I’ve written a lot about blogging, even a book How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever. However, the other day my best friend asked me how to write an article for an online publication. I asked what her topic was. She answered she didn’t know and needed help. My initial response was to tell her I couldn’t give her that answer, but as I thought about it I could offer direction to help her find the answer. I could share my blog writing system.
6 Step Blog Writing System
I asked her what topics she’d considered and why. We discussed a few ideas she had and then she asked how she could take it from the idea stage to writing the article. This was getting fun. Here are the steps I shared with her.
When we began talking about ideas she offered several. For this article we narrowed done the ideas by asking the following:
- Does the topic fit the audience?
- Does it solve a problem, answer a question, share humor, or shine a light on the idea?
- Is she knowledgeable on the topic?
- Are there sources she could refer to?
- Does she have personal stories she can share?
- Is she passionate about the topic?
By asking herself these questions, she was able to isolate one topic that fit her best.
Research is the logical next step in the writing process. In the past, I’ve completed research after I’ve begun writing, found information that changed my point of view, and then rewritten what I’d started. So, I’ve found it more efficient to complete research before I began putting pen to paper. I start my research by searching for studies and articles on the topic, which I might quote or link to. Next, I look at what others have written on the subject. Are there points I’ve not considered? I copy links to share, note ideas, and begin to outline my post.
Make a List
In the last paragraph, I used the word outline; a traditional outline isn’t what I do. My next step is more of a list than an outline. For example, in a post, I wrote about the responsibilities of a manager I listed 10 points to write about.
- Make a profit
- Support customer service
- Recruit and hire
- Follow and support procedures and policies
- Hold team accountable
- Continuous training
- Create a positive environment
- Share a vision
I wrote from one sentence to a full paragraph on each point.
At an event a friend took over taking meeting notes from me. He used my laptop and after a few minutes asked me