Do you struggle to write blog posts? I do too.
Five Key Steps
Here are 5 key steps to writing an impactful blog post. I stare at a blank screen a lot less when I follow these 5 steps
First, brainstorm ten articles.
You’re only writing one article, so why brainstorm ten? First, I want you to write only the best ideas, and sometimes our first ideas aren’t our best ideas. I like to take a pen and paper and jot down ideas I’d want to read on the subject. Out of those ten, one may be a really strong concept, and a couple could become really strong ideas. Go with the strongest idea, and then put the potentially great ones into your hopper (on a whiteboard, a Post-it note, etc.) so your subconscious can dwell on it and make it better. Or, you may decide it was garbage all along. Give yourself the freedom to toss it.
Now, brainstorm your article.
Now spend some time brainstorming what you want to say in your article. Do you want to inspire people to do something in a new way, or help them come to a new belief? Do you want to do a top ten list? Three points? Jot down a bunch of ideas that belong in the article. I love to do this and then give myself a day to think on it. During that 24-hour period, I always come up with a new angle, a better way of saying something, or a point I would have missed if I was rushing to finish the article. Simmer time is important when you are creating a work of genius.
Take all your jotted-down thoughts, the scraps of paper you shoved into your pockets, your brain-droppings on Evernote, and see what kind of logical sense they make. Do you repeat yourself several times, but say it in different ways? Excellent! That means you are passionate about that point.
What if you don’t have enough information for a blog post right now? That’s OK. There are a couple of different paths you can take:
- Make it a one-point blog post. This can be very short and to the point – maybe 100 words. It works for Seth Godin – and who knows, maybe your audience will love it!
- Sometimes great ideas need a little more time to marinate. Maybe 24 hours wasn’t enough.
- Create a list-based post. Maybe you have one great point. Can you add another great point? See if you can come up with a few more until you have a list with several great points.
YAY! You now have a solid outline for this article. Congrats! Now go write the article. It will go so much faster now that you have a foundation to build on.
3. Choose the right graphic
Graphics are not my gift. I use 123rf.com to find photos that will draw people to my blog post, and let them know what it’s about at the same time.
If you are not “graphically gifted,” do you have a creative friend you could hire to do a little graphics work for you?
If you are graphically inclined, you can use PicMonkey.com or Canva.com to create graphics quickly and easily.
4. Get it edited
I promise you’ll thank me for this. The blog post I am currently writing I will re-read, and then I’ll send it to Beth for her to edit. Beth has mad editorial skills (I am not so blessed…) and will catch mistakes that I won’t even see. We know what we meant to say, so our brains automatically fill in any missing words or eliminated letters, and help it all make sense. Sadly, your readers won’t do the same, so it’s best to have another pair of eyes on your project.
5. Headline analyzer
This is a little bit of magic that will make us all better headline writers. Just type your headline into the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer and it will rank your headline’s ability to attract readers. The higher the number, the better. Here is how I came up with the headline for this blog post:
I took the headline with the highest ranking—one that was still true to the blog post—and used it (after taking away one of the steps. I’ll write about that in another blog post!)
Yes – there are dozens of strategies to grab and hold readers’ attention. Follow these five basic steps and you will grow your readership, and your platform, with every blog post.