Jesse Cravens

Building Modern Web Applications and Teams that Deliver

Effective Blogging: An 11-step Guide for Writing Quick, Powerful Blogposts

I have struggled with blogging long enough. Creating consistent, meaningful content can be a great challenge. For me it isn’t the actual content. I have plenty of ideas, plenty of inspiration. For me, it is the absence of a quick, organized delivery. In an effort to streamline my delivery process, I have created an 11-step guide to aid in getting my ideas from my head and onto my blog.

For those that do create content often on their website, consider this an opportunity for improvement, or to participate in a conversation. For me, I hope this guide will result in the continued evolution of the effectiveness and efficiency of my own writing. I’d like to share:

Steps 1-5 : Get into the mindset for writing the post. Steps 6-11: Guide the Writing Process

  1. Know your audience! Duh! But… we often forget, or get caught up in the ego driven importance of our great ideas; We forget to consider whether or not our audience cares.

An interesting byproduct of the blogging phenomenon is the many different flavors of blogs. Search your sector and discover how others are using blogging technologies, but in your evaluation of your colleagues and competitors blogs, don’t lose your desire to innovate and be different:

If you are a realtor, search for effective real estate blogging:

If you’re running for political office, take a look at Howard Dean’s – whether you agree with his political stance or not, there is a lot to be learned from his progressive use of blogging in the campaigning process.

If you are a doctor – check out: Joseph Mercola, medical director of a 50-employee practice in Schaumburg, IL:

If you’re an educator search edublogging and take look at David Warlick.

If you are a musician or artist, more often than not the quirkier the better…just be yourself. People love authenticity…more on that later.

  1. Think bell curve. Shoot for the largest sector of your potential readers. There will always be those that don’t get it, or have heard everything you have to say before. Don’t concern yourself with the outer fringes of the bell curve.

  2. Organize and Dedicate the time to do it right. Find or create a guide such as this one that suits your individual writing style. Or begin here, and adapt this guide to meet your needs. Make the commitment to follow your guide, and develop a unique, personal style.

  3. Think Title Summary. Make your title a summary of the content in the blogpost. This will not only catch the attention of readers and help search engines find your content, but also increase your chances of readers sticking around. In other words, your readers will know what they are getting into ahead of time.

  4. Quality and Authenticity: Don’t get caught up in making your posts perfect. There is a fine line between attention to quality and obsession over perfection. I once heard Robert Earl Keen Jr. say something along the lines of…. “just kick out albums – don’t put too much thought into it or the collection of songs will never be finished.” …and to take it even further…an unrefined style can enhance your attractiveness. Many people have grown weary and untrusting of refined, corporate-style messages and products. They are searching frantically for authenticity. To continue this music industry example – think Jackson Browne vs. Milly Vanilly.

  5. Short but Sweet: Make your post as long as it needs to be. Be short and to the point, but make your content rich. How do you make a blogpost content rich?

-Aggregate content -Create lists -Create hyperlinks to other bloggers that add something extra to your content.

For example: Here is other content related this topic:

Top 7 tips to write an effective business blog 10 Tips for Becoming a Great Corporate Blogger 6 Time Management Tips for Bloggers

This could be another bullet, but I felt it important to say…..Never, ever be afraid to give another blogger credit, or point someone to someone else’s blog (including your competitors). It’s about sharing information, not hoarding it or attempting to be the center of the blogosphere. That mentality is so 20th Century.

This type of content creation makes your readers lives easier and saves them time. If you do that often enough, they will come back for more. I know I do.

  1. Provoke Thought: Provide thought provoking content: Make your readers think. You won’t reach them all. (Take this post for instance, there will be people that have heard it all before.)

  2. Educate: Use common everyday language, but don’t talk down to your readers. Create learning opportunities. So if you are going to use a word like hyperpedagogy, give your readers a hyperlink. In doing so, you make your readers smarter. Everyone likes to get smarter.

  3. Use Beauty, Creativity, and Humor: Borrow from poetry, prose, and other more elegant forms of writing. Separate yourself by making it interestingly interesting: use metaphors, use anecdotes, use alliteration. For example I am writing a piece on the virtual marketplace entitled ‘Stopping to Smell the Synthetic Roses’.

By doing so, we transform an industrial medium such as black and white text in a browser to a medium that reminds our readers of time when words were written with a pen. We fill the weblog with life; We provide doses of humanity that our readers can relate to, and that many yearn for.

This idea of creativity and humor is genre, industry, topic specific. A blog that relates to Xtreme Sports and Ska/Punk/Rap Fusion might want to incorporate a heavy dose of lyrical creativity, yet shy from away from the romantic, transcendental humanity hoopla. Again, just know your audience.

**also keep in mind …the title of the previously mentioned blog post might be titled along the lines of ‘An Argument for Exploring the Virtual Marketplace: Stopping to Smell the Synthetic Roses.’ Don’t forget your friendly search engines, take your title and optimize it.

  1. Provide More than Value: Provide more than value for your reader; Ambitiously aspire to provide more than is expected in every post. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver.

  2. Create a conversation. Think Cluetrain. Always end with a statement encouraging feedback such as this….

If anyone has anything to add – I’d love to hear from you