10 Steps you need to know before writing a blog post
Writing a blog is the easiest and most accessible way to express one’s point on a prevalent subject, or market a service or product online. The hard part is getting people to read your blog post; if anyone with a basic internet connection can write a blog, why should people read your thoughts on a subject instead of Joe Soap’s?
The answer is content. Content is king, and there are some simple rules and steps that will help you write a post that’s worth reading in its entirety.
Step 1: Before you begin
Before you start, write an outline. An outline doesn’t need to be lengthy or even detailed; it’s just a rough guide to make sure you don’t go off topic.
Utilising an easy to follow structure, such as the inverted pyramid technique, will help you lay out your post in a logical and easy to follow way. The inverted pyramid puts the most newsworthy information at the top, and then the remaining information follows in order of importance, with the least important at the bottom.
Step 2: Do your research
Don’t be that guy or girl; the one who thinks that they know everything about anything off the top of their heads. Do your research and learn the ins and outs of the topic you are about to write on like the back of your hand.
Step 3: Grab attention with the title
It is important that you try to grab your readers’ attention from the very beginning! The title of your post is very important because it gets the toughest part out of the way – persuading readers to open your blog post and not somebody else’s.
Step 4: Keep your title short and concise
Make your title clear, clever and to-the-point; you don’t want to confuse your readers before they’ve even started. Ask questions, include a verb, and use quirky and strong language to grab their attention and make your point known from the very beginning. A good rule of thumb is to keep it at about 8 words and 70 characters. Using target keywords will also make your blog piece that much easier to find.
Step 5: Give them a taste of what’s to come, but only a taste
In your title, give your readers a hint or idea of what you’re writing about; but don’t give away too much. Avoid in your face click-bait headings such as ‘’You will never believe what happened to 90% of people who read this post’’; your readers are smarter than that and can see right through that type of vile writing.
Instead try and create a sense of urgency in the title and psychologically draw certain readers to your post by using ‘’How to’’ or ‘’How not to’’, or ranking related headers like ‘’10 ways you can’’ or ‘’5 best…’’.
Step 6: Use the body to keep them curious (Wait, you know what I mean, right?)
Congratulations, you’ve grabbed your readers’ attention – but the battle isn’t over yet. You still need to ask yourself ‘’How do I get my readers to read on?’’.
Well to start off it is important to remember that your opening line is just as important as your heading. You could begin with an industry related quote; if you are writing a blog post about innovation you should consider including a quote by Elon Musk. You get where I’m going with this. Using an attention grabbing statistic is also a smart way to give readers a taste of what is to come, and it shows them that you aren’t here to speculate but rather to state facts.
Step 7: Ok, you’ve introduced the body of your article – but now what?
Stating a benefit that a reader will take away after they have finished reading the post is a smart way of enticing them to read it in its entirety; ‘’ Once you have read this post you will know how to…’’.
As you delve deeper into the body of your blog post, it is important to remember that you are telling your readers a story. Make it personal and structure it in a way that flows. Add in a shocking statistic here and there, and make sure that your content is worthwhile to the reader and solves a problem. Spark emotion, but also use logic to support your claims and statements.
Step 8: Avoid Repetition
Don’t repeat yourself; nobody wants to read the same statistic six times, or be reminded every third paragraph about a fact that they may not even have cared about in the first place.
Step 9: Don’t repeat yourself
Step 10: Conquer the conclusion
It is very important to remember why the end of your blog post is called the ‘conclusion’; it is a summing up of all the points that you have covered in a concise, short and well-rounded summery. Remember to keep your conclusion short – you don’t want to lose your reader right at the finish line.
If you have any other tips on writing a blog post, we would love to know about them. Share them with us in the comment section below or tweet at us, @Colourworks_ZA.