A well-read blog is one that is updated regularly. Search engines pick it up, and followers know to check in for the latest news. However, coming up with a post almost every day is a lot of pressure for bloggers. After years of finding my head in my hands at 3 p.m. as I struggle to write a post, I’ve come up with a formula. Follow these easy steps and you, too, can write a good blog post fast!
1. Keep a list of blog topics.
This is key. When inspiration hits you, write it down. I have been known to e-mail my work address with a blog idea I come up during off hours. I often have at least 10 topics on the list, and each day I go over it to see if something is particularly relevant that day or whether I have more ideas for any of them. A good blog idea is the most important part of the writing process. If you keep a stash of ideas, each day the hardest part of writing is already taken care of.
2. Jot down your points in list form.
Once you’ve chosen your blog topic, write an outline: List your main points and mess around with the order. Weigh the importance of each thought. Often you’ll come up with more things to say as you go.
3. Fill in the list items with a sentence or two.
Expand on your points, but don’t go crazy. Blogs are not meant to be feature length. Aim for a minimum of a few paragraphs, but try to stick to 1,500 words or less. I usually shoot for 250 to 800 words for search engine optimization purposes. When people read on computers, their attention spans tend to last a shorter time than they’d spend on printed materials. So what’s the point of writing a lot if no one reads it?
4. Do an Internet search for relevant links.
There is a difference between blogs and journalism. Articles are where you go to for facts and research. Blogs are interpretations of those articles or extensions. That’s not to say blogs aren’t well researched; rather, blogs link elsewhere to back up their claims. Rather than repeat a well-written article, keep your readers’ attention by linking.
5. Revisit what you’ve written.
Often, once I’ve written a post, it turns out my theme has changed since its inception. I then rewrite the opening paragraph. Blogging isn’t just for educating or entertaining your audience – I’ve learned so much by researching for posts.
Never, ever post your blog without rereading it a few times and checking links. As someone whose career started off in copy editing, I am mortified if I let a spelling error go live. Your credibility can be dashed by one typo or grammatical mistake, never mind a factual error.
Blogging is a different animal from article writing. If you plan ahead, your post can practically write itself. Just keep an ear out for topics and then organize your thoughts. After that, you fill in the holes and voila – a blog that doesn’t eat up your whole day!