How To Write A Blog - a Beginners Guide
Research has shown that companies that write 16+ blog posts per month win more business. You can't escape it and I know this sounds very daunting so I thought I'd create a quick guide to help you start writing a blog and to manage your time to get the most out of this pivotal marketing strategy and communications channel.
Do your research
Before you do anything start doing some research about the topic you want to write about. This will help you figure out the content you need to create, the headline you'll end up with and the overall theme for your post.
Research is actually fun to do and if you're like me you'll probably find other articles that just miss the point entirely - this will give you the confidence to start writing and create better blog posts than the ones you've read.
Your competitors are most likely be doing their blogging and marketing wrong. This should be a part of your research and will also help you craft the content in the post to create something better than them and to engage with people who have read multiple articles on the same topic.
Outline the blog post
All blog posts should have an outline and be planned. This will help you create some structure that will make sense to the reader whilst at the same time giving you mini headlines to create content from.
I have followed this process for this very article and I hope that you will find it structured, full of useful tips and advice about blog post creation - if you don't, let me know and I'll take another look at it :-).
Write now, edit later
Don't worry about creating the perfect blog post the first time around. My advice here is to just keep writing and then go back later and make the edits to polish it off.
When I write a blog post, such as this one, I will write it on one day then go back to it the next day and read the entire post in one go. That small amount of time helps me look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and I can then the tweaks I need to make stand out more. This is a great tip that I have been using for years since a close friend told me how they write articles for the newspaper they used to work for.
Writers block? Crack on with your conclusion
It may sound a little odd to look at the end whilst you're still writing the main content of your blog post but if you ever get stuck just think about what you're trying to say at the end and draft this out. It will probably change, but at least you'll see a clear end-game and be able to focus on what you need to write now.
Write your introduction last
The content of your blog post will inevitably change and this will also change the introduction. Once you have written your post, left it for a day, re-read it then what you need to say in the introduction will be become really clear and help you inform your readers on exactly why they should take the time to read your post to the end.
Usain Bolt or Lewis Hamilton didn't become champions by trying something once and expecting to be the best. They kept trying, would learn something new and would also hone their basics skills time and time again until they became great at what they do...you need to do the same for your blog posts.
I have been writing blog posts and articles for over 20 years but I am still learning every day. I do find it quite easy to write blog posts but I have taken the time to keep doing it both for my past employers and now my clients. This has allowed me to learn what I need to do, create the structure that I need and to do my research on my topic. I also keep what I am writing about here in mind at all times and it really helps me craft some great content for my clients regardless of the topic.
Set a timer - keep it punchy
Don't spend hours and hours writing one blog post. I agree that there needs to be a certain length to your article (2000 to 4000 characters) but longer posts will mean your readers get bored and probably won't get to the end of it, so keep it punchy.
Take a look at this article - it is broken up into structured sections that aren't too long in size. This means that the reader, you in this case, can scan the content and if it peaks your interest will take a proper look at it.
"Why say 1000 words when 100 will do" is something you need to keep in mind, so try and remember that saying.
Organise your research and notes
When you're doing your research for a particular post you'll come across other areas that you can then write about another time. Keep notes from what you find and mark them with a "*" in your notes. This will denote that you're keeping that note for another post and this will help you organise your research.
The great thing about this tip is that you will be creating a list of topics and content to help you fire straight into another post without too much time being needed to think about it.
Don't worry, just write down each of the mini-headlines I have created in this article and start at the beginning. In no time you'll be working through your blog post and creating some awesome content.
When you start writing your posts why not drop us a line and let us know you've created some. We'll be more than happy to read them and share them on our network and help you get your content out there.v