Save the introduction for last. This tactic helps. I don’t write the intro until the rest of the article or blog post is finished. By doing this, I push right into the info readers want, and I don’t waste words on a long intro that’s often expendable anyway.
Focus on what readers want. If a piece is supposed to provide “5 ways to do X”, the bulk of the text must be about those 5 ways. Don’t spend too long on your intro or explanations. Drill down on what readers need, and don’t give too much extraneous info.
Formulate an outline. It doesn’t need to be extensive. Often I create a quick-and-dirty one such as:
- What Is X?
- 5 Methods (list each solution)
Research to find support for the meat of your article or blog post, and then list those sources in the outline before you start writing. It will help you write faster by linking the sources to the point they are supporting.
If you’ve ever struggled with establishing a strong methodology for creating content on your blog, then you should check out this awesome post from Jeff Goins’ blog called “4 Essential Elements to Writing a Great Blog Post.”
Goins contends that by establishing a little bit of structure in your blog writing process, you will become more creative within the constraints and be easily able to produce great articles and ideas for your blog, Check it out.
Writing content for a blog isn't always simple, To make it easier, I follow a set process.
1. Decide On A Topic
Develop a list of things you’re passionate about or you can write on authoritatively. It could be a mix of not only your expert subject-matter, but also topics related to productivity, motivation, work/life balance, etc. Also, think of questions you’re constantly answering. What common problems/concerns do people have? What info do you often seek? Pinpoint areas that others face difficulties- then you can create a benefit to readers by solving their problems. Keep a list of potential subjects to write about to fall back on when you don’t have new ideas.
2. Develop an Outline
I suggest using a traditional outline like we all learned to make in grade school. Break out the primary points of a post and create a list of what you want to include in the order you plan to address it. A traditional outline helps you work out the flow of a post and organize ideas in a logical manner.
3. Fill In The Holes
Next take your outline and start filling in the blanks. Add supporting evidence, research, sources, examples, and stories. Just write. Don’t worry about how it sounds. Since writing and editing are different skills, trying to do both at the same time hinders your process. Just focus on getting your ideas out and conveying what you want to say.
With a first draft down, read your post out loud to help identify any writing awkwardness, typos, wrong words, sentence fragments, and anything else that hinders the flow of your post. If you have a hard time reading it, your readers will also have a tough time getting through it.
5. Create a Title
Coming up with good blog titles is hard. A title needs to not only summarize your post and hint at what you’re about to say, but it also needs to be engaging to readers and descriptive for search engines. To become better at writing blog titles, I’d recommend following some exceptional blogs and note how they come up with their titles.
6. Toss in an Image
Adding compelling images to your content will enhance your story and affect how users perceive it. If you use stock photography, select photos that add pizzazz to your content. Choose images to set the tone for your post and pull people in. One place I use for images is https://unsplash.com/, which has artistic images from amazing photographers for free.
7. Share the Post
Once you’ve done the work, post the article to your blog. Share the post via all of your social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever else you participate.
This is one process for developing blog posts that people want to read. I’m sure there are other methods, but this one seems simple enough to help anyone get started. Happy blogging!
Just like with any form of creative writing, blogging presents the challenge of generating ideas. This is especially true if you want to keep a steady flow of new content for readers.
So how should you go about creating new ideas for blog posts? This article by Vicki Krueger on the Poynter website provides some examples of basic constructs that can be used to spark successful blogging. Read them, implement them, then bask in the glory of your awesome blog!
There is no shortage of blogging advice on the internet. But there’s a blogging article over on the Submittable blog that’s worth reading. “Read the Comments: Advice for Bloggers” by Stephanie Loomis Pappas tells you why you should study the comments on your blog. Pappas clearly explains how this will help to improve the quality of your postings and discover your target audience.
Eva Langston has a new article, “10 Words to Trim from Your Writing,” up on the Beyond Your Blog website. It’s a valid list of words you can reduce or eliminate from your writing to make it more effective.
#2 is my crutch word of choice, especially when I’m writing fiction.
In this informative blog post, Kristen Ploetz shares some of what she has learned from five years of “writing, submitting, and promoting…short stories and essays.”
I found this to be a helpful read with a lot of insight –the last part about finding success through failure really resonated with me.
It was also interesting to read about someone else’s process for submitting to markets and comparing it to mine. For example, most of my tracking is done via Excel spreadsheets and/or Submittable, but Kristen opts to use old fashioned pen, paper, and three-ring binders. I think the point is that you need to find what personally works for you, whether it is “old school” or electronic.
I took a little time off to retool and refine things on this website. Hope you like the upgrades.
But I didn’t completely stop blogging. Head over to the North American Review’s blog to see my guest post there. You’ll get a chance to check out my poem “How to Keep It Real When Everything Has Gone Wrong” that appeared in Issue 301.1 of NAR, as well as read notes on the development of that poem and about my creative process in general.
In this article by Cari Bennette, I found some useful pointers that I plan to use to improve my blogging endeavors – maybe you will, too.