how to write a good blog post: 7 practical steps for modern bloggers

how to write a good blog post: 7 practical steps for modern bloggers

reader comments (30)

  1. nice post. what works for me, whether it is a post or a report or anything longer than one page text, is starting with end in mind (© s. covey) and so called “snowflake method”. i start by outlining the end and then work on the content quite similary to what is described in “setting stakes” part of the post working from general to specific gradually developing the content. i think this is the best method for those who have tendency to ramble and digress (like me). if i had to represent it visually it would be a fishbone diagram rather than a mind map.

    • interesting!

      there’s a lot to be said for using some kind of habitual framework — it makes the writing easier, and it often gives a shape that makes the writing better.

  2. i so dig all of these tips sonia. loving ’em.

    i have learned this; everything flows to you. ideas. seedlings. all flows your way. if you try to stalk ideas, or desperately grab at ideas, these post ideas will flee. because force negates. but if you take a nice walk or pull back for even 5-10 minutes, to chill, and to allow the tension to dissolve, you will let in the idea.

    i wrote and published my 300th guest post on blogging tips today. toss in 300 plus video posts on the huffington post and hundreds other guesties and i have seen how relaxing, slowing down and calming down, user power and not force, can help you become kinda prolific 😉

    ryan

    • wow! 300 guest posts! that’s amazing ryan. by the way, it’s nice to see you out on the web again. you’ve got some great work under your fingers.

    • creativity is a very natural state for the human brain, and i agree, a lot of times when we tighten up or try to make it happen, it likes to run away.

      just like a puppy — if you want to teach it to come, turn and run away — it will start chasing you. 🙂

  3. sonia,

    i absolutely love this post and surprisingly i found that i naturally follow some of these steps. your comparison to a garden fits perfectly.

    some of the things i need to get better at is picking out some of my tangents and adding them to a ‘seedling list’. i also need to spend more time ‘pruning’ my posts.

    most importantly like you said though is to just get out there and start writing. thanks for your awesome advice.

    matt hutson
    bookmattic

    • thanks, matt!

      it takes a little time to develop that habit of “pruning” away what’s not relevant to this piece of content, but when you start to realize how many starts you now have for new pieces, it gets pretty natural. 🙂

  4. i really like the seedling analogy. it makes a lot of sense to create a whole bunch of potential topics, nurture them a little bit and see whether they develop.
    i also like the concept of simply offloading all of your thoughts into the document and then to spend 2-3 times as long pruning, thinning and shaping that article. it makes a lot more sense then sitting there straining over the words and trying to get it perfect from the outset.

  5. i love this process.
    i use morning pages to plan what i need to write during the day. there’s something about pen and paper and free writing that helps me nail ideas.

    when i sit down to write i tend to start with the same phrase every time. it’s never going to be the start of my post but it gets me writing and then i’ll keep going. for example. hello and welcome to this wonderful blog post on…

    i also have ideas when driving, i can’t wait for self-driving cars so i can actually note them down while they are fresh. maybe the car will become my writing space?

    • really cool technique with starting with the same phrase! that one is new to me!

      i did morning pages for quite a few years, these days i just scribble things in my bullet journal without quite such a formal practice. that scribbly time is surprisingly helpful for creative productivity. or maybe by now, i shouldn’t be surprised any more. 🙂

  6. i’m a budding movie blogger and freelance writer.

    i have come to understand that creating great content is a process not some spontaneous event. although, it can be for some.

    i do get ideas and the first thing i do when they come is write them down on evernote.

    then i do my research before drafting content, but this article has just open my eyes to some better techniques on converting my ideas to fantastic content.

    i also believe there are particular periods of the day that we get ideas on what to write.

    for me, it is the few minutes before i go to bed. so, i always keep my phone close, to write them down when they come.

  7. love the idea of seedlings – right now i am looking after my 92 year old mum for a couple of weeks and minding the grandchildren. many seedlings have arisen from those very facts even if i am far too busy to repot them at the moment. that said, posting on my blog keeps the creative juices flowing and i have reused some seedlings from a few years ago for the latest post. i have had different writing spaces over the years. they range from a bedroom when children were small to a barn attached to our house more recently. today i have a desk in the centre of the house as i find i write best when life goes on around me. i would say it is essential to have the ability to ‘zone out’ when necessary though. i did write an entire novel in the garden one summer because the smell of honeysuckle was so inspiring…

  8. i’ve never been good at sitting down at a screen and coming up with great ideas. like u mentioned, i seem to do better going “low-tech” (pencil and paper) for the bones of a post. also, i try to never publish something in the same sitting that i “complete” it, as i always find final improvements after taking a walk. thanks for the post!

