Blogging (aka How To Write A Blog Post)

How To Write A Blog Post

Just write it. Getting started is the hardest part.

There’s nothing difficult about the process of actually writing a blog post.

Get yourself onto WordPress (don’t bother using any other platform if you’re just getting started), click on New Post and then write something. Make it rough and ready, say what you think, have something you want to say of course, but then just say it.

The Headline

There is a lot you can put into a good headline.

Subscribe to a few popular blogs about blogging (just google it, it won’t take you long to find the top ones. You really don’t need me to list them here for you) and you can find a plethora of information about how to write a good headline.

Headlines that get the best conversion, the most clicks etc etc etc. Asking a question is always a good one, lists – people like lists. Challenging someone, shocking them… How can you entice someone into your article with a fantastic headline.

My advice: don’t worry too much about it. Though of everything you’re going to write arguably that is the thing that you could give a little thought to.

The long and the short of it is that if you come up with a really enticing headline, but then don’t have much to say in your article, then your reader will feel a little tricked and stop reading pretty quickly. It’s only worth having a stellar headline if you have a stellar intro and it’s only really worth having a stellar intro if you have some good content.

The Tagline

It’s worth having a decent tagline.

This is the bit that draws your reader into your article/your post/whatever it is you have to say/want to write about.

It’s also worth highlighting your tagline somehow so that your audience knows it’s a tagline. Again, questions work well at this point – put your reader in the frame of mind you want them in going into your article. Your tagline could be a statement, a quote, a question, a hypothesis, a teaser…

Your Content – What Do You Have To Say

What are you trying to say with your post?

Who is your reader? Are you writing for yourself, to a friend, to a narrow or wide audience?

It is useful to have in mind who you are writing for as you write. This will inform your writing style and what you actually say – it will also give you some cohesion and consistency between the segments of your content (hopefully).

Again, there is a $h1tload of advice online about content and content marketing.

My advice: ignore most of it. Spend your time being you and writing what you want to write (if you want to write).

Otherwise you are basically trying to be someone you’re not and people see right through that. If you can just be you, write what you WANT to write and ideally have a little passion about it, then at least one person is going to be happy with what you write (you are) and that’s the best start you can have.

If you’re second-guessing yourself, trying to stuff your content full of the right keywords left, right and center for good SEO and editing and re-editing, then your content might be good, polished even, but it will be very similar to lots of other good content out there, which means it’s not good enough.

So my advice when it comes to content is just be you. Don’t censor yourself, don’t write what you think people want to hear, just write what you want to write. If you think it could be useful for people, then share what you think would be useful, but don’t write just to try and get people to share. Write what you want to write.

The more you can be you, the better.

The reason for this is simple: then you know if people want to read what you have to say.

In this case, the LESS effort you put into your writing and the more natural you can be will give you some really valuable feedback.

CAVEAT: Don’t worry if you don’t get any response at all. Plenty of people don’t. It doesn’t mean anything other than the web is a big place and that either what you wrote was not found or didn’t appeal to some of the people that found it at the time that they found it.

I’ve been told that I’ve changed people’s lives with what I’d consider some of my most average content whilst some of the online writing that I’m really proud of has had very little reaction (except from me – to myself ;-)).

This of course completely depends upon who your target audience is and what you’re hoping for. If you want lots of traffic, even the best content in the universe on a brand new site isn’t going to get much reaction, because nobody is finding your new site, but if you keep on producing the best content in the universe, then so the theory goes, eventually you will be found and your content will get the attention it deserves.

Lots of people just write for themselves. Little records, rants or notes of whatever it is they want to preserve in their blog.

I think I’ve flitted between different categories myself – for a while I enjoyed writing online so I wrote a lot, for this site and also elsewhere. Then when this site was very popular for a while, I felt I HAD to write a new article (what I’ve always called blog posts) every week and publish it before 6pm on Friday (in time for the email to go out to subscribers with the latest article included) – yes, I was a slave to my blog (don’t do that). Then I eased off so that I could still enjoy the writing. Lately I have become very involved in lots of other projects and when I turn around to look at my website I suddenly realize I haven’t written anything for ages – so I guess now I’m down to ad-hoc.

Whatever the content and the frequency of that content, what I’m trying to say here is that it has to be something that works for you. If it is forced or contrived then people will pick up on that (unless you’re very very clever, and then that means it’s hard work).

Don’t get me wrong, you can have a very very clever, contrived system for your online writing whereby you churn out fantastic headlines effortlessly, you concoct magical taglines and your prose is poetic, funny, informative and clever all at the same time. That is definitely do-able but I want to encourage you to evolve into that professional writer if that’s what you want so that it’s still natural. Evolve. So we take out the forced element.

Final Thought

There are plenty of other nuances about writing online that I could waffle on about but I’m not going to.

Why?

Well, I think I just said it.

I think I just admitted that I’m staring to waffle.

An article about writing and I’m waffling. That’s not a good place. Ding. Another piece of advice. Don’t waffle.

Ever.

Or if you do – admit it and then stop.

So my closing argument is that you should err on the side of BEING YOURSELF. Just write something. Write what you want to write and learn through the process.

You will get better at it.

Then if you do get any comments or questions, you are responding 100% as you because you wrote the article 100% as you and you will also know that 100% of you is what whoever responded to you bought into…

… and that’s a pretty good place to start.


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