We’ve all been in this situation before. That moment you have a great thought or discover something new, then your mind starts racing, and you think to yourself “I need to tell other people about this.” As creative people and builders we find ourselves in this situation often as we pursue bigger and better work in our daily lives.
The problem is that we rarely act on that urge. Some of us aren’t naturally gifted writers that can whip up an interesting and inspiring 500 word essay to share with our peers and followers. We’re also busy people, so when we think about work related topics outside of work, we become disinterested.
The goal of this post will be to motivate and guide you through taking a very simple thought and expanding it into a fully written piece.
I will preface this by saying you do not need to do these steps all at once, but you should do them in order.
Step 1: Identify Your Topic
Every blog post starts from humble beginnings. At some point you have a question that needs to be answered or a solution that pops into your head. These are both situations that can be potentially valuable to your future readers.
- Write down your topic (easy right?)
Step 2: Identify Your End Goal
You’ve successfully figured out what you are going to start writing about. Any good blog post will have an educational or motivational aspect to it. This is the end goal. Are you providing a solution to a problem or are you motivating others to accomplish a goal as an open ended piece?
- Write down your end goal
Congratulations! You just created the foundation for the introduction and conclusion paragraphs of your post. Feel free to take a break. Go for a walk. Have a frosty beverage (of any kind).
When you’re ready, continue on…
Step 3: Write/Share Statements
So where do you start to fill in the middle of this blog post then? Well, most people give up here. They look at tackling this as one big gigantic task. Nobody likes to be presented a large vague task and trying to tackle it all at once.
It’s time to break this down into smaller tasks. Since you’ve already identified the topic (introduction) and the end goal (conclusion), you can start thinking about the main points that go into taking the reader from point A to point B.
This is no different than real life information processing. You do this on a daily basis. Let’s just identify how to utilize it. Everyone has a different preference in how they share opinions with the world. Start paying attention to these tidbits that you are putting out in front of the public regarding your topic. Continuing to share small tidbits of information across a variety of platforms will help you identify your points and start to preview your opinions with your potential audience. You can also simply write these in a notebook or online document privately. The main goal is to just start collecting one sentence briefs on ways to achieve your end goal within your post.
- Write Twitter Statuses: Great for making you stay brief
- Write Facebook Page Statuses: Remember to keep them brief (like Twitter)
- Write in your Notebook/Document: One sentence notes.
This step may even expand your thoughts on the subject. Exposing your brief thoughts to the public will solicit some responses and potentially add value to your piece. You’re allowed to accomplish this step over time.
Hopefully you’ve taken a break at this point and let your thoughts sit out in the open to breathe. This hasn’t been so bad so far right?
Step 4: Organize Your Statements
So now we’ve got what looks like a blog post skeleton. A starting line, a bunch of bullet point lines, and an end goal line. That’s good!
Time to make sure they make sense. Before you really dig into the writing aspect of this process, make sure the foundation is solid. This shouldn’t be too hard for you to figure out.
- Prioritize your points
- If necessary, put them in sequential order
Step 5: Build Paragraphs with Meaning
Organizing your bullet points wasn’t the worst. It likely didn’t even take you that long.
Now you need to fill in the blanks. This step is where you take simple, sometimes disjointed, thoughts and connect them using supportive text around each one. This is where the scary paragraph construction comes into play.
So, again, tackle this piece by piece. One bullet point at a time, start adding meaning to that part of your blog post. I suggest doing this in order, starting with the introduction. Starting with the introduction will hopefully motivate and inspire you as it should the reader. Then, continue bullet point by bullet point and add supportive text to fill in the gaps between thoughts.
- Introduce each bullet point’s thought (Why are you talking about this point)
- Rework your bullet point into a supportive sentence
- Expand from that thought to conclude it or open the next discussion
This will obviously take time. Treat these as mini blog milestones and just work through them as you have time.
Step 6: Read / Edit the Post as a Whole
Guess what? It probably looks like you have a full blog post now right… right? Well, pump the brakes. To this point you’ve been working on a granular level. It’s time to see what actually happened. Take this time to read the post from start to finish. Make sure your paragraphs connect and flow. You don’t have to reinvent your thoughts here, just make sure the reader stays in tune with what you’ve written from point to point as they reach the end goal.
- Read the post from start to finish
Step 7: Find the Fun Stuff
You may be interested in adding some more character to your post. Most bloggers use images and videos to support their points and break up the textual content.
Is this a case study or an article with related photography that shows what you are talking about? Do you think cat photos help illustrate your points? Maybe an inspirational nature photo? Whatever the case, dig up some resources (and not the source if you need to credit someone).
- Gather image or photo resources
Step 8: Share with a Friend
Any good writer has an editor look over their work. You can use a friend or coworker as a second opinion. Ask them to look over wording, spelling, and general thoughts on the flow of the piece. It will help you feel confident in what you are about to publish to the world.
- Have a friend read through and give you their thoughts on the post as a whole
- Make revisions if needed
Step 9: PUBLISH!
Congratulations! You’ve come a long way. This may have taken you days, weeks, possibly months. It doesn’t matter, you finished it.
- Post your blog on whatever site / platform you are using for content
Step 10: Share
You may be worried that nobody will read this blog post. Well, do something about it. Use the resources at your fingertips to push the link out to your peers. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all great places to start. If you have a networking group you can email the link to that would work as well.
I’ll leave you with some parting thoughts.
I’ve often heard from others (and myself) that they feel nobody wants to hear about what they have to say. That’s ridiculous. For every person that already knows what you know there are millions that don’t. If you reach one person that benefits from your post, you’ve done good.
You have the time for this, remember you can do it over a long period of mini-sessions. This isn’t some daunting task.
You are a good writer, take it slow and you’ll be fine.
Get to it!