If you've got interests and slightly more personality than a doorknob, you can write a blog. This may seem intimidating, and you may be thinking "no way, man." But you can, and we're here to show you how.
How to Write a Blog Post
Writing a blog post is probably one of the most effective ways to communicate in the modern world. And nowadays, it seems like everyone is writing blogs about everything. This really begs the question: Can it be that hard to figure out how to write a blog? The truth is...yes. It’s no lie that there are hundreds of millions of blog sites out there, and even more actual posts. But that doesn’t mean they’re all being read.
In fact, such a high volume of blogs means that the blog writing world is competitive. If you really want to develop an audience, you need to know how to write a good blog post. After all, anyone can write words, but few people can write something worth reading.
If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ll be going over each step of the blog writing process, right here, right now, so that you’ll have a solid idea of how to start writing a successful blog.
Step 1: Think About Your Writing Goals
Remember that old board game, Battleship? If you don’t, it’s basically a naval warfare game where players slowly and strategically narrow down their search for enemy submarines. The writing process is very similar: You have to start out with broad ideas, and have to work your way down heading by heading, sentence by sentence, and letter by letter. This creates the clearest articles, and the most straightforward writing experience.
Thus, the best way to begin is to think about the broad reason that you want to write in the first place. Perhaps you want to tell people a story, convince them to agree with you, or even take some kind of action. Whatever your main idea is, figure it out first. Write it down if you like. Once you have your central point figured out, you can use it to frame the whole post. This way, the outline, flow, and tone of the article will all be strong and relevant.
Step 2: Build Out Each Section
At this point in the process, we’ve got the big picture figured out, but we’re not quite ready to start writing each specific sentence. So what’s missing?
In order to know how to write a blog post, you have to know what you’re going to write, from beginning to end. This is done by building an outline of headings and subtitles. In other words, you’re making a list of big ideas you want to talk about that you can expand upon later. That way, you’ll have a better sense of direction when writing the article, and the final product will be much clearer. Your outline is kind of like the blog’s “skeleton.” It defines the rough structure and size of the blog, and holds everything together.
Build a list of headings to divide each part of the post. Some articles have dozens of headings and subheadings, while others only have a couple. As a general rule, it’s good to have some kind of subtitle for at least every thousand words, if not more. Once completed, this list will serve as your outline moving into the writing portion of the process.
Step 3: Get Writing!
Now that you’ve constructed your outline, it’s time to add the real text. This step is pretty self explanatory. Essentially, this is the actual “writing” part of writing a blog. It’s what most people think of when they think of blogging.
How you write your blog is really up to you, and the possibilities are endless. There’s so many styles and ways to write, so pick what’s best for you and your talents. Regardless of your choices here, it’s good to keep some general formatting things in mind. You should roughly know how much text should be written in each section, how big paragraphs should be, and how you’d like to space everything.
If you're totally new to the blog-writing world and are unsure where to begin, using a paraphrasing tool can help you find your voice. You can word-vomit all of your thoughts into the input box, and play around until you find a paraphrase that you like and you feel represents who you are.
Once you’ve finished this step, you should congratulate yourself! You’ve just created your first rough draft of a blog post. Woo-hoo!
Step 4: Figure Out What’s Missing
For your first blog post, the rough draft might be pretty close to the final product, because, well, it’s your first attempt. But for many bloggers, a successful post will have more than just some text.
Here, it’s time to review what you’ve typed, and take note of what else should be added. Using an online summarization tool is a little-known trick that will really help you in this step. By summarizing what you've written so far, you can see if your writing aligns with the message and vision you had for the post going into the creative process. This is when you'll be able to determine if you left out any important information.
Depending on your writing goals, you can add pictures, videos, extra paragraphs/footnotes, more sources, extra writing, descriptions, or anything else that the article needs to be perfect. Rounding out your blog post with different types of media will make it visually appealing, and more people will be inclined to read it or scroll through.
Step 5: Settle On a Title
You may think creating a title should be the first step, so you have a phrase to guide you through the writing process. But coming up with a title before doing any writing can actually be restrictive and cause you to stick too closely to a predetermined path. You want to be able to explore different avenues while writing, and besides, you’ll come up with a much better title once you have all of your content written.
In order to come up with a good title, think of the big picture. What is the overall message or topic your blog post is covering? Why should people care? Generic titles could be good to gain a larger audience, but specific titles can be eye-catching on their own. It all just depends on what the blog post is about and what the tone is.
Step 6: Make Your Final Changes and Publish
Finally, it’s time to do one last combover to check for any last minute changes that could be made to your article (don't rely on your eyes alone. At least use a grammar checker to do a once-over on your work). At this point, it’s great to imagine reading the article from the audience’s perspective, as if it were already published. Getting in the mindset of the reader will help you to determine what is working and what isn’t, on a content level.
Blog Writing Tips
As you move through the writing process, there are some valuable blog writing tips to keep in mind in order to help your blog stand out:
- Make your writing excitable. It would be great if everyone who viewed your blog post read it start to finish, but most people don’t. In this age of information, the posts that get shared the most are the ones with catchy headlines, skimmable writing, and relevant content.
- Refine, refine, refine. Nobody’s perfect, and mistakes are a familiar foe to even the best writers. It can be difficult to write neat, engaging content for a single topic (especially for a long post), so editing is always necessary. Make sure to go back and check for any mistakes, improving any part of the article that needs change.
- The audience knows best. At the core of it, writing a blog is about catering to your readers. They directly decide which posts get views and which blogs gain a following. Always think about the post from their point of view.
- Do more research. Whatever your topic is, it can get stale hearing about it from one perspective. To keep things interesting, maximize the amount of outside sources, opinions, and ideas present in your text (and when/if you do, be sure to cite your sources. This is so important).
- Make your writing unique, especially from itself. Plenty of writers get into the habit of writing in one specific style, and it can be super boring to read. Look for ways you can vary your flow, sentence structure, tone, and writing style.
Writing a blog is an awesome way to connect with the world and share your interests. While there are some steps that need to be taken if you want your blog to be successful, the bottom line is this: writing a blog should be fun. Let your imagination run free; your passions will make your blog posts shine.