Online content isn’t limited to blogging. Podcasters create great audio content. Video makes sense for others. Photography and other digital art are also options. But no matter what kind of content you create, you can support your work with a blog.
The problem is, blogging is all about written content, and for people who don’t like to write, the prospect of starting a blog can be scarey. The good news is that blog posts don’t have to be long, drawn-out posts like those I normally write here on the BlogWorld blog. If you hate writing, there’s no need to publish 1000-word pieces several times a week. Instead, focus on the following three steps; your blog posts will better support your other content and take less time to write so you can spend more time on the content you actually like to create.
Step One: Identify Your Goal
Before you start writing (or staring at a blank screen wondering what to write), take a moment to identify a broad goal for the post you’re about to publish. Blog posts usually fall into one of three categories:
- Education – the post is teaching people how to do something
- Entertainment – the post is an interesting way to help readers pass the time
- Inspiration – the post is motivating people to do something
If you typically create another kind of content, most of your blog posts will probably be inspirational (motivating people to check out your other content) or educational (supporting your other content with written guides/tutorials/etc.). Save the entertainment (humor, opinion pieces, etc.) for the kind of content you actually like creating, since that’s where your true passion will shine through.
Blog posts can be both educational and inspirational, and if well-written, they should also be a little entertaining (at least to the point where they are interesting and not boring). But figure out the most important goal of the post you’re about to write. Every paragraph should help you achieve that goal.
Step Two: Create a Basic Outline and Fill in the Blanks
Once you’ve determined whether you’re writing an educational, entertaining, or inspirational post, it’s time to start writing. You may have learned this in high school (if you were an uber-nerd like me and paid attention in English class), but as a refresher: you can easily organize thoughts by using the following outline:
- An opening paragraph explaining what the post will be about
- Three to five paragraphs, each explaining one point about your topic
- A closing paragraph similar to the opening one, summarizing what the post was about
For bloggers, a better way to think about this is:
- A paragraph explaining why the reader needs to know the following information or what inspired you to write it.
- Three to five paragraphs under bullet points or subheadings
- A call to action (what the reader should do next if they liked your content)
Of course, posts don’t have to fall into this rigid outline, but if you don’t like writing, starting with this outline makes things a little easier. Write out a sentence describing your main topic, the points you want to cover in your post, and a call to action (sign up for my mailing list, subscribe to my blog, check out other content, buy my product, whatever). Then, simply go back and fill in the blanks by fleshing out your ideas.
Step Three: Add a Personal Story or Details
Once you have the basic post written, make it even better by adding some personality, either through a personal story or some personal details. This doesn’t have to mean that you write 500 words about your cat (though you can if Mr. Whiskers is relevant to the topic you’re covering). It just means that you make the post a little less sterile. For example, I added the detail about being a huge nerd in high school to this post (see above). You can also add longer stories about why the post was important for you to write, given behind-the-scenes details about whatever you’re promoting, or even crack a joke. Those extra details will definitely take your content to the next level.
Want even more post writing help? Definitely check out the content creation track at BlogWorld & New Media Expo this June in New York. Our speakers will be presenting sessions like “10 Professional Writing Secrets to Create Killer Content, “50 Content Creation Ideas: You will Never Suffer from Bloggers Block Again!” and more.