Content writing can be tough, if you’re wondering how to write a blog I will help you. Hopefully you’ve already selected some juicy keywords to base your articles around, now it’s time to create quality content for those keywords.
When I write, I use a 3-stage method when I am developing content for my articles, web pages, e-reports and longer Forum posts.
- The 1st Stage: This is what I call the “scribbling” stage, your sole focus should be on jotting down words and phrases that are relevant to your topic of discussion as fast as you can. This is important because this is where you “prime” your idea pump.
- The 2nd Stage: This is the actual writing of your content.
- The 3rd Stage: This is the final draft of AMAZING content on your website! Ready?
So Let’s Break It Down!
Stage #1 – The Thought Bubble Outline
This is the creative process and the objective of this exercise is to get the ideas rolling without censoring yourself. At this point nothing you write is wrong, nothing you write is stupid, just write. As the ideas storm through your brain, jot them down as quickly as possible.
Something I call the “bubble outline” is a great tool for this task. If you’re just starting to build your site and aren’t quite sure how to write a blog, a bubble outline can assist you in setting the framework for new content articles rather fast.
When article writing and making my own websites, I usually start out by using a white story board for my bubble outline, if you don’t have that a sheet of paper or a word processing file will work too. Begin by drawing a “bubble” in the center of the board/page. If you already have a title for your content in mind, jot it down inside your bubble.
If you have NOT thought of a title yet, what are you waiting for??? Don’t mull over it or stall – use one of your keywords or keyword phrases.
Keep in mind that this is about speed. Getting those ideas out of your head quickly and onto a readable surface. This isn’t the time for pondering, deep reflections and content analysis. As something concerning your subject (anything) jumps into your head, quickly scribble it in your thought bubble. Let loose, Be spontaneous!
Now, from this bubble, draw a line attached to another thought bubble. In your newest bubble, write down another closely related idea to the theme you were scribbling about before. (These bubbles will generate your soon-to-come paragraphs.) Repeat this exercise, as you branch off from the first bubble to the second and the third, so on and so on.
As your outline of thoughts grows, the resulting big picture makes it easier for you to see what “bubbles” needs to be changed, added and/or deleted. In effect, you’re actually building a good content structure for a high-quality and focused article. This type of outline usually sparks other closely-related concepts, and you can note these on the side of the document (or wherever you’d like) for future reference.
When your bubble outline is finished, ball it up and light it on fire. Just kidding! Wanted to make sure you were paying attention! OK, but really, it’s time to put it aside. Go for a quick walk or have a good stretch. Just unravel a bit. After that, select your next keyword you want an article about and follow the same procedure again if you have time.
Take A Break - Do you feel drained and a case of writer’s block? If yes, then stop. Find something else to do to clear your mind and come back for more later. A fresh brain is always more useful for your content creation efforts, especially when you are first learning how to create a blog. You’ll be surprised what a break will do for your creative juices once you’ve returned. The ideas will come!
When I play the role of content writer for my SEO articles, I’ll sometimes put my finished outlines aside for awhile and change my focus by playing video games or reading. BUT, if the ideas are flowing pretty good, I jump right into Stage #2. Do what what works for you, everyone is different and it takes time to learn how to write a blog at your own perfect pace.
Stage #2 – First Draft
Now the REAL content writing begins. There are subtle differences between different kinds of articles (ex., product reviews, how-to’s, SEO content, topical articles), but this method works well with every type.
When I start my the actual content writing, I keep the 5 W’s and 1 H in front of my eyes: What, Why, When, Where, Who and How.
I’ve found that these words are excellent prompts to start with and keep my content writing going, even if I don’t end up using them all in every type of article.
Another method that has worked great for me is the “self-interview.” Want to try it? If so, put your keyword or keyword phrase at the top of the page, and then jot down a list of questions below it, pretend you’re an information seeking reader. List question after question – don’t worry about the answers during this exercise, don’t even think about them.
*How can I create content?
*When do I start creating content?
*Is producing free content better than buying content?
*Why is the presentation of content so important?
*What is web content management?
*How beneficial is it to be able to produce content?
If you find it hard to produce questions, you may be too close to your subject. In this case you should find someone else to ask you a ton of questions. Be sure to write the questions down or tape record them. You’ll want to kick yourself if some really quality questions were asked and you can’t remember them. So it’s better to be safe than sorry, trust me I’ve messed up like that before and my left shin STILL hurts!
Now, after your questions are done, take another sheet and begin answering the questions. I’ll often answer the questions into a tape recorder. (I find this helps with the flow of the article.)
When you’re answering your questions, don’t worry too much about style or grammar, that will get fine-tuned later, just answer the questions effectively.
Got your awesome questions all answered? Yeah? Cool!
OK, so now you can put this first draft aside, and move on to the subject of your next article.
At times, depending on the topic(some are heavier than others), I take a break between article creation. Most of the time though, I push through and continue, I’ll usually get 3 to 6 first drafts accomplished in the same work session. I’ve found that if the topic of my next article is related closely, the ideas usually come to me easier because I stay in the same mindset.
Stage #3 – Final Draft
This is the final stage and where you clean things up within your blog content. Depending on the kind of article you’re writing and how the questions are answered, you may need to write “bridging” sections of content so that it does not come across as a straight interview, if that’s not the article’s goal. Read the content aloud and evaluate it’s overall flow coming off of your tongue. Does it sound natural and fluid? Does the content mesh together well? Make whatever changes are necessary if it doesn’t.
After any adjustments have been made and things are rewritten, again, check your grammar, language and style. I strongly advise that you write in your own unique voice and style, be yourself. That is what shows that you know how to write a blog and it SELLS. Also be sure that as a content writer you are easy to understand and present your thoughts in a manner to effectively communicate and not talk over people’s heads.
It’s very important to keep in mind that a bunch of typos, disjointed paragraphs, and poor grammar will affect your credibility heavily and your pre-selling efforts will be sunk. People will be turned off quickly and won’t bother to continue reading your blog content.
Did you struggle with grammar in school? If so, ask a friend or relative to do a bit of content analysis for you, let them check your work. Or, if you have money for it, or know a professional editor, get your written content edited. He or she can improve your content writing without erasing your unique voice from your content creation.
As you can see, this article is not only about how to write a blog. The best way to create a blog is to get started! It’s about action. Copy my bubble outline tactic to jumpstart ideas in bunches for content. And then provide readers with the quality information they want to find. THAT’S how to create a blog that will draw traffic and help pay the bills!