October 17, 2022

Blog Writing Overview for Beginners

The approach
Keep an idea list.

When inspiration for a post strikes, scribble it down in a notebook or use a Smartphone App, such as Evernote or Awesomenote. Think with your camera and attach the photos to the note. You can also cut and paste from the web, attach urls for future and quick reference.

Keep folders with themes, this works best on your smartphone. Evernote and Awesomenote offer folders.

Keep your target audience in mind. What would interest them? What new thing did you think up in your day that you’d like to share? Use your anecdotes.

For many bloggers and content creators, finding the topic to write about takes up half the time. Keeping an idea list lets you leap into a new post quickly when you’re ready to write.           

Brainstorm Blog content ideas

Use a mind-mapping software or be oldschool and use paper and pen. Personally, I do all my brainstorming on my livingroom window with chalkboard markers. That way, I can erase and move things around as I think.                                                

Choose your top 3 blog ideas

You’ve probably got twice as many ideas as you need at this point, so it’s time to be brutal. Save the rest of your topics for future reference                                               

Create a bullet list of supporting ideas.

Assess each idea with its list and determine the strongest overall idea you have. Choose that topic for your article.

Come back later

If you find that you’re stuck, don’t try to force the words to come. Save the article and work on something else for awhile. If inspiration strikes, open up that document again. You can even switch from one blog post to another, spending a few minutes on each as ideas comes to you. It’s a huge time-saver.                                               

Never save a good idea, there are no “ta-da” moments

It’s tempting, when you look through your list of ideas, to save the best ones for later because you think they’ll be easier to write.

Don’t blog on mediocre topics.                                                                                              

Types of blog posts:

Most blogs can be categorized in three sections:


We have this thing, we offer this service, we are having this special, we are hosting this event. Goal: provide enough information and a call to action


We are sharing our knowledge/story with you. Goal: create you as an expert / develop trust. Also offer a call to action to encourage comments. 


a great way to position yourself as an authority is to invite other people on for an interview. Interviews can be done over email, or you can get together to ask the questions. An audio / video recorder is a great idea, and take photos. You can turn the making of the blog post into really good social media posts on the fly.

Didactic (your opinion on other people’s work):

We use other people’s articles and provide context. Some kinds of context include: Opinion, “I agree wholeheartedly”, “I completely disagree”; Geography, “this idea needs to be tweaked for a Vancouver audience”, “largely an Eastern philosophical idea, it translate by…”; Time, “this idea that was prevalent during the Great Depression is applicable now because…”; Interdiscipline, [I can’t think of an example]. Remember, by providing a context, you are providing what some people refer to as “added value”. It still positions you as the expert because you are able to analyse someone else’s work. Goal: provides value for your audience, saves time and gives kudos to other experts. Why say something when it’s already been said well?


List of things / places / people you like with external links. They include a brief introduction, each list item links to their website, has a couple of sentences as to why they belong on that list and a photo. 

Guest Bloggers:

Need a break from writing? Invite guest bloggers to write on your blog. Make sure you give them lots of guidelines, if you are looking for something specific before they start. Ask for a draft before deadline to ensure you are getting useable material.

Writing your blog post

Keep your voice congruent with your website/company

Typically, Blog writing is more personal than website and advertising writing. But personal is not necessarily the same as casual. You will want to keep your audience in mind and write to them. If you are running a skate board company, then you will want to use the language of skate boarders, not the language of accountants.


Make sure your ideas flow well. Hopefully the bullet point outline you have already written will automatically organize your flow in a manner that makes sense to the reader. Have your proof reader also comment on the flow of the article, not just for spelling and grammar.

Spelling and grammar

It’s tempting to rely only on built in spell check programmes and this is not a good idea because programs cannot detect wrong words spelled correctly. Have a buddy proofread your work, fresh eyes are best. Another trick is to print your work and read the hard copy version. By changing the medium, our eyes see things differently. Give your writing a rest; do your proofreading with fresh eyes, first thing in the morning or after a break work well.

Framing your work:

Referencing another writer’s work requires framing by the blog writer and allows the writer to keep in touch with the source at appropriate intervals. Some ways of framing include:

  1. Providing contextual relevance to the broader ideas. Example: The current Canadian market fluctuations that Adrian Spitter outlines are  not relevant in the Abbotsford market because…As Spitter mentions…in addition to Spitter’s analysis…
  2. Supporting Point


Citations: giving credit where credit is due

Always attribute. Never be vague about your sources. Be specific and use reputable, unbiased sources. For instance, don’t write, “Reports show the death toll in Darfur at 400,000.” Instead write, “The Associated Press reported the death toll in Darfur at 400,000 in an April 2007 article.”

APA Style uses in-text attribution generally in the form of direct or indirect quotations. Ex:”Revenues are up 10,000 percent,” said CEO John Smith.According to SEC filings, company revenues are up 10,000 percent.

Bibliography tool: http://www.easybib.com/

Photos Captions format is (Publication/Photographer) Ex: (AP Photo/Bill Smith).

If the APA Style interferes with the flow of your voice, then use footnotes to indicate your source.

Blog Content:

First write articles for your reader, not for SEO. You want to give your reader value. Offer them explanation and insight into recent changes and suggestions on how to implement the content into their own lives. Keep in mind the search keywords that are relevant, but don’t write to pack those words in. Those kinds of articles are easy to spot and often not exciting to read. Instead, make sure you are writing clearly, and using the appropriate terminology and the keywords will automatically enter your writing with this approach.

Posting Blogs

Choosing Blog Categories

  • Think of categories as chapters in a book, they are broad topics.
  • Categories are fixed according to the blog, and not to be added by the blogger/poster, however assigning a category, or categories, to a post is done by the blogger/poster.
  • It is okay for one article to be placed in more than one category when appropriate, but if the category lists are not distinguishable between each other, that is frustrating for the viewer and can indicate that certain categories are redundant.

Choosing Blog Tags

  • Think of tags as the index of a book. 
  • Tags should be somewhat unified, but they should be also be flexible to indicate specific topics and interests, specific key words and names within the post. This helps to attract readers who are not directly interested in the overall subject, but perhaps drawn to that particular article via a random tag, like “Surrey”.
  • Tags should be actual words from the article, because Google reconciles the tags with the content of the blog article. After blog post is written, scan the document for key words and use those as tags.

Proofread your blog post

  • If you don’t have a second pair of eyes to catch your errors, throw your work into Word. Do not throw Word into your Blog editor because the formatting will also be copied into the blog post and that will make for inconsistent blog formatting throughout. 
  • Offer swapping proofreading with a colleague. 
  • Print your article out on paper
  • Read your article aloud.
  • Leave a space between writing and posting for a fresh last check. 

Titles: Should be short and catchy. Hopefully with keywords, but don’t get too hung up on this point. 

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