30 April 2012

How to write a good blog post

Updated June 2013
Blogging regularly is generally agreed to be good practice: posting every day or every week can help you build a regular cadre of readers, since they know when to come back for more (or check your RSS feed).

Some people also blog because they want to be visible and demonstrate leadership. Creative types, entrepreneurs and freelance professionals typically need to promote their work and ideas, or to foster a community of interest. Their work provides a source of content, but they still need to craft a good story and do that repeatedly.

Others just blog for fun, so there should be no pressure. For example, I tend to blog about things that I find interesting and useful - and only when I get some spare  time - so my posts are sporadic, but I don't feel stressed about trying to maintain my blog. However, even casual bloggers might want to keep their blog up to date, but find themselves distracted or simply running out of inspiration.

So there may be times when you are stumped for something to say. I found a couple of useful articles discussing what to do about this.

Art business coach Alyson Stanfield proposes a formula that might help aspiring bloggers or anyone else wanting to communicate, but unsure where to start. These are her basic tips for creating a post with images:
  • Title: before or after the blog is written.
  • Introduction (how to 'hook' readers and draw them in).
  • Main body text (stay on message).
  • An image for visual appeal (or as a centerpiece of discussion).
  • Conclusion (what happens now?).
If you are a creative type, Alyson is also running a blogging class for artists, called Blog Triage.

Social media trend-spotter Jenn Herman has posted a series of tips for overcoming bloggers' block ("When You Just Don't Want To Write"). She recommends:
  1. Eliminate Distractions
  2. Get Comfortable
  3. Find Your Zone
  4. Just Start Writing
  5. Use Your Emotions
  6. Don’t Procrastinate
If you need more, perhaps you would benefit from a training course on how to write and get inspired. There are plenty of options, many of them free online. For example:
Good luck!