Tag Archives: blogging best practices

“Just Effing Do It: 8 Steps To Writing Better Blog Posts”

For both new and old bloggers, sometimes the hardest part of blogging is the process of taking an idea and turning it into something others can appreciate.  By breaking each part down into unique actions, a daunting post gets digested into bite-sized pieces.  Today, socialTNT shares our 8 step process for writing better blog posts.

1. Look for inspiration

Most of my ideas come to me while I’m at work–a client asks a question or a brainstorm leads to a new thought.  Also, reading my favorite blogs, their comments or a heated Twitter discussion can get my mental juices flowing.  I’ve even had inspiration hit while I’m at the gym. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so carry a notebook to jot ideas down before you forget.

2. Research Your Topic

Choose anidea and research it on Google, Wikipedia and other blogs.  Spend 20 – 30 minutes filling your head with everything there is to know about the topic so your thoughts can pour out when you start writing. Remember: Research can also spawn ideas for future posts.

3. Take A Break

Grab a snack. Walk around the block.  Give your brain 5 minutes to process what you’ve just learned.

4. Brainstorm Post Ideas

Take 10 -15 minutes and make a list of all everything that comes to mind.  Stay positive and don’t judge the ideas while brainstorming. No idea is too dumb, small, big, etc.  Write it all down.  You never know what may spawn something newer and better.  Keep the list–you never know when you’ll need some ideas.

5. Conduct follow-up research (Optional)

The idea you chose after the brainstorm might need a little more research with some tighter search terms.  Email or call a friend, expert or anyone who can help sort out your thoughts or give you deeper insight.

6. Just Effing Write

Choose an idea and write.  Don’t worry about making it perfect.  If you’re like me, then you’re your worst critic.  I used to kill so many posts before they were written by worrying whether they would be too basic or not eloquent enough.  Some of the posts I’ve worried most about before publishing seem to be the ones that get the most traffic/comments–once they get writtenSo don’t let the fear of failure get in the way of creating something great.  Just effing write it!

7. Proof it.  Clean it up.  Give it to a friend

This is the editing phase.  Now is your chance to be critical.  Read it once for grammar and once for clarity.  You may find that you need to write more or cut back a lot. Don’t fret. No one writes perfect posts each time they sit down.  Just write.  If you start to get too critical, pass it on to a trusted friend for feedback

8. Publish that Bad Boy

Your idea is no longer a child, so set it free.  It will mature as comments and discussion grow around it.  Smile! You just shared an idea with the world. You are a part of history!

What steps do you take to keep your blog in shape? How do you fight writer’s block? Let us know in the comments!

[This post inspired by “A Technique for Producing Ideas” by James Webb Young, the 43 Folders blog by Merlin Mann, and “Getting Things Done” by David Allen]

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[The above photo, “Vieja Maquina de Escribir. / Old Writing Machine.” by Gonzalo Barrientos on Flickr, used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under Blogging

“Fight Noise Pollution: Tips on Blogging Past the Echo Chamber”

\Whether building your personal brand or increasing conversation with your customers, there’s no denying that blogs have become a crucial part of any communications and marketing strategy. But with so many people blogging, sometimes it feels like the echo chamber is nothing but noise pollution. Today, socialTNT shares a few tips on how to establish your voice without adding to the pollution.

  • Every day in our professional lives, we encounter experiences that can be used to help others learn. Write anecdotes of challenges or successes, or share tips and tricks. They’ll help increase your industry’s knowledge, and your readers will appreciate it.
  • Do you have case studies, white papers or reviews you can share? Do it!
  • Holiday coming up? Incorporate your blog’s focus into a post with a seasonal angle.
  • Instead of posting every time you want to share a link, try using Twitter, tumblr, or del.icio.us to create a link log.
  • One of the most revolutionary things about blogging is that it allows readers to participate in the news dialog. Before writing about the news or another blog post, check to make sure you are adding insight or evolving the conversation. It also doesn’t hurt if you are adding your own personal style to the news (for example, instead of covering the Final Four, what about covering how brackets have moved into the social media space, or the way brands are using these brackets to market to consumers).

Blogging is a great tool to share your unique point of view with the world. With so many people writing, you can’t always have original content. You can, however, always have your own style. Be genuine and you’ll always be able to add to the discussion.

What are some tips you can offer other bloggers on how to fight the noise in the echo chamber? Or is it even a problem? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “Megaphone” by Indigo Goat on flickr, is used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under Best Practices, Blogging, How To, Social Media, Uncategorized