I spent a couple of hours today with a new blogger, Sally Todd (check out her entries for the #30dayblog challenge), discussing everything from blog layouts to how to write a blog post. The latter is something that often comes up when talking about blogging, particularly by those completely intimidated by how to get started.

If I’m honest, I don’t think there’s ‘one way’ to write a blog post. Everyone works in different ways, so I think it’s more to do with getting the basic approach and structure right, rather than getting everyone on the exact same path.

Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up over the last few years, that should be helpful in getting you started.

Blog Post Inspiration

  • The notepad: Whether it’s an actual notepad, your Filofax (my personal choice) or your iPhone, having something to make a note of that amazing idea you’ve had will save you kicking yourself later that evening when you can’t remember your little spark of genius.
  • The scheduled spreadsheet: I discussed this recently on a guest post on PLR Internet Marketing, but having a blogging spreadsheet is something I was told about a couple of years ago, and it’s invaluable. I fill it with my scheduled blog posts, blog ideas, PR details and any events that are worth covering, and it keeps me organised and ready to blog.

Blog Post Format

  • Some people like to jot down the basic structure (intro, middle, conclusion) before they get started, while others have a conclusion already in their head, so start there. Try out different approaches to see what you’re most comfortable with. Personally I find shorter posts can be done off the cuff, and then tidied up afterwards, whereas a post like this requires me to brain dump everything in a post then write it up as I go.
  • Break up your content with sub headings (Google SEO gold dust too!) to make it as readable as possible for visitors.
  • Finish posts with a question. It’s a prompt for them to leave a comment.

Blog Post Content

  • Embrace lists. Top 10 of this and five of the best of that is great for people to dip in and out of, and often leads to some interesting additions in the comments.
  • Check your spelling. Install a British Dictionary into your browser and run a check before you publish. Also keep an eye out for grammar issues. After The Deadline is great as a final check, but don’t rely on it as it won’t pick up on everything. Read it out loud if that helps.
  • Add a picture. A big block of text can be off putting, so a picture or two breaks it up. I like MorgueFile for credit-free images. You can use Flickr images too, as long as you use one with a creative commons licence and credit it (see bottom of this post for an example of how to credit)
  • Credit other sources if you use them. For instance, if you see a post on another site about a news story and use one of the quotes, it’s good manners to add a credit and link within the post.
So that’s an overview of how to write a blog post. Do you have any tips? Share them in the comments!

Image: photosteve101

This post is the 10th in a series of 30 for the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. See other 30 Day Blogging Challenge posts here.

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