Blogging Best Practices – Writing an Interesting Blog – Part 3

Abstract of my Pluralsight Course Building a Successful Blog Module – Writing an Interesting Blog.

Getting Started

Is writing an interesting blog so simple that I can just TELL you how to do it right now?  Almost!  I’m sure you started your blog because you had something you felt you had to write about.  But now you’ve created the site and are staring at a blank page that represents all the millions of different directions you can go with this new idea.  Just remember as you write – if you wanted to write about it, there are certainly a few people who want to read it.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Write what you would want to read.  You started this blog because you probably felt that there was something more you could personally add the subject, or that wasn’t being addressed.  There is surely a subject that gets you really hot under the collar (in a good way or a bad way).  This will always make an exciting blog post.  It’s something you wanted to read about and couldn’t find – so write about that!

Create a picture in your mind of who you think is reading your blog – or who you’re like to read your blog.  You can even come up with a cast of characters who you think would be interested.  Each one will be different and have different interests – and then you can write posts to these imaginary readers.  The larger the cast, the more ideas who will be able to generate.

Writing an Interesting Post

Some of the best orators start out with a story, and then link back to the original topic in a unique or interesting way.  This captures the audience’s attention at the very beginning, and then they are along for the whole ride.  Here is how to capture this same magic in your blog posts.

Ask a question at the very beginning.  Here is an example: how can you write the most amazing blog post of all time?  Well, this question certainly is leading the readers to think they are about to find out!  Don’t overuse this technique, it can seem hackneyed and old, but used in the right context it can be very effective.

Here are two tricks of many I discuss in my course.

Start with action – A lone blogger, in front of a flickering computer screen, with an unknown fate – to prevail in the face of writing a blog post, or to crumble under the pressure.  This is obviously a little bit too melodramatic for an average blog post, but you get the idea.

Paint a Picture – I don’t mean literally, of course.  But if you can paint a picture with words: the dark night sky was sprinkled with tiny stars, but I knew I could see dawn on the dusky horizon.  Very soon, my blog post would be due.  Long descriptions may not work for the average technical blog, but there are certainly ways to work them in.

If you are really stuck and are staring at a blank screen because you can’t think of a catchy intro, just start writing and worry about it later.  You can even write your last paragraph, and work backwards from there.  Eventually you will get into the swing of writing and the introduction will come naturally.

Make Your Blog Scannable

A scannable blog is a readable blog.  It does not mean that readers will stop by, scan for 15 seconds and leave – it means that readers will stop by, scan for 15 seconds, easily find a topic of interest, and stay – maybe becoming permanent readers!  You have to remember – people tend to read blogs in-between doing other things.  Blogs have to be quick and easy to read so that they can get back to work, minding their children, or cooking dinner.  Having an easily scannable blog will make your blog more likely to become a popular stopping place for readers.  So what makes a blog scannable? Well, that is the secret I talk about in my course.

In my course on Pluralsight, I also include information about writing a post from beginning to end, and overcoming the biggest of all bloggers fears: blogger’s block.

If you’re still curious about blogs and blogging, check out my course on Pluralsight!

Reference:  Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

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