This article is not about where to publish your blog post; it’s not even about how to get followers reading your posts, it is going back to the beginning. In this blog post, we teach you how to start writing articles your readers will love.
Often, when we start on the path of learning something new, there are holes in the material. Likewise, there are gaps in the information. You read article after article, attend seminars and workshops and look at what others are doing. However, you feel like you are missing something. Does that sound like you? Can you even do this? Also, what are you missing?
The truth is that as people become more confident at something the foundational steps become automatic. We don’t even think about them anymore, we just do. Hence, the problem. Because when we become teachers, we forget to go way back to the beginning. We take it for granted that people know what we know, or at least in the basics. And then, we don’t want to go there because, you know, it’s basic!
But, if you go back to that time when you were first learning something new, it was hard. Because the reality is, you don’t know what you don’t know. Likewise, what seems basic to one person is a necessary step for another to learn. We need to teach our students how to step onto the first rung of the ladder, and as teachers, we need to remember that.
So, let’s get started writing a blog post, or more importantly, an excellent blog post.
We take it for granted that people know what we know, or at least in the basics.
Where to start? You’re not a writer. What are you thinking, that you can't do this? Well, you can. Your knowledge can help others. Moreover, only you can write it in your unique way. To help you get started, download the Content Creation Framework that we got from our mentor, Troy Dean. To be honest, we don’t use it all the time anymore. However, it is what got me started writing good articles as opposed to terrible ones.
Apart from the topic you want to write about, you need to have a reason for writing. The people you need to think about when writing a blog post is your audience. These are your customers or potential customers, your followers and your community.
- Why would my audience want to read this? Just because you think it’s an interesting topic, will they?
- Does it give value? Can my audience take this information and do something with it?
- Can I include something for free that is awesome? If you offer value packed information or tools for free that your audience can instantly use, they will keep coming back. Remember you are building trust, and that takes time. Be generous.
Before I begin to write I work out the format I will use. Is this article personal? Or is it a review? Do I have valuable insights to share? Is it addressing questions my clients have asked?
Determine this at the beginning. And then, create a blog writing template to follow each time until you gain confidence and then you can become more flexible. Put your topics into a natural progression. Each piece of information should flow to the next like steps to follow.
This information would be written under the framework heading of Teaching Points. Remember each section can be as long as you like. If your article is interesting, it doesn’t matter about the length. Actually, it is better to have a long, interesting and valuable article than a short and sweet fluff piece.
To start writing your blog post, follow the steps below to create a streamlined process. As you become confident in the process, you can tweak it to suit yourself.
- To use the framework, write relevant points under each heading. At this stage, they don’t need to flow, just get those ideas you have and those points you want to teach or share onto paper. The framework is a guide to ensure you have all the relevant information and in a way, that makes the article interesting and readable.
- Take out the headings.
- Now form sentences. Write so the information flows. Don’t let it skip from one topic to another. Remember the framework is a guide only. When you start to read your draft, you will know if things need to be changed.
- Always have the Introduction (The Promise) at the top and a Call to Action at the bottom. The introduction tells the reader quickly what is in the article and why they need to read it.
- Once you get used to writing in this way, you won’t need to use the framework.
- Add substance to any points you are making. Can you research extra information about it? For example, if you were to write about a Destination you might want to investigate things like – where is it located, what’s the nearest town, what is the population, what facilities does it have, what is the weather like?
- Headings make a piece more readable. The layout will look neat and tidy, and the reader’s eye can easily find the information they are most interested in.
Insert headings for each point/step where appropriate. These will make the piece flow and will be easier to write and stay on track. Here are a few examples of bloggers using headings:
You will notice that a lot of them also include quotes. I will cover that in a separate article. For now, it is not essential.
You should have already created a template for yourself. One that you will follow each time so that you are consistent.
Imagine if you wrote an epic blog post with eye-catching images, valuable information. People loved it, they shared it and commented. And then, the next blog post you put out is a simple 300-word fluff piece that didn’t share anything at all. Suddenly, all the trust and authority you had started to build in that one blog post is out the door. So, they don’t know what you will produce now. And in a world that is bombarded by the online written content, you need to stand out consistently.
Creating a template will keep you on track. Actually, our template can be as simple as a written, or it can in inbuilt depending on the programs you use. One of my blog post templates for my blog at Travel Charm goes something like this:
- Awesome Headline
- Eye-Popping Image
- Introduction Text
- Step or Point Text with heading
- Relevant Image
- (repeat last two steps for all points or steps)
- Summary Test
- Call to Action
You can see an example here – 7 Reasons to Visit Slovenia NOW.
