Writing a blog post might look simple. And it can be. But if you are just beginning, you may find that it is hard to get started. In this post I will outline a few basic rules for writing a blog post.
While blogging may be relatively new, the basic principles of writing still apply to blogging if you wish to engage your reader’s attention.
Here are a few guidelines from basic writing knowledge that will help you write your posts. Keep in mind that rules can always be broken. This post is meant to help you get started. Don’t let any “rules” keep you from writing passionately about your topic. However, keep in mind that often, these guidelines can encourage you to be more creative and therefore, a better writer.
Two of the most important things are your headline/title and your lead, also spelled lede, which is the beginning sentence or sentences.
Don’t use comical or obscure references in headlines. While this has become popularized, and famous writers/bloggers do this aplenty, it will not help you get readers.
A headline should be simple, plain and straight to the point. What is this post about? Write that down. There’s your headline.
Readers use the headline to determine if they will read a post. Give them a reason to read your post. Don’t confuse them or they just might move on.
Getting started on a post or article is often the hardest part. Keep in mind that you can always edit.
Decide what your post is about. Ask yourself, What is the essence of this post? What do I want to say? What do I want the reader to take away?
Write that down.
You’ll want to ensure that this message is accurately reflected at the beginning of your post. Don’t worry about getting that right when you start to write your post. Write down your thoughts and then go back later if you need to make any changes.
Remember, you can always edit.
The lead is typically one or two sentences. It can be more, as you can see from the lead on this post.
Don’t try to be witty on your first sentence.
Don’t use quotes.This is the sign of an amateur writer.
Don’t use definitions from the dictionary. This is also a sign of an amateur writer.
Don’t use cliches.
These techniques are passive. You want to be direct in your writing. Readers don’t want to guess your message. Instead of trying to intrigue your readers with trickiness, fascinate them with beautiful, honest, passionate writing. Anything can be interesting if written about with passion.
The average person will not read your entire post. Don’t waste your first precious sentence/s trying to be witty. Readers first want to know why they are reading your post. Once settled in to read it, then they can be entertained.
Details Are Important
Once you’ve written a good descriptive sentence or two about the topic of your blog, flesh it out with detail.
“The flower was pretty.”
“The pinkish hue mingled with dew on the flower took my breath away.”
Using Photos to Tie the Words to a Visual
Use photos that go with your post.
For example, if your post is about how to make an enchilada, use a photo of a delicious, enticing, enchilada dripping with cheese and sauce, not a picture of someone cooking.
The post should not be too long, approximately 500-700 words is a good rule of thumb. Although, there are exceptions to this rule, it is a standard average post length.
Make sure you edit your post for grammar, spelling, and poor sentence structure. Ensure that certain things are correct: capitalization, facts, figures, and links. Caption your photo.
Once you’ve written a descriptive and encompassing lead, and proofed your post for the basics, read it aloud. Change anything that you stumble on while reading aloud.
Proofread three times, then publish. Remember it doesn’t need to be perfect. With time, you will find yourself catching your mistakes earlier on and you’ll become a better/quicker writer.