Unless you write every day, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to knock out a blog post before your morning Coco Pops. It’s going to take you a while to create something from start to finish that your readers will relish. So, follow this guide to turbo boost your blog post writing.
Keep an ideas file
The most time-consuming part of writing a blog post is doing the research. But it helps enormously if you have an ongoing bank of ideas for when you’ve stretched your posting frequency to its maximum limit, and you MUST create something for your readers.
I keep an Evernote file containing interesting snippets of information that I come across. I refer to this when my idea tubes are blocked. It saves me an incredible amount of time and I don’t have to stress about the next big topic idea.
What should you write about? It very much depends on your business, but you could start with info your customers want to know. Do people complain about some part of your service or industry? What questions are they asking? Can you write a post that will answer some of their questions? Think about the who, when, what, how and why of your industry and you will come up with some great ideas.
Here’s a post I wrote about how you can come up with 100 blog post ideas in one sitting, so you need never be stuck for ideas again.
Write the first draft
So, you have your idea, plucked like a juicy fruit from your ideas list or snippets file. Now, grab a coffee and sit. Close down all social media, so you don’t get distracted by your best mate’s inspirational step-by-step guide to making feather dusters (or other such rubbish). Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Then, do nothing else but write. Whatever you do don’t stop writing, dump it all onto the page, even if the words are utter rubbish, as there will undoubtedly be some shiny nuggets in there somewhere.
When the timer goes, give yourself a pat on the back for your super-human ability to focus your attention for 15 whole minutes. Now you need to go back over your draft, cutting out the dross and filling in any missing bits of information.
Now it’s time to take your shambolic first draft, tidy it up and get it ready to take its first steps out into the world. Manipulate your words into an appropriate tone, with varying lengths of sentence and short paragraphs. Create subheads from a word or theme that encapsulates the paragraph(s) that follow.
Write your conclusion
You may have some thoughts or sentences in your conclusion already from when you edited the first draft of your body text. But if not, write a section that brings all your thoughts together in several short but succinct sentences. Don’t forget your call to action.
Quick tip – there’s no reason why you cannot write the conclusion before you write your first draft – it will help you focus on the narrative of your post.
Write your introduction
This is the section that will hook your readers so make it count.
It may seem a little arse about face, but write this section last, after you’ve finished researching, writing and editing your post. You’ll know exactly what your work is about and what you want to say, and it’ll be easier to formulate the words to entice the readers to read beyond the intro.
Finally, have a quick read through, ensuring that the transition between the intro, body and conclusion sections doesn’t jar but runs seamlessly from one to the other.
Write the headline
Your headline needs to lure readers in and entice them to read more, so it’s important to get this bit right. But also, titles can help with your search engine optimisation because using popular keywords in your titles can help drive traffic to your blog. So, decide on the headline and check its efficacy using Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer.
Check it over
Make sure you haven’t missed anything important. Then, if it’s relevant, link to other blog posts and provide evidence that backs up your point.
Remember, this is not an A’ level assignment, the world is not going to end if your blog post isn’t perfect. Also, you’re not likely to cover everything on the topic in one post so make a note to cover things you’ve possibly missed in a later post.
However, do check for typos, bad grammar and spelling mistakes. These things can make all the difference to whether someone reads your post, likes what you have to say and revisits, or shuns your site forever. But don’t just rely on your own ability to identify errors. Ask a colleague to check over it or run the text through Grammarly to highlight your grammar howlers.
As a business owner, you’re probably fully aware that regular updates to your website, in the form of blog posts, prompt readers to revisit. If you’re not posting regularly, demonstrating your knowledge of your subject area or new products and services, then they’ll stop bothering to visit and they may just turn to your competitor instead.
Writing blog posts doesn’t have to take all day, but it is important for the success of your business. Obviously, the more you write them the quicker you will get, especially if you have a bank of topics and ideas to call on. So, stick to this guide and you’ll soon be outputting blog posts quicker than it takes to make your morning coffee.