I have a few other bits and bobs. Although, these are done with the plugins on my website.
Again, as your confidence builds you can create several different templates depending on the type of article, you are writing. Flexibility comes with confidence. I have several templates including ones for Destination Guides, Creative Trips, and Personal.
To me, this seems obvious. But, I know that because we are so busy, sometimes it seems easy to just go with the draft version. The first version of a blog post is and always will be a draft. However, no matter how good you think this first version is, you need to edit it.
Don’t get complacent. Always edit.
And for those starting out, I realise it can be a daunting prospect to publish something you have written. It feels a little like being naked in public (or at least it did for me). So, my suggestion is until you build your confidence, give your article to someone you can trust to read it for you. That person needs to be someone who will tell you the truth. And, the only way to improve is through feedback. Even if the person you give it to doesn’t understand the concept or doesn’t work in your industry, it doesn’t matter. If it makes sense to them, then it will make sense to anyone. And they will still be able to tell you if it reads well, points out any spelling or grammatical errors or say whether it looks good or not.
Until you gain confidence:
- Read your article at least a few times and make changes as required.
- Read it out loud – a great way to pick up things that don’t make sense or minor effort.
- Get feedback from a trusted source (or family member – even if they may not understand the concepts they will be able to tell you if it reads well and points out any grammatical or spelling errors.
- Edit last time before publishing.
Please don’t be sensitive or defensive if you receive negative feedback. Negative feedback can be hard to take, I know. But you need to suck it up. Practice, practice, practice. This is not something that happens immediately. Like everything, our skills take time to develop. If you look at my earlier posts on Travel Charm you will see how different my blogs were (and may I say just a tad boring!)
Also, remember we will always continue to learn, and you should always look at ways to keep your blog posts fresh.
And before you publish your article read this article – Are you at Risk of losing your Entire Blog? Don’t waste all your effort creating great content to risk losing it.
Summary of Steps for Blog Writing
- Download Content Creation Framework
- Determine what article will be about and why you are writing it
- Jot down ideas under each heading of Framework
- Take out Framework headings
- Form sentences and add more information
- Research and add substance to article
- Create a blog template to follow consistently
- Create relevant and catchy heading for article
- Give to a trusted person to read and give feedback
- Add images
This is a simple step by step guide. In later blog posts, we will cover publishing, SEO, and other relevant information.
ADDITIONAL ESSENTIAL POINTS
You should always use excellent images because mediocre will not do! Actually, in this world full of blogs a “that will do” article will definitely NOT DO! Use great images that evoke the feeling or emotion of the article. Pixabay has a range of great images for free.
Learn from the Best
Find bloggers and blogs you enjoy. How do they write? What style do they have? Mimic them. No, I didn’t say copy, I said mimic. How do you think they learned? Well, they followed their mentors, emulated their style and then created their own.
As you gain confidence writing, you will develop your style. I promise. It won’t always be this hard.
Don't be Mediocre
And please, don’t be boring. There are so many boring posts out there. And you know which ones are the worst? The people that talk about themselves. Yes, a blog post is all about gaining an audience, but you gain an audience because you are writing about things they want to know, not because you are telling them how good you are [insert yawn]. More importantly, prove how good you are by sharing valuable information and helping to solve your client’s problems.
Call to Action
So, how do you sell at the end? You don’t. But, you should have a call to action or a few. You want to shine so brightly and be known by your readers as someone who cares, someone who has all the answers and someone who will help them. And when that happens they will fall over themselves to sign up to whatever you have to offer.
One of my pet peeves are blog posts that tell you about a new service, product, idea and so on and finishes with “And if you want more information, contact us” or “We can help you with this, call us at blah, blah, blah” or “We provide this service call us”. Don't make your audience jump through hoops to get value. Just give it to them. When they trust you and love what you offer, they'll call.
Give awesome value, and you will build a community who follows you. The secret is all about community. Furthermore, when you inject subtle non-pushy calls to action into your blog posts they will only be too happy to sign up.
Remember, it takes time to build trust and confidence. Keep writing and keep writing from the heart. When you write about topics you genuinely love and want to share with your community, it will show in your writing. And, if you are only writing to tell your customers about a product or service you want them to buy from you, it will show.
We would love to hear if this article was useful to you. Please leave a comment below and please feel free to share any valuable insights so that we can share them with our community.
Do you find that at times inspiration fails you? Or perhaps you have absolutely no idea what you should write about? Here is an awesome tool that you can use to create unlimited ideas.