Writing a Blog Post
You can't have a blog without blog posts! These define your blog, after all, it's what your viewers come to read every time they get the notification that you've posted something.
To create a blog post, you first need to prep. The prep work - if done right - takes all the stress out of writing. After prep comes the outline. Lastly, you'll add in the extras before you hit post, like an article cover, tags, and siting your sources. All these together make an excellent blog post.
The Prep Work
Many times, the prep work can make or break your article. Creating a plan will make you more confident in the content you post on your blog.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
As stated above, a plan can make a great difference when creating a blog post, as apposed to just writing whatever comes to mind. Writing down thoughts and brainstorming blog post topics should be your first step in creating an article.
Create a new note on your computer and list out all your blog posts you'd like to make. In my opinion, Evernote is one of the best ways to take notes digitally. I use this to make a numbered list of blog posts I want to create, then add points under them for the main topics I'd like to address. When creating this ongoing list, I add checkboxes to my working titles and check them off one by one as I work on the draft on my blog.
Having Multiple Drafts
Having multiple articles at once that you're working on is a great idea. At first, I was hesitant to try this tactic out, as it seemed too complicated and not a great way to stay organized. But, I quickly realized that only working on one blog post until it was complete then moving on to the next was B-O-R-I-N-G! I would easily become unmotivated to write and if I was stuck on a paragraph, it was hard to focus.
Working on multiple articles at once is now my go-to solution! I can work on a few paragraphs on one, and when I get bored or stuck I can move on to another draft.
Setting a Timer
My biggest problem when writing is sitting down for a period of time and actually doing work. I never know how long I've been productively working, and my ADHD-self wants to wiggle around and jump out of my chair every five minutes or so.
This is where a timer comes into play. If I'm able to set a timer for twenty minutes, I can force myself to wait out the time before I'm able to leave the chair. I also like the fact that I can look at the timer at any given moment and it'll tell me how many minutes I have left. When the timer rings, I'm able to get out of my seat and reward myself with some five minute stretching or a snack. I highly suggest this method of working, as it's personally kept me productive for longer periods of time.
An outline can greatly change the structure of your article. An unstructured article is difficult to read and understand, as well as keep your attention until the end. And let's face it: most people just skim the article anyways, searching for what they want and scanning heading with their eyes as they go. Which in turn means if you want consistent readers, you need to provide consistent, easily readable content.
When starting to write your outline of your blog post, try just organizing it by typing out only the headings first. Once you have your main headings in the order you like, create subheadings under them if needed.
Filling in Sections
After the headings are laid out, it's time to fill in your sections with the content portion of your blog post. This is the body and meat of your article; it's what the readers are actually here for!
When filling in sections, I like to start from the top and work my way down to the bottom. If you're struggling to fill in a certain section, no worries! Just type out some main thoughts and move on, as you'll come back to it later. Once the sections are pretty much filled out, go back to them one by one and edit them. Include any missing details you want in there, change some sentence structures to make it flow better, and don't be afraid to really dig in there and change things up!
Subheadings (Like This One)
If your article's sections seem too long and hard to read, think about breaking them up with subheadings. These are like baby headings and have the same effect. They are easy to spot when skimming articles and lets the reader know the topic is changing.
What Should my Outline Look Like?
I've included screenshots of the outline I created for this article!
Your introduction should introduce the blog post and mention all the points you're going to hit in the article.
When writing a good blog post, my recommendation is at least three main headings, with subheadings to follow if needed.
A conclusion should recap what you went over in your blog post. I doesn't need to be lengthy, and should really only contain the major points you mentioned in the article.
The Final Steps
Look, you're almost to the finish line! At this point, your article is almost done and it's time to take those finishing steps before posting it to your blog.
This is one of my favorite steps in the whole process, honestly! Making cover art for your article should be as easy as writing it, and to do that you need Canva. I highly recommend this app, not only because it's FREE, but because the options are endless when it comes down to it. You can easily drag and drop designs and text, and even use pre-made templates if you're not on the artsy side.
One of the last steps you need to take is picking out tags for your article. If you think too hard about it, it can get quite confusing and complicated, so let's avoid that! When it comes to picking out tags for your blog post, only use relevant, up-to-date words. Don't make them lengthy like a sentence, and try not to abbreviate, either. If you're struggling with this step, look up similar article topics to yours! It's OK to use similar, relevant tags as someone else, as long as they make sense.
Last but definitely not least, don't forget to Cite your sources (if any)! This is one Major step people often forget to include in their blog posts, which can lead to some issues down the road. If you want to avoid trouble in the long run... CITE YOUR SOURCES.
Haley, I found lots of similarities with processes and checkpoints and flows you have mentioned... That gives me confidence that, I am on the right track... Thanks for sharing!
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