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.
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.
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
Assess each idea with its list and determine the strongest overall idea you have. Choose that topic for your article.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Titles: Should be short and catchy. Hopefully with keywords, but don’t get too hung up on this point.