Writing each blog doesn’t need to be a struggle. It’s really a simple task that you can get through quickly, if you’re using the right formula.
While some writers use a more complicated process, this simple formula can help you get over the hump so you can start publishing fresh content more consistently.
- Know your audience: Knowing who you’re writing to is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your blog gets read. You need to know what information they need and want so you can give it to them—in a style and format that rings true to them.
[bctt tweet=”Know who you’re writing to to ensure your blog gets read.” username=””]
- Identify your topic: Once you know who you’re writing to, you need to know what they want. Identify the topic or topics you want to communicate to your audience. I keep a running list of blog topic ideas in an Excel spreadsheet, organized by theme. This helps me when I’m planning out my content for coming months and makes it super-simple to come up with a topic each week. My topic usually serves as a temporary title, which I’ll talk about again in step 6.
- Outline your key points: You know what you’re writing about, but what do you want to say? Create an outline with the key points you want to communicate in your blog. For this blog, I wrote out the seven steps to my formula first, before I wrote anything else on the page.
- Write your intro: When you know the key ideas you want to discuss, you can set the tone with your introduction. Use an opening that grabs the reader’s attention, asks a question, stirs an emotion—anything that will encourage them to read on. It doesn’t need to be long or involved (though it can be).
- Fill in the gaps: Now let’s go back to those key points. It’s time to fill in the gaps and add details for each point. You can use a list, bullet points or subheadings to divide up each point—whatever works in the context of your blog. Since this blog is a step-by-step formula, it made sense for me to use a numbered list. However, most of my blogs tend to use subheadings because I like to elaborate a little more on each point.
- Wrap it up: Just like your five-paragraph essay from high school, you need to wrap up your blog with a good closing. Include a call-to-action, invite the reader to learn more, offer a summary or simply wrap it up with a closing story. Then revisit your temporary title and make sure it still fits, or jazz it up a bit to make it more interesting.
- Put it away: Yep, you read that right. It’s difficult to edit a document you just put to the keyboard, so put it away for a bit. A few hours, a day, a week—whatever allows you to come back to the blog with a fresh pair of eyes. This means you’ll have to plan your content in advance so you have time to do this.
- Edit and proofread: This may be the most important (and most often skipped) step in the blogging process. You don’t have to be a grammar genius to publish well-written text on your blog. You simply have to have the smarts to read through it again and make sure there aren’t any glaring errors. There are also plug-ins and apps you can get to help you with this process. Grammarly is a paid service that has a Word add-in, and Word has its own (limited) grammar check ability. If you struggle with grammar, use something.
[bctt tweet=”You don’t have to be a grammar genius to publish well-written blogs.” username=””]
- Publish: Don’t go through all that work, only to let your blog sit in your computer’s folders. Create a graphic to go with it and then post it to your website. And be sure to share it on your social channels! Next week, we’ll explore the importance of sharing (and resharing) your content so your audience knows it’s there.
You can use this formula for any type of writing—your email marketing campaign, website content or even print brochures. The more often you use it, the easier it will get. It’s like learning how to ride a bike. You’ll struggle and fall off at first, but eventually you’ll get the rhythm and you’ll get better. Pretty soon you’ll be barreling down the trail on a mountain bike or finding your own way. Unicycle, anyone?