Everyone’s writing style is different, no matter what format you’re writing in. Some novelists may sketch out long, in-depth outlines and character maps before putting “pen” to paper, while others simply dive in. Some bloggers might have an idea spark their brains, then write an entire blog in one sitting. Others hem and haw over their topics for days on end.
It can be helpful to hear about someone else’s writing process, even if it doesn’t mesh with your own. For me, there’s always some takeaway from anyone’s experience.
When I sit down to write about a topic, it’s often something I’ve had on my mind for a while. I’ve run through the topic in my head, even “writing” out chunks of the piece in my mind. I’ve done some research about the topic and read what others had to say. Most of the time. But always, I know what I want the reader to take away from my blog. And generally that’s where I start writing.
Start with an Idea
If I know my ultimate message, it’s easy for me to find supporting ideas and materials to get my message across. I typically start with a working title and that main topic. For example, my recent post about Facebook groups. I wrote out a list of what I thought were the most important etiquette rules for Facebook groups, then expanded on those.
Expand on the Ideas
Once I have my topic narrowed down, I identify ideas and examples that support it. This is where I expand on my ideas. What are some ways I can bring my message home for my audience? I typically do a bit more research here, finding ways other authors expounded on similar ideas. Do I agree or disagree with the other authors? How do I want to deliver the message differently?
Review the Blog
At this point, I generally have enough information written down to check the flow of it. I’ll read through what I’ve written, make sure the piece has good transitions and determine what’s missing from it.
Put it Away
This is probably the most important part of writing a blog, for me. I tend to be a little ADD, so I know I need to put it away for a while before I finish it up. I’ll put away the blog for a few hours or even a few days. This allows me to look at the blog from a different perspective when I come back to it. I always find sentences that don’t flow well and I always have new ideas that I want to add.
Polish it Up
When I come back to my writing, I reread it and add any additional ideas that might have sparked in my brain during my time away. And of course, I always find an error or two that I didn’t notice the first time around. For me, putting my writing away and then coming back to polish it up is key!
Post it to My Website
I don’t simply publish my blog when I’m done with my writing. I load it to my site and often read through it one more time, making any last tweaks or changes that I might have. Only then will I push it out for all to read. And, of course, I share my blogs on my social pages—Facebook and Twitter right way, then LinkedIn and Pinterest down the road. And if I find, later, that my ideas change or there’s more I wanted to add to the blog? I’ll simply write a new one! More content to promote is never a bad thing!
So that’s my process, and it likely isn’t for everyone. Just like anything, you need to do what works for you. That might mean brainstorming using visuals or having a friend or colleague review your work before you hit “Publish.” Whatever you do, make sure you’re publishing content on a regular basis. Your audience—and the search engines—want it!