Demand for content seems endless. And communications pros are frequently called upon to create blog posts, even when they’re overloaded. To help make the process less painful, we’re sharing some tips and actionable best practices that will help get those blogs done and get you on to the “next thing.”
Time and Discipline Are Keys
Getting blogs done requires discipline. Begin with a deadline and set a time limit. An hour for a first draft is a good baseline, and try to stick with that. “Perfect is the enemy of good,” and if you find yourself with a case of writer’s block, reviewing articles on writing styles and techniques can be helpful.
However rough your first draft may be, the most important thing is getting started. Almost any draft can be refined with the help of a friend or colleague who can serve as an editor.
Topic Inspiration: News and Trends
Trends can be a good source of topic ideas. Blogs help readers stay plugged into the news and popular culture, and showcasing “new news” is always good post fodder. “New” can include a new wrinkle, a fresh dilemma or a new consequence. Consequences are compelling because readers certainly want to know about business risk. Suspense is also useful, and the potential impact of major industry events sparks reader interest, as do teasers like “Have you heard?”
Polarizing opinions garner attention, too. Statements like “I love this” or “I hate this!” serve to draw readers in. These approaches deliver a genuine element of sharing and camaraderie through storytelling.
Strawman positions also help with content creation. Exploring current issues allows for creative freedom in writing, and it can be highly engaging for readers – particularly if one writes with conviction and candor.
For blogs, short sentences are acceptable, and paragraphs can be as few as 50 words. Brief ideas can be examined in about 600 words, while other topics may require 1,000 or more words to cover. Quick, 500-word “hits” can Increase post count and will save time because they’re quickly written. Additional credibility (and length) can be built into longer pieces by quoting various media sources, which can include experts or clients.
Bloggers should be clear on their writing strategy and the position for which they’re advocating. Remember to take the reader on a journey, through clear beginning and end points.
Summarizing those points and offering clear takeaways help to achieve a powerful closing. What’s more, future predictions or recapping “lessons learned” can also be good closers – as are expressing hope for better days or hoping that the “thing you hated” will someday change. Also compelling is admitting that you “had a confession to make” and that you “feel better now.” Closing by referencing your opening statement is always a neat way to wrap things up.
Even though blogging can be challenging, getting started is the key. And employing these techniques can and will make it easier. Demand for content is never-ending, so adopting some best practices will put you on a path to reliable content creation – and less stress as you move on to the “next thing.”