Writing a blog post doesn’t have to be a chore. Your approach to writing and constructing copy is easy to simplify.
Straining over each word. Wrenching sentences out of your brain like torture. That’ NOT how good writers operate.
And it is certainly not down to any natural gift or talent.
Let me tell you, I wallowed in the bottom of English classes at school.
But then it turned out that writing isn’t all about creativity and being struck with inspiration.
With a simple formula, it’s actually super easy to create valuable content really quickly.
It’s time to go back to basics with content creation efforts, social videos, creative Instagram posts, well researched hashtags forget them for today.
Still, in 2018, blogging remains the number 1 way to engage and build relationships with your audience.
The first step to writing a blog post
Imagine having an endless list of topics to pick from when sitting down to write your latest blog post. It would be even better if someone just handed you a bucket of ideas.
No more barren brainstorm sessions or chucking content at the wall until it sticks. Finding a selection of prevalidated blog topics is simple, you just have to know where to look.
For most businesses, this could mean looking right inside your email inbox, your own website or niche forum. Check your emails for regular questions you receive, do you spend time writing out the same reply day after day?
Maybe you have even set up a canned response reply.
Well, this is a great place to start finding blog topics. We already know that people are looking for these answers. You’ll be able to offer an in-depth answer to push people towards. Plus if it could even drive decent web traffic if its an answer people search for on Google.
If you have an FAQ page on your website then you already have a blog list ready to knock out. You obviously thought these questions needed answering so now it’s time to give your audience some added long-form content on these issues.
What if you’re not in a position to receive customer questions? Well, go digging into the particular niche you are looking to engage with. Forums are the IDEAL place to find blog topic ideas. Try Quora as a base, its the Q&A hub of the internet for anything you can think of. Think you are too niche? You’re WRONG.
I’ve used Quora on and off. Mainly, being helpful and answering questions for people. My most read reply was to the question ‘Where can I sell pictures of my feet online?’
Yeh I know, it was a slow day of work for me!
By now you should be seeing a pattern for finding blog ideas. Answer real questions, the easiest way to attract readers is to offer really useful advice. Whatever your hustle, you probably know more about it than the average oddball. So get out there and show your audience the expertise you possess.
Plan your work
What’s the first thing you do when writing a blog post? You probably do something wise like open up a word document. A nice blank page to impart your wisdom upon.
All that knowledge but you suffer from ‘writer’s block’. How and where to start?
Let me tell you a little secret – there is no lightning rod of inspiration. No sudden opening of the drawbridge.
If you don’t know what to write its because you haven’t made a plan.
Planning your piece is the single most important step to writing a kickass blog post. It provides clarity on what content to include, its a place to hold the research you need to sound authoritative.
Even if you don’t need to research a topic you should still be using a plan to order your thoughts into a cohesive order.
So this is what you’re going to do. Close your laptop, get rid of the computer.
Next, pick up a pen and paper. This will ensure you are not distracted or tempted to start writing.
Break the page into sections. Think about the length of the article. Not sure? Start with around 700 words. Not a daunting length but enough to ensure plenty of detail.
Now break your word count up into smaller bite-sized pieces. 100 words for the intro and conclusion with two 250 word points.
Write 3 thoughts to include in your intro. Now when you open up your word document you already know your kickoff points.
You’re two meaty sections should include plenty of detail. Try and answer some easy questions – What, Why and How?
What is it?
Why do I need it?
How do I get/do it? (This can include a call to action if you’re looking to sell)
Answer these questions with short answers and research what you need immediately. Get your facts and stats ready to go. Here’s an example of my quick plan for this blog post. It didn’t take long but produced incredible clarity to the direction of the piece.
Now start writing
With even a scrappy plan to hand, writing a blog post becomes 10x easier. And 10x quicker! You’re expertise lie thought out and listed in front of you backed up by facts and figures.
Each word or sentence is no longer being pulled from your brain strand by strand leaving you bereft of creativity.
You have a prevalidated topic with chronological points to make. The mind is free to be relaxed and creative. Natural tone and character will ooze from your work.
I am always surprised at how quickly a piece comes together at this point. The task is always daunting if I sit down to write with no preparation. It’s still pretty cumbersome before I hit the first sentence even after extensive planning.
But once the flow takes over and all I need to do is look to the next part of my planning the word count disappears at lightning speed. What appeared to be hours of work drops into my lap in 30 minutes.
Perhaps but it’s a hell of a lot more enjoyable when you know what to write!
Just remember to make your blog post easy to read. Long paragraphs with no breaks or images are just not appealing. They’re hard work. Check out your favourite news outlet, I guarantee their articles are formatted to 1 sentence paragraphs.
Write in your natural manner with short easy to understand chunks. That means no thesaurus to make yourself sound intelligent. If you don’t understand a word or use it naturally neither will your reader.
Whip up some graphics
Images make a blog post pop.
“Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images” – Buzzsumo
As we discussed earlier, big blocks of text are incredibly uninviting. The easiest way to break up the piece whilst capturing attention is using imagery. We’re all about creating quality content at speed here, so I’m not suggesting heading out for a photo shoot.
There are awesome FREE tools at your disposal. The best of the bunch when looking find and create graphics quickly is Pablo by Buffer.
This resource contains thousands of free to use images. It is also a lighting speed way to add text and logos when creating a blog header. Even format your design in a click to optimise for various social media. I can’t tell you how much time and money this will save you.
By now you’ll have a pretty good looking blog post. In-depth information about a topic that needs answering. Simple clean graphics and imagery to entice the reader. Don’t forget to proofread and spell check. If you struggle with this then I highly recommend the Grammarly app to flag any embarrassing errors.
The only thing missing now is a killer title and readers.
Check out my quickfire ‘How to get more views in a post clickbait era’ for a few pointers in the right direction.