While writing a blog post is a little like driving, you can study the highway code for months, nothing can actually prepare you for the real subject like getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road. Now that I’m done thoroughly mangling that vague metaphor, we need to get down to business. You don’t know how to write a blog! You know you need to introduce blogging to grow your website/stream/followers. Therefore, I will show you some simple steps on how to write a blog post that people like you will want to implement. Are you ready? Then lets get started!
Even if you are great typist and able to type eighty words per minute and your writing skills are superior, be warned now, the process of writing a whole blog post will take even the most experienced typist more than a couple of hours.
It is important to spend the initial hours planning your post and even thinking about your post before you actually even start to write it. From the first seeds of an idea to decisively hitting the Publish button, you may probably spend several weeks over time or perhaps a whole day writing an article. When you sit down to put ‘digital pen to paper’, you need to figure out if you have everything you need; are you prepared to sit down and write it do you have all the information to assist you to write an awesome article worthy of the reader? One of the biggest rookie mistakes for new bloggers is to overlook the planning process.
Pick a topic that interests you
Firstly, be sure to pick a topic that actually interests you, before you do any of the following steps. Nothing -and I mean NOTHING -will kill a blog post more quickly than a lack of enthusiasm from the writer. Usually, you can tell when a writer is bored with the content of their subject. For example writing a blog for a cardboard box manufacturing business. Throughout my career, I have written content for dozens of clients in some less than thrilling industries. The hallmark of a professional blogger is the ability to write well about any topic, no matter how tough it might seem. While blogging is a skill developed over time, everyone , can muster a little enthusiasm for the topic at hand, yes even cardboard boxes! Be passionate!
Of course not every article is going to get your motor running. Choose topics you want to explore – in some cases they will relate to a niche industry that you are excited about, however some posts will feel like a chore. In circumstances where you have editorial control over what you write about, these are the best kind of blogs to write. The more excited you can be about your topic, the more excited your readers will be when they’re reading it. That’s right, it’s important at the end of the blog that the readers have enjoyed reading it, that is why you are writing it in the first place!
Outlines keep you honest. They stop you from over indulging in poorly thought out metaphors and keep you focused on the overall structure of your post. Generally, something like the outline above is quite acceptable, every now and then I’ll write a more thorough outline however the above is a good guide to start with. It gives you a guide for the direction your post is going in and helps you stay on topic and engage the reader.
Know your Facts
With all that said. The biggest secret professional bloggers do not want you to know is that we do not actually ‘know’ everything about the topic we are writing about. Let me tell you something, truth be told, occasionally we have never even heard about a topic until we sit down to write about it. This is common in the world of professional blogging. It goes without saying, relying solely on Wikipedia as the primary source is definitely a poor choice. It is not infallible, even though Wikipedia does have thousands of well researched articles. Just remember, why cite the middleman, every verifiable fact on the site is cited from links elsewhere on the web? Go to those sources and utilize the resources of the original content.
Once a writer failed to carefully check his facts. He had done a bang up job of writing good copy in a short time. He cited an article from Forbes in which the writer claimed Steve Jobs was using PowerPoint on stage -something that under no circumstance had happened. One poorly researched article impacted another since one and the other writers failed to do their due diligence, it was lazy journalism on behalf the writers. Do not be this person.
A simple mistake like this also reduces your credibility in one glaring error. Obviously, it is crucial to avoid mistakes like this, even though everybody makes mistakes from time to time. Quoting incorrect facts will make a huge dent in your credibility if you continually post, blog and publish inaccurate information, especially if you are just starting out new and want your credibility to grow. Repeating widely circulated misinformation, or just making a mistake can be damaging. Own up to it right away and be transparent about your ‘edits’ when you fall prey to a well executed hoax. It happens! You can bet that someone will call you out on it, further compounding the damage, in the event you try to slip something past your readers. Be true to your story, be accountable and be honest. Know your facts!
You must check out :- How to Start a Successful Blog Today
Everybody and their dog has an opinion about headlines. While somebody else recommends taking a more abstract approach to headlines, some say you probably should be as specific as possible. I believe being specific is the better approach, people today are time poor and value this above all things. Tell them what they want to know in a way they want to read about it. Vague headlines may work simply fine if you’re famous like Seth Godin, but for the new blogger you want to captivate your audience and keep them reading, remember you and come back for more.
There are 2 basic approaches you can use when writing blog post headlines. You can either pick your final headline before you write quite a bit of your post, or you can write your blog post with a working header and see what fits when you’re done.
