Writing blog posts: a quick-start guide

Start with the idea, topic or story

What questions are you continually answering? What would make a compelling ‘story’? What’s your passion? What can you write openly and honestly about?

Outline your post

Make a list of everything you want to cover in your introduction, body and conclusion.

Break it down into subheadings.

Recording yourself speaking about the topic could kick-start a plan.

Fill in the details

For each point is there additional supporting evidence, research, citations or examples that would make this piece more credible or interesting?

Don’t edit yet. Just get your ideas down.

Edit

You should ensure there is a gap between writing and editing, so you can distance yourself enough to be critical of your own work.

Here are some things to check:

  • The flow and order of the piece, is this logical or does it tell a story?
  • Add or remove sections.
  • Don’t worry about the word count. Your topic may take as little as 200 words or as many as 1000 words to explain well.
  • Scannability: have you kept paragraphs and sentences fairly short? Are there eye-catching subheads? Have you put all lists into a bulleted format – or a numbered list if there is a sequence?
  • Have you used an informal, conversational tone? Read it out load to spot awkward or bureaucratic words and phrases.
  • Front-load. People read on screens in an F-pattern (See bookmark). You should ensure the piece is front-loaded: the subheads, paragraphs, bulleted lists and first word of each paragraph should be interesting and not repetitive.

Headline

Choose a strong journalistic headline that would entice readers to click on the blog post wherever they see it: on the ETF Torino Process blog, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or on the Google search results.

Opening paragraph

Opening paragraphs are important as people will not get any further if you don’t engage them in the first paragraph. You could summarise your ideas or could get to the point quickly in the opening paragraph.

Images

Are there any images that would help to illustrate your ideas – photos, diagrams and infographics? Photos of people are especially good. But beware of obvious stock photography using models instead of your own staff, students or service users.

Proofread on paper

You’ll spot more little glitches on paper, as it is easier to read on paper. Check for typo’s, grammar, punctuation.

Share

After the post is live, share on your favourite social network.

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