You know what you want to write a blog post about, but figuring out how to organize your writing can be another challenge. Here are five super simple steps to organizing a blog post or article:
1. Create a Catchy Headline
Your readers have no obligation to read your blog post. What could cause them to click on your blog post to interrupt their Facebook or Pinterest scroll sesh while they’re working, going to the bathroom, or just killing time?
Create a headline that will make them stop, but try to avoid exaggerated clickbait. Clickbait headlines can be deceiving (e.g. “The Chocolate Cake that Killed My Husband” or “You WILL Lose 15 Pounds in a Week with This Salad Recipe”).
I love these ideas for effective titles from HubSpot’s blog.
2. Hook the Reader with an Intriguing Intro
You only have a few seconds to get the reader hooked. What can you say? Don’t waste your time on pointless anecdotes or overdrawn explanations. Cut to the chase, but also don’t be boring.
My favorite writing advice of all time is “less is more.” Say what you have to say using descriptive words, but try not to add too much more.
You can find a great example of this in a blog post called “How to Talk to Little Girls.” The post is about the damage that beauty-centered conversations can have on girls. Here’s the intro:
“I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.
Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, ‘Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!’
But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.”
The author, Lisa Bloom, could have jumped right into her post by
3. Share Your Main Points in an Easy to Read Format
This next part is the cheese on your pizza, or whatever part you think is most vital. This is what you’re writing your post for. Make it as easy to read as possible by using pictures, bullet points, and numbered lists to break it up if you can.
You probably have some fans who can’t wait to get a notification about new content on your blog, but there are likely a ton of other people who have never heard of you. These people aren’t dedicated to reading what you have to say. They’ll skim and make it fast, unless your content is intriguing enough to make them want more.
If you’re telling a captivating story, bullet points and numbered lists would be distracting, so this is more appropriate if you are trying to provide helpful information for your audience. Writing how-to or other informational content in a format that is easy to digest will be best for your readers.
4. Close with a Short Conclusion
You’re not writing an essay, so don’t worry about rehashing everything again. Nobody will be grading you on whether you recapped your 8 tips for improving skin or not.
When I’m reading a blog post, I ignore this part most of the time. I got what I wanted out of the main points, and now I’m ready to move on. But still, it’s good to put a conclusion to reiterate the purpose of the post or to wrap up your thoughts about the topic.
5. Extend an Invitation for Comments or Other Communication
I love to see just a few words at the bottom of a blog post inviting readers to share their thoughts on the post or on a social media page. It welcomes communication and helps pull your reader into your community, which is one way to get them to keep coming back.
Keep it simple with phrases like, “Do you have any other ideas? Comment below!” or “Let me know what you think of the recipe! Share your thoughts in the comments.”
If you want to start a blog, but aren’t comfortable with writing, try these steps to get started. And I truly would love to hear any questions or comments you may have. Drop ‘em below!