How To Write A Blog Post – A Guide For Beginners
I’m going to just come out and say it. I’ve been blogging for a while now and I still don’t know how to start a blog post that intrigues you enough that you want to carry on reading.
I think great writing is like great design, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while some people may think your content is great, others may think they’ve just wasted 10 minutes of their life reading your abomination of “so called” writin’ skillz.
When I first started blogging I couldn’t really find any resources that would help me quick start my journey into blogger stardom. Every article I read would say “just write and see what happens” and to a degree, that is good advice!
But I’ve learned a few tips along my own journey that I want to share with you. I hope they help you with your new path as they have helped me.
Don’t have time to read this post now? Pin it to read it later!
1. Write a huge list of ideas of blog topics as fast as you can.
Figuring out what to write stumped me.
I would wait until the day that I wanted to write a blog and only then would I try and think of something to write about. Blogging is time consuming. There are so many of the back-office tasks you should complete to write a blog post. Research, find the facts/statistics to back up your content when needed, write the darn thing, edit it, format it, optimise it, upload it, create the images for it and promote it… it’s a lot. But don’t get disheartened.
The biggest hurdle, in all of that work that I had to do, was finding what the heck to write about. So, I set about finding as many topics as possible by doing a little research.
With the list of blog topic ideas out of the way I can now focus less on what to write about when on a tight deadline and I can pick a subject that takes my fancy and write about that.
This way of creating your blog topics also helps with creating a blog series which is where you have a chosen topic over a period of time and write a set amount of blog posts to match the series. It’s a great way to create links to previous posts and keeps you on schedule!
2. Batch Your Writing
This is easier said than done when you first start blogging. You need time.
A lot of people start blogging while still in full time jobs or like to do this as a hobby in their spare time. That can lead us onto even shorter deadlines and a higher level of panic when that deadline is drawing near.
With the help of tip number one, you should be able to come up with a lot of blog post ideas. This blog post scheduler will help you categorise them into topics that you can batch together and create a series.
For instance, if the topic I want to focus on and batch is about Blogging. I can grab from my list the following topics and write about them all in one sitting or over a period of days:
- My tips for blogging (this post)
- How to find 30 blog topics quickly and easily
- How to hide photos in your blog using WordPress
- How to consistently gain traffic to your blog posts (future post)
You could lump all these into one huge topic about blogging but it would be a lot of information for someone to take in, in one go.
By batching, you can get your blogs written for the whole month and your readers have links to all the other articles you post as above!
3. Record yourself speaking
This is a good one.
Grab the nearest recording equipment you have, that’s probably your phone amiright? And start talking as if you want to show a friend who is interested in what you have to say, the how’s and the why’s to your chosen topic.
Don’t think about whether you sound professional, this exercise is supposed to capture your personality and unless you are in the industry of law or something equally corporate, you don’t really want to blog as if you have a broom stuck lodged where the sun don’t shine.
Blogging is completely different to writing an educational book or writing an article for The Guardian. It should be written in a casual, friendly tone, so what better way to catch that than to record yourself? You’re casual and friendly, right?
I have a transcription kit to import and type out my audio recordings but you can easily do it without a kit too. Upload your audio recording to your PC and type it out. You can keep the bits you like, take out the umm’s and the err’s and convert this into a beautiful blog post.
This is a great exercise for beginners and it helped me massively. Eventually you will be able to start typing with your personality injected into your content without even realising it.
4. Just Write
I know, I know. I sound like all the other “gurus” out there that provide this same tip to newbie bloggers.
This IS good advice if you can get over the mindset barrier. ugh, now she’s talking mindset! Yes! I am, but hear me out. The reason why “just writing” isn’t so easy is because you’ve never really had to do it before. You are lacking confidence in your own ability and this, my friend, is a mindset issue.
Instead of trying to figure out what you are going to write before you write it. Just write! And I mean just start typing without trying to figure out along the way whether it sounds professional, whether you’ve made a grammatical error or will appeal to your target audience.
Even if you’ve decided to do the previous tip first and record yourself speaking just type it out. And then type some more.
What you want to do is get all that mish mash of information that you cram into that cranium of yours out onto the computer screen and refine it later.
If you really don’t want to do this without some structure then pick your topic…
5. Write down 5 main points to cover.
The thought of going gung-ho without a plan in place just freaks some people out. So, if you are one of these people (I was too!) then spend a little time working on a huge list of blog topic titles, pick one and write down 5 main points that you want to cover and the order you want to go through them.
You have some sort of structure to start writing so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.
It may also help for you to set blocks for your different stages of writing so, set a block of time for writing down your main points, another for researching the statistics you would like to refer to, another for writing etc.
6. Create a go to template for your blog pictures for quick use.
I like to keep my branding consistent but I do occasionally tweak some blog posts to see what works best with social media. When I first started blogging my feature images would be bright green or blue with white writing and I am now experimenting with something a little more subtle so I’m trailing feature images that are mainly white with the pops of green or blue as the text or borders etc.
I hide pictures by following these steps and add about 3-5 different style pictures to each blog post. These are mainly used for Pinterest and I’ll explain exactly why that’s a good idea in a future blog post.
You can use websites like Canva or Pic Monkey for creating pictures for your blog post but I mainly use Photoshop as I have experience with this programme and I find it’s a lot quicker to use than Canva without having to pay the monthly subscription.
So, set up your template in your chosen programme and make sure you know which layers of your design that you are most likely to keep the same. Some things you will want to keep the same are:
- Your logo
- Your URL
- The font used
- The colours (perhaps alternating colours if you have a few within your branding)
- A border, if you use one
Keep this file as one that you can open and adjust in a jiffy. Keep some stock images handy too. It should all be within easy reach when you need it. You shouldn’t have to spend an extra 15 minutes trying to find that stock photo with the tulips that you really liked. Sort out your folders so it’s all together and make it easier on yourself.
7. Keep a list of your blog posts and URL’s for future reference.
Eventually you will start to create quite a collection of blog posts and you should always refer your readers to past blogs you have written that might relate to the same subject. The easiest way to do this is to keep track of your blog posts in your blog schedule and the URL’s that go with them. Every time you write something new, check back and see if you can link anything to a previous post.
You want people to stay on your site for as long as possible. Keeping a list of these links is much easier than searching through your site for that post you think you remember writing to find the URL.
8. Leave your blog and come back to it.
Have you ever spent so long working on something that you end up becoming blind to the silliest of mistakes?
This happens with writing too. You start to believe that the blog content is perfect. You are amazed at how quickly you managed to throw that together. You upload it, publish it and share it on all your social media platforms and ONLY THEN do you realise that’s you’ve misspelt a vital word and you’re now accidentally offending half the nation. Kill me now
The same is said for any content, step away from the computer!
I once signed up to a pretty awesome sales funnel, the content was great and I really enjoyed reading more about the author too but could not get over just how many simple spelling mistakes were in every single email I received. The constant spelling errors gave me the impression that everything had been so rushed. Like there was very little care put into the emails. How does this otherwise awesome person complete her client’s work if her emails look like this?
I haven’t attended any kind of spelling or grammar enforcement school and everybody does it. We all make mistakes. But “Yuo should sign pu to my course so you dom’t miss out!” is just taking the biscuit.
Even it it’s just for the morning, give your eyes and your buzzing brain a break. Have a cuppa. Take the dog for a walk. Do anything that doesn’t involve working on that blog post. Come back to it later and read it from the beginning and trust me, if you have made any, you will find at least one of them.
Got any awesome tips to add?
I’d love to hear them in the comments below!