If you’ve ever considered blogging as a career or as a means of earning a part-time income, you can find all kinds of information on the internet about how to start a blog and how to promote a blog. But, there aren’t many people talking about how to actually format and write a blog. In its simplest form, blogging is storytelling. But you need to be able to cut through the crap and get to the point pretty quickly to get and maintain your readers’ attention. What’s the story you want to tell?
Remember when you were in junior high school and your teacher asked you to write a 500 word paper on a topic? Those 500 words seemed so painful and it seemed like it took weeks to write it! Then high school comes along and your teacher asks for a 1000 words on a topic! How on earth were you going to write 1000 words!? You did it though, and now look at you: considering a career in blogging.
Many advice sites will tell you to write the title last. I like to write the title first as a way to ensure I continually talk about the topic in a clear and concise manner. If I don’t name my blog before I start writing it, I might find myself off on a tangent. You know what I am talking about. You can change the title later, but start with a working title to help keep you focused.
Next, you’ll want to come up with at least three main points – just like when you were in high school composition class. You can have more, but 500 words isn’t actually a lot of words, so you need to pace yourself on how much information you are going to write. A good rule of thumb is to have 75-100 words for an introduction, 100 words in each section and then 75-100 words in the conclusion. See, just like high school.
Under each main point, you’ll want to think of at least 2 things you want to say to support that point or include something interesting about that point. A lot of good bloggers write sarcastically or ironically about a topic as way to keep their readers’ attention. Just sticking to the facts or opinions is great too. You’ll find your voice soon enough. Right now we are worried about getting thoughts on paper. If you are writing about background checks, for example, you might want to include a click here link so your readers can find more about the topic you are writing on.
After you’ve drafted your blog, you’ll want to read it for clarity, determine what point you are trying to make and ensure the argument is consistent all the way through the blog. You might find you struggle to make 500 words the first few times. A good way to guide yourself through the writing process is to actually write your topics as headings inside your blog, which you can choose to leave or remove later to improve flow within the blog. Sometimes, it’s easier to write about an overall topic when it is broken into smaller sections.
Finally, be patient with the writing process. Don’t give up just because it seems difficult. You’ll get better at crafting topics and writing about them the more you write. So get writing!