How I Write My Blog Posts
You may be wondering how I write my blog posts. It’s a process that generally follows the same path, though sometimes outside influences may change the path a bit.
In this post I’ll take you through my process. You may find it helpful, but remember it’s never about the process. Your approach may be different than mine, but that’s OK. Do what works for you.
What you always have to remember is that your audience wants to be informed and educated. Keep your posts interesting and provide information on topics that are of current interest and timely .
This doesn’t apply to just blog posts. You could use the same process for creating your other web content including your YouTube videos or podcast episodes.
My First Step is Pretty Logical, I Select a Topic
I’m presently writing three blogs. The Better Business Alliance is my main blog, however I also address two topics with my other blogs that are also important to me.
Accessibility International and Sustainability International are written to address two topics that should matter to all of us. The topics of Accessibility and Sustainability are important and affect all of our lives.
The topics I choose to blog about in each blog are either points that are of particular interest to me, or need to be discussed because of their importance for all of us.
My Better Business Alliance blog is mainly focused on helping business owners develop a Digital Marketing Strategy to help them grow their business. Digital Marketing may seem to be an overwhelming task for most small business owners. It’s not, if you approach it by breaking it down into a number of related steps for successfully marketing your business.
My blogs teach people how to do things. The majority of my posts are “how to” content. If you have a different style of blog, you may follow a different path for developing your post topics.
Consider the Needs of Your Readers
While many of my topics come out of readers’ questions or problems, sometimes I just write about something that I feel will help and inform the reader. It’s important at this step and take a moment to think about my reader’s situation. I will write a couple of sentences about who I’m trying to reach and how they may view the topic that I have decided to write about.
By putting myself in the reader’s mindset, I am better able to write with empathy and write a post that is truly relevant to my reader. It’s also important to consider what the reader will do after reading the post.
If I’m writing about a problem, I might wonder if my reader’s have the same problem. How would they feel about the problem? What have they tried to help them solve the problem? What has stopped them from solving the problem in the past? How can my post help them solve their problem?
Before you even begin writing, you should think about what your call to action will be. This will shape the headline, your introduction, how you compose your post’s body, and how you reach your conclusion.
Create Your Working Title
Once I have selected my topic and considered how I want to approach my reader’s perspective, I like to come up with a working title.
Creating my working title often helps me develop a unique angle for the post. If I’m working on an idea for my Accessibility International blog, I may want to help my readers better understand the need for alternative text.
Most of my reader’s may have some grasp of what alternative text is. However, the correct use of alternative text in the many different situations where it is appropriate and necessary are very diverse and sometimes difficult to understand. Communicating the uses in a cogent and correctly worded titl is an important step for writing the blog post and telling what your reader’s need to know.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is just a working title. After completing the post, I will revisit my title choice and tweak it. Occasionally, it will be changed several times, til I have the title for my post that best expresses what I am trying to communicate to my readers.
Outline Your Post
This is when I list the main points I want to teach someone in my post. It doesn’t require a lot of writing here. It’s normally just the main points in a Word document on my computer. During this process I am examining the identified problem, brainstorming answers to the questions and solutions for the problem.
This involves outlining the steps a reader must follow to solve their problem or master a new skill. It’s like building the skeleton of your post, where you will add the muscle at a later time. Many of the bullet points which I have created often become subheadings in my completed post.
By developing the main sections and then the subheadings for each section, your post begins to take shape. Many times I will have more points than I’ll use in my finished post. I’ll begin to remove the weaker or less relevant points which allows me to focus on the more important things that I want to say.
Now I’ll take a little time to arrange the remaining points into the most logical order. Many bloggers seem to skip this step. But sorting your information into a logical order is a very important step. You need the points you cover to each build on the information provided by the preceding section. This will make a noticeable difference to the readability and quality of your finished post.
