There are loads of reasons why you might have put off starting writing a business blog. One of the ones I hear a lot is the fact that it seems like a load of work for one piece of content. (Actually, it doesn’t have to be one piece of content – read this to find out how you can make it go further.) I won’t lie, writing a blog can take ages. The sight of a blank screen can make even my writing brain turn to fudge sometimes. If you tackle writing a blog as one big task it can be incredibly daunting. Breaking it down into manageable chunks makes the whole thing much less scary and more likely to happen. Here’s my plan for creating a great blog post.
Make a plan
Once you’ve chosen a topic (more on how to do that here), think about what information you need to share. Can you structure it as a list of tips, questions or is it more like a story? Think about what the central point of the post is going to be and write down the points that are essential for covering it properly. For a blog of around 500 words 4 or 5 points is ideal. Any more than that and you’ve got an epic post – or a whole new topic.
Talk through your topic
When I say talk, I mean it literally. This works really well if you freeze in front of a blank page but can explain yourself perfectly when you talk. You can record notes on your phone or use Word’s dictation feature for voice to text. It won’t give you the perfect blog post first time but it helps you capture your voice. You can see which phrases you naturally use and include them in your blog.
Create a first draft
This can be the scary bit, but if you’ve followed the steps so far it needn’t be. You can use your key phrases to create sentences. The points you set out in your plan are your subheadings – just write a few sentences under each. If you’ve talked a good game you might have more than you thought. The important thing to remember is that no-one has to read the first draft but you. Don’t worry about your grammar, just get everything on paper.
Edit your blog
Editing is your friend. Your first draft just gives you something to work with. Remember, you can’t edit a blank page. Use the spelling and grammar check tools that come with your Word document or Google doc as a first step. Then go through and read what you’ve written, preferably at least a day after you wrote it. Does it still make sense? Does everything relate back to your central topic? If not, take it out. You can also ask someone you trust to sense check it for you.
The finishing touches
The final touches are really a set of micro tasks. The key one from a writing perspective is your headline. There’s a whole load of headline theory out there, but when you’re starting out the main thing to remember is that it needs to tell the reader what to expect. Basically, think of a clickbait headline and do the opposite. Then you just need a good picture and remember to use your website’s SEO tool if you have one.
I hope this has inspired you to give blog writing a go. If you really can’t face it and just want to hand the whole thing over, get in touch and let’s see if I can help. Otherwise you can sign up to my mailing list for blogging and writing hints and tips to your inbox every month.