Writing a blog post is easy right? Open up your text editor, cursor blinking. Nothing can be more daunting than seeing a blank page waiting to be filled with your words. You take a sigh, and somehow muster the courage to write down some words and you keep writing but it doesn’t flow. After an hour or so you look at your work with disgust as your staring at your screen, cursor blinking. There’s nothing more demotivating than seeing a blank page but the question is how do you get started?
Step 1: Research your audience
Before you start writing, you must have a clear understanding of your audience. What are they interested in? What do they want to know more about? Asking questions will help you to define your audience, and this will help you to tailor a blog post that they will find interesting and engaging.
Every time I sit down to write, I ask myself a question – do you want to read this. If the answer is yes, I ask why and what do you want to know. This helps me to write content that my audience really care about and would like to know more about.
Once you’ve satisfactorily answered these questions your ready to put fingers to keyboards.
Step 2: Create a compelling headline that grabs attention
Before you sit down to write you need to think about the topic for your blog post. For example if your a web designer, you may start out by thinking of writing about the design process. Then you’ll think of some suitable headlines (working titles) that will help you to narrow down your topic. As an example a suitable headline may be “A Beginners Guide to the Design Process” or “How to Borrow Design Ideas From Everyday Life.” A headline is essentially a guide which will help you to craft your blog post.
Step 3: Write an introduction
First of all, you have to grab the attention of your reader. If you lose the readers in the first few paragraphs of the introduction, they will lose interest and stop reading before giving your post a fair chance. There a number of ways that you can do this: tell a story, share a joke or grip them with an interesting fact or statistic.
Next you describe the purpose of the blog post and how it will help the reader. By doing this you’re giving the reader motivation to continue to read your blog post and it will give them a sense of how it will help improve their work/life in general.
Step 4: Plan your content
Long before you sit down at your desk, you need to make sure that you have everything planned before your start writing. The trick is to break down your content into manageable chunks so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the task and then halfway through decide to quit. All you need to do to keep yourself organised is to write a brief outline of your blog post, think of it as a rough guideline that will help you to keep on track.
For example, this is the outline that I wrote for this blog post:
Title: [How to Write A Blog Post]
- Research your audience
- Create a compelling headline that grabs attention
- Write an introduction
- Plan your content
The purpose of this is to make sure that I know what to cover before I start writing and to not ramble on, it’s basically a skeleton of the finished article.
Step 5: Write
Writing is hard, editing your work is even harder. Editing isn’t about fixing things grammatically or striking our words that you don’t think work. It’s basically seeing the piece as a whole and seeing how it fits together. You can ask a friend or a colleague to look over your work to see if you think it is as strong as you think. Having another sets of eyes looking over your blog post can help you to hear their thoughts on whether the piece flows and makes sense.
Blogging looks easy that is until you go ahead and write a blog post. With time, practise and practise it’ll get easier and before you know it you’ll be blogging like a pro.