Critique Your Outline
With your outline finished, it’s a good time to ask some questions you may have about your developing post. Will my readers find my post informative and useful? Will readers have a positive reaction when they read it, or will they just think it is okay? Is it groundbreaking, will it change reader’s lives in any way? After people finish reading the post will they still have questions?
Now is the time to ask these questions. Instead of waiting until you have finished writing the entire post. Then if you find that there are possible gaps or weak ideas in your post, you can take the time to do the additional research which may be required.
Write the Introduction
Some bloggers write their post and then write the introduction. However writing the introduction first often works best for me. It helps me establish the proper tone for my post and allows me to get into the mindset adapting to the natural flow of writing my post.
Much like the working title, the introduction often shapes the direction of the post. My introduction is usually one to three paragraphs long. But again like the working title, I go back to edit the introduction after finishing the post.
As you write the introduction, consider your reader and their situation, question or problem. Show them you really understand how they feel.
If you can show some empathy in the first few lines of your post, you’ll make a deeper connection with your reader. And they’ll want to read the rest of your article.
This is also a good point to paint a picture of how the reader will benefit from reading your post. What will they be able to achieve after reading it?
Expand on the Main Points
With your outline written, it’s time to write more on each point to create the main part of your content. You just give each of your points the additional content and facts beyond what you’ve already written.
Keep your reader in mind while you write. What problem are they trying to solve? As they read your post, imagine what they are wondering about at different points in your post? Will they be confused while they read? You want to ensure that your post makes sense and does what is intended.
By now it’s probably clear that I write my posts in the order that people will read them. I begin with the working title, then the introduction and move on to writing the body of the post. This works best for me, however you’ll have to adjust and do what works best for you.
Write the Conclusion and Your Call to Action
Writing a great blog posts requires that it also must come to a conclusion. I create this after writing the main part of my post, and it’s a matter of recapping what I’ve taught readers during the rest of the post.
I’ll restate the problem or question I set out in the introduction, and remind people what I’ve tried to teach them. I’ll also summarize the main points to refresh the readers memory. It’s then really important to give readers something specific to take action on.
Go back to whatever you identified as your reader’s need, and clearly state what you want them to do next. My call to action might be encouraging them to try out the technique they’ve just learned, or to leave a comment or interact in some way.
Don’t give them several different things to do here. And make sure your call to action flows from the goals of your blog and this particular post.
Add Depth and Appeal to the Post
At this stage of the process, I look for things I could add to make a post even better. I might want to include a story or anecdote which would add to what I have written. Or I might add an image or embed a video that would add relevance to my post. Charts and graphics could illustrate a key point in your post, making it easier to understand.
You could even add a quote or an interview that would add another perspective to your post to lend it further credibility. This is about making the post better, and ensuring that it looks good and has plenty of visual interest.
Edit and Proofread the Post
With this final step, it’s important to go over your post one final time to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes or typos. Allowing some time between when I write and when I edit is also important. I feel that we use different parts of our brains for critical thinking and editing.
You don’t want to waste all your hard work by publishing a post that’s riddled with errors and mistakes. Quality control matters, so make sure you have sufficient time to edit and proofread.
You could also get someone else in to help you at this stage of the process. It could be a fellow blogger who you swap posts with, or a professional editor or proofreader.
A Quick Summary of My Process
Here’s a quick recap of my blog post writing process from start to finish:
- Select a topic
- Consider the Needs of Your Readers
- Create Your Working Title
- Outline Your Post
- Critique Your Outline
- Write the Introduction
- Expand on the Main Points
- Write the Conclusion and Your Call to Action
- Add Depth and Appeal to the Post
- Edit and Proofread the Post
That’s my workflow. Perhaps you have an extra step, or do things in a different order. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Develop Your Own Workflow
Regardless of your workflow, it’s important to pause along the way and be consider the process. Keep thinking about who’s reading your content. The reader with the questions, problems and feelings. If you can show you understand them, you’ll create a real sense of connection.
So don’t just think about creating content. Think about crafting it, and taking care and time to make it the best it can be.