Blogging: Start Here – Practical Guide to Getting Started When You're Stuck
When trying to figure out what to write for your blog, it's helpful to have an idea of what type of post you want to write.
Having the type of post in mind doesn't mean you have to stick to it, but it does give you a starting point. If you want to switch gears halfway through because the writing is coming out differently, that's fine. It's better to write what you feel rather than what you think you must write because you've already decided.
Be flexible and let the writing come out as it will, at least for the first draft. If you force a blog post, it may come across as forced or lacking emotion. One of the most important things about blogging is writing from the heart. It helps you build a better connection with your readers. This is one of the reasons I recommend writing your posts a week ahead of schedule. That way, you have a chance to write something you are passionate about or revise a post to increase the connection factor.
When we write at the last minute, we can feel rushed and produce writing we really don't feel good about. That doesn't always happen, but the odds are greater.
So, what types of posts could you write? Here are four basic categories to get you started.
The how-to post offers step-by-step instructions on how to solve a specific problem. Its structure is typically similar to that of a recipe or an instruction manual, but it could also take the form of a newspaper article. It could also be an experience piece on things like overcoming self-doubt or abolishing bad habits.
As it suggests, the main structure of a list post is made up of a list, which could be created with bullets or numbers or simply headings. This type of post can come in handy when you're struggling to come up with something to write. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Top 10 Leadership Traits Successful Leaders Have Learned
- My Top 5 Book Recommendations for Marketers
- 52 Ways to Become a Better Salesperson
The essay-style post is a more traditional article. Think five-paragraph article, but without the limitation of five paragraphs (I found this article that explains the reasons why I have never cared for the five-paragraph structure – an interesting read!). The structure is simply paragraphs, but may also contain short bulleted lists or graphics to spruce up the page and make the article easier to read. It could be an experience or opinion piece or it could take the form of a short research paper or historical article.
The video blog post is another option for your blog, and possibilities are endless on the types of information to share. You could offer your best three tips or you could offer inspiration to help readers (er, listeners) move forward. When posting on your website, include the video, the title, and some teaser copy. You might also consider including the whole transcript for those who are not able to listen in.
These are just some blogging ideas to get you started. Next week, I'll be sharing some blog writing dos and don'ts – you won't want to miss these! Talk to you soon!