You want to start writing; you stare at the screen, waiting for the ideas to start flowing out of you. But nothing happens; the blinking cursor stares back at you, waiting for you to make it move. But nothing happens. Where do you begin when you want to start writing? With the overwhelming pressure of wanting your article to perform well, it can be challenging to have the confidence to start. Not to say I don’t suffer for this; the blinking cursor haunts my dreams. Writing a good blog post is becoming ever more important. Thankfully, there is a formula that can help you get words on the page and get the flow moving. In this article I’ll give you tips on how to write a good blog post.
Be Passionate About Your Blog Post
It can be hard to decide what you want to write about and what people want you to write about. There is a delicate line between what you are passionate about and what your readers want. Thankfully, if you are writing about what you are passionate about, others will have the same passion. That, in its core, is the most essential aspect of choosing what to write. Write what you are passionate about, or you won’t only be struggling to get words on the page – but it will show in your work. If you’re writing about something you aren’t passionate about, it won’t be engaging and your readers won’t get pulled in.
Scream it from the mountain tops.
- When you care about a topic, you will put that passion into your writing, and that passion is contagious. If you are excited about something, you will then, in turn, excite your audience.
Give the people what they want.
- As you are writing and exploring your passions, you will feel what your readers are interested in. Which topics resonate most with them. Ensure you are exploring topics that not only excite you but your readers.
Do your homework.
- Some of the best articles I have written (I think) have been because I found some research that piqued my curiosity. I became motivated and excited about the topic and further explored it.
- Since we were little, we sought inspiration from others; we started with parents and loved ones and then developed others. As we grow, we seek out those who share the same interests and strive to be better. Seeking out other writers for inspiration can significantly improve your writing. Do not go out and copy others’ ideas, but put your critical process to their idea and put a unique spin on it.
If you are anything like me, you will tend to forget your ideas if you don’t write them down because “this is too good of an idea to forget.” Use a cloud note system to access it wherever you are (let’s be honest, you’ll have your phone).
Pick one clear angle on the topic you have chosen (now does the title make sense?). You have picked a topic, awesome! Now it is time to figure out what your stance is on the topic and ensure that you don’t waver from that view. This will not only help you from flip-flopping from one view to another. It will also help you from becoming overwhelmed with how many different aspects you can take on the topic. For instance, if you are writing about the best mountain biking trails. Instead of writing about the best trails out of the hundreds of thousands of options, pick a geographic location and maybe a skill level. It now becomes “Best Beginner Mountain Bike Trails In Ontario.” This topic is much easier to handle and more focused.
Think about the best approach to your topic if you want to explain how to do something, an autobiography or a “best of” list. All of these articles have a different feel they should have to get your message across clearly. There is nothing wrong with a straight-up essay-style blog, as long as you have organized it correctly. Organization is crucial.
Clean Up Your Room
Organization is crucial to your readers. It can be the difference between being guided through your article and navigating a maze to get to the end. There is nothing worse than reading through a section of writing to only have the author bring up a new point to compliment an argument further up in the article.
Many bloggers make the same mistake of not clearly outlining their points ahead of time and will find themselves chasing points all across the page. This will continue to add their thoughts as they write, making for incoherent writing. It becomes more of a Wheres Waldo picture book trying to discover the final argument. Articles like these typically do not get read or shared. They fall by the wayside.
One Chance, One Opportunity
As we were all told at one point in our lives, you only have one shot at a first impression. This is why it is crucial to start off strong and hook your readers in at the beginning. There is no point in finishing strong if your readers don’t stick around long enough for it. Think of your opening paragraph as the movie trailer. It needs to be good enough that they want to watch the movie, but not give away the whole plot.
Consider using a little technique at foreshadowing. The beginning of your article should give the reader a taste of what’s to come. Something like; “Thankfully, there is a formula that can help you get words on the page and get the flow moving.” Suggest what the reader can expect to see if they stick around. A good blog post excites readers before they have really gotten started reading.
The one thing that you have that no one else has is your voice. You have a unique writing style and point of view. There is a reason why your readers are coming to you for your content. Use this to your advantage and write in the first person with some quirky anecdotes (if the article allows it). Whenever you can, tell a story. Storytelling is an important part of writing in general. Stories are able to hook your audience as it is easier to connect to stories than facts.
Now you are not always going to have a personable story to relate to our audience in every article; you’re only one person. This does not mean you can’t relate to your audience. Infuse the article with your own personal style. A good blog post is unique and stands out. Instead of writing a dry research article, write as if you are excited to share news with a friend. We have all had news that we were eager to share. Through this excitement, you can use your natural tone and have a conversation with your audience. Now sit back, be yourself, and enjoy the conversation.
Don’t Just Say It, Feel It
Humans are wired to look out for danger, it is what keeps us alive. With this negativity bias, we are drawn to warnings or other information that skews towards negativity. The news tends to do this to draw our attention as it works so well. Your readers are more than likely to notice a warning of something not to do than advice on what to do. As an author, you can use this to invoke emotion in your readers. You are helping them avoid failure by advising what not to do.
Now don’t write with this style every time you approach a new topic. In order to write a good blog post, it is important to change it up occasionally. It will not only affect you but your readers as well. You can create just as much emotion in your audience with positive messages and titles. You know people will care about your topic because you care about it! Use positive emotional language, and your readers will feed off of your attitude towards the topic.
You are almost there, you can see the finish line in the distance, and they are waving you in as you come down the home stretch. Now, it is time to close your argument in a way that will cement your article in your audience. Thus, creating engagement, social sharing, and positive reactions.
Make sure you are ending naturally and when you are done. Readers can always tell when you are writing for the sake of writing or word count. Or, the opposite, when you cut yourself short. Allow yourself to get your supporting points across. Then arrive at then naturally ending with your readers. A good blog post has a feeling of start, middle, and end. This is most commonly done and accepted with the use of a summary paragraph. Collect your thoughts and summarize your conclusion.
Now Go Back To The Top
Now that you have all of your thoughts in the sequence, you want them on the page, and your hands are cramping. It is time to scroll to the top of the page and edit what you have just written. In order to write a good blog post, it is important to critique yourself. Go over your points sentence by sentence and clean up any clutter. Get rid of unnecessary sentences or filler. And don’t forget to get a second pair of eyes on your work. Preferably a software as you’re writing for suggestions, then another human.
Now you are ready to post. I look forward to seeing your articles on the web!