any major key. Also, remember that a basic blues progression is comprised or the major chords in the key, commonly known as the 1, 4, 5 progression. In G, these chords would include G major, C major, and D major or D major 7th.
Good luck in your songwriting efforts.