  9. sonia

    loved all the tips but my favourite one is about the sub-heads and their importance. they act as the framework/skeleton of your blog post and so important to let the reader scan through the things if he is in a hurry.

    the additional point i learnt from this article is that you mentioned to start from anywhere within these sub-heads. this gives more flexibility. i have always started from the first sub-head and finished on the last. i am going to try your recommendation now to start anywhere and whatever i feel best about to write about.

    thanks again.

  10. since i write from personal experience on my blog, and have only been doing it a few months, i still have a lot of material to write about. deciding what i want to write about next is my biggest problem right now, but i have come up with additional ideas about future posts while discussing things with my partner. it would probably work with other people discussions, he’s just the only human i really ever speak to, since i work from home and am surrounded by 10 cats and dogs. loved the kittens with add analogy! lol i can soooo relate. lol

  11. i get great ideas while showering, driving, running, and researching on the web. i got a scuba diver’s underwater writing slate for the shower, and a digital voice recorder for the car (one button start=much easier.) when i’m running i record on my phone, or i stop and send myself an email. if i don’t get that idea down immediately i might never remember it. researching on the web goes like this: i was reminded of google trends somewhere, i knew about it, but i needed a refresher, so i headed over there, searched for one of my topics (i’m only going to be writing copy about my biggest passions and experience for now) and found out that topic has a huge spike every year on thanksgiving. from this i asked myself who specifically this information could help and how could it help, and used that information as my copy’s basis.

  12. love the analogy! its so straight forward and simple. i know that doesnt mean easy though.. very interesting the talking to yourself part, i’ll try that for my nest blog post!

  13. at the time of writing a post, i get several ideas for my next posts. i use my cell phone to write down those ideas in a note. whenever i want to write a new post, i just go through that note. in this way, i never run short of post ideas.

    however, thanks sonia, for this beautiful post.

  14. thank you for the article. i love step one. i think that stepping away from everything helps to clear the palette, especially when stepping means taking a walk outside, even if it just around the grounds of the office. there’s something inspirational about nature – even the little bits of nature we find in an office complex.

  15. great post, sonia! shared this in my socials, too. love the garden analogy. my writing process is surprisingly like that. i write (seedling) drafts in my wordpress and evernote apps when ideas pop in my head. it can be anything—words, phrases, a line from a book i’ve read, etc.

    i also refer back to it when i need more ideas for future content. you never know when those random thoughts would come in handy. oh, and yes to subheadings—it keeps my content together. it also helps me prune my ideas along the way.

  16. hi sonia,
    your advice on putting down ideas, all kinds of them is perfect! it essentially helps you revisit everything that your brain came up with while you were thinking real hard (you won’t miss profiling a single add kitten that’s scrambled around your mind.) also, yes, pen down everything you like when creating the initial draft of your work. what’s not helpful can always be omitted or reframed if it makes sense to keep it later. all in all, your pointers on how one should go about their writing makes utmost sense. kudos!

  17. creating a successful blog post today is like preparing a recipe for a very tasty food.
    if the cook is gifted, the food prepared for the guests will be extremely appreciated, otherwise the guests will eat from it, but next time they go elsewhere.
    hard work is also a required element in the ‘cooking a good post’ recipe.
    a tasty food aka a good blog post will become popular due to the fact that all people who eat that food or read the post will tell others how good it is, so the name of the cook or the blog post will become viral.

  18. hi sonia,
    the title of the blog is very nice. i like the concept of simply offloading all of your thoughts into the document and then to spend 2-3 times as long pruning, thinning and shaping that article.

  19. i love this post! the idea of having a ton of seedlings is spot on. i do this for my clients as a freelancer and for my own blog. i almost always have an “idea” file open on my computer and i use the notes app on my phone, too. it’s so much easier to write when you can choose from 25+ good ideas instead of having to come up with one on the spot.

    great analogy to soil, water and sunlight, too. this hits is home for me as i love to be outside in our canopy writing (weather permitting, of course). i literally get the sunlight and i am near the soil during my writing.

    distractions are the worst thing in the world for a writer. even a small interruption can throw you off track.

    writing freely is what i am all about. in fact, i write in notepad instead of microsoft word because i find the squiggly lines distracting. this allows me to write without editing at the same time. there’s a reason for the editing process, but it doesn’t belong in the writing process.

    great post sonia. i really enjoyed it!

    • i write in notepad as well. #oldschool

      i’ve also been writing for the web so long that i just add in markup as i go, so instead of using an italics function, i’ll add < em > tags. it actually throws me off when i (it happens occasionally) write something that won’t be displayed in html.

  20. this was super helpful!

    i often find myself frustrated with writing blogposts, so it was great to see how i could approach it in a different way. i will definitely try to go outside on a walk with a piece of paper to get inspired rather than forcing ideas for blogposts at home. thanks for some solid content :-).

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