Have you ever felt that anxiety build up inside when the ‘blogpost-publish-date’ is moving towards you at a fast pace? I do, so I decided to help you by helping me with some hands-on, practical tips & tricks for how to get going and more importantly—how to finish.
In order to become good at writing blog posts you need to write blog posts. Hmm, I made that up all by myself. The thing is that we are all different and what suits one doesn’t necessarily work for another. Generally speaking however, practice make perfect. In that spirit, use the guidance below and find your own way and workflow. I promise you, the second time will be easier than the first time. After 10 posts you’ll be a pro. But you need to write the other 9 posts to get to the 10th.
It’s hard to get going
Focus on your passions. Get inspired by browsing around on other blogs within your areas. Note those publications that have the most ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’. Why not watch a Ted Talk presentation or a YouTube video? Have you got into SlideShare yet? There you’ll definitely find more inspiration!
Write from a Persona perspective, i.e. from the perspective of the person you are trying to reach and are imagining reading your post. Choose a Persona and get inside of her/his mind and imagine questions and problems they might have. That will help you find topics. In the end all your content should be written with Personas needs in mind.
Look around—Is the TV on?
Personally I need to completely isolate myself when writing. Some need to put Johannes Brahms, Waltz in A Flat Minor on repeat just to have the slightest chance of writing a heading. I found this list of beautiful relaxing music on Spotify which I find help me get into a writing mode.
The software you’re using is also important. There are of course specific writing software that costs a fortune but I would say Evernote, TextEdit (Mac) or plain old MS Word work just fine. As long as you get rid of all distractions like menus, buttons, colours etc.
‘I don't need time, I need a deadline’
That’s a quote from Duke Ellington. Deadlines can put our brains to work, and the best focus usually comes when you know there’s a time frame and you need to stick to it. You need to prioritise and that improves productivity. It’s also known that the closer you get to your goals the more motivated you’ll get. So why not help your motivation by setting a goal just in front of you?
Set the format
Now its time to actually do some writing. Start with the overview. Chose a format. I decided not to talk about all the SEO factors and the Inbound Writing method in this post. That might be included in the next one. So for now, focus on the high-level format.
- Word count
- Bullet lists
Fill in the details
With a well thought through overview its much more fun to fill out the gaps. But its quite easy to get stuck in details when you writing.
‘I need to link that quote!’
‘I got an idea of an image. Lets Google it!’
And so on. Try to make a rough draft from start to finish before you look at the details. Picture it like writing a song. If you have a song embryo in your head and want to put it into music, its much easier to write the whole song with just 2 instruments from start to finish than 10 instruments playing 2 bars and then try to maneuver the whole orchestra to the end.
Review, tweak and polish
So now it's time to hot things up.
- Add links
- Add images
- Improve readability
- Correct grammar and spelling errors
Sum up your story. Write it like a shortened preamble and include a twist. Right now you’re at the end of your writing and should quite easy be able to put in the last sentences.
Reach out for a helping hand
It’s much easier to publish with confidence if you have a working flow of colleagues or friends to review your posts.
I wish you the best of luck on your blog-writing journey! Remember that it's much easier the second time. And bear in mind, you are not alone.