On occasion I’ll come up with a strong headline from the beginning and stick with it, whereas various different posts will get a lot more work and the heading will change as the article unfolds. With that said, it is always good to analyze behind whether the blogs headline has merit, as it forces you to truly think about your post and the methods you choose to grab your audience’s attention. Sites such as Upworthy may have arguably ruined internet writing with their clickbait headlines. The exact content presented in these kind of headlines are all framed within a context of providing actionable references to different marketers and startups. Blog posts just like this very often perform well, due to their transparent nature and the ‘how to’ angle. Some readers may find the above technique tiresome however at the end of the day unfortunately it does work.
When you put a question in your headline, be sure it is a question your audience will be genuinely interested in. Once again, writing headlines for blog posts is as much a craft as it is a science. By all means let them have it, in the event your readers want hyper specific case studies on approaches on ‘how to do’ stuff. Don’t, however just do something simply because somebody else is specifically, in case it is not resonating with your audience. Keep them reading, entertain them, inform them and let them know ‘how to’ actually do things.
The way to write the blog/post
Similarly to headlines, there are two fundamental approaches to writing a blog post. You can either sit down and write all the draft in a single sitting, or you can chip away at it slowly over time. There is no right or wrong choice here – it is important to implement a strategy that works best for you. Try to maximize how much writing you get done in one session, especially if you work more successfully in shorter bursts. The more times you revisit a draft, the more tempting it is to add a little here and there. Of course, get as much done as you can in a single sitting, even in the event you choose to draft a blog post over 3 or 4 writing sessions.
Now one of the most important parts of blog posts. Writing, like most skills in life is proven to get easier the more you do it. Sometimes, you will research a topic that needs a month to write a great blog, other times you will be knocking out big posts in only a few hours. There are no hacks or shortcuts with regards to writing – you should put in the time at the beginning and write about topics and niches that are important and of interest to you. If you are engaged, your readers will be too if your content is on topic and what they also love.
Writing for the web is an entirely different animal than writing for print. Needless to say, the average person these days does not have the time or opportunity to focus on lengthy blog posts without some visual stimulation. Oftentimes, even a well formatted blog post consisting solely of text is probably enough to send your reader screaming back to Reddit or Twitter within minutes or worse to click off your site, which is why it is so important to include images in your blog posts.
The most significant reasons to include images in your blog posts is to break up the text as a great deal of people scan blog posts instead of poring over every word. Everybody likes a decent laugh and this can be really effective in the instance when you’re writing about a dry topic.
Edit your draft before publishing
Even though writing a blog post is tough, editing a blog post is harder. Plenty of people mistakenly assume that editing is striking through sentences that do not work or fixing grammatical errors. Editing is about seeing the blog as a whole, of course sentence structure and grammar are also extremely important. Few things are more jarring to read than a repetition of specific words or phrases. Few things are more jarring to read than a repetition of specific words or phrases. See! 🙂 When you have completed your first draft, read through your article for repeating words and replace with synonyms.
A trick a lot of writers practice in workshop is to read your blog out aloud. It is then possible to identify sentences that may sound awkward in your reader’s mind. Additionally reading your blog aloud helps to check for wordy bottlenecks or contrived sentences. Find yourself struggling with a sentence flow? Rework it until it rolls off your tongue. This is a beneficial technique that is easy to implement for inexperienced or casual bloggers. In addition, asking a friend or colleague to check your work is not an admission of weakness or a sign of failure – it is a commitment to making your work as strong and as good as it possibly can be.
Ask people with editing experience to proof your work. Tell them you want to hear their honest opinion on the flow of your article and whether it makes sense, be sure that they understand you’re not just looking for help spotting typos or grammatical errors. However, sometimes this helps for all the ‘spelling Nazis’ out there reading your work. 🙂 Ask your friend, do your points come across well? Is your position on a topic clear? Does the piece prompt the reader to think or challenge an existing belief? Does your topic inform and enrich the reader? Is your review or recommendation presented with authority and fact? You are looking at asking your friend or colleague questions that having another set of eyes study your work can help improve your post. Sentences perhaps should be shorter and more manageable. Your topic should make your readers job easier. Easier to read and easier to explore the points you are presenting. Shorter sentences also reduce the likelihood of going off on a tangent.
Paragraphs should be short and sweet. Try to keep individual ideas isolated to the own neat, short little paragraph. These days, paragraph structure is a little bent since ‘web based’ publishing is now proven to be the norm.
Hiring other writers
Theses days a lot of internet sites use ghostwriters or freelance writers for their blogs and posts. Especially if you are great with words but still a one finger typist or time poor with great vision and ideas about information you want to share with your readers. For a rookie writer struggling with the actual art of writing an article, sometimes using Upwork formerly Elance, Guru or Fiverr you can obtain a 500-1000 word article for a small fee to get you started. While often the words may not be exactly yours if you have headings and the outlines that I have referred to. You can do the editing and proof reading after you receive the post back and make it your own. Sometimes, all we need is that little bit of help to get us started.
I hope you found this blog about writing a blog helpful, please share with your friends and colleagues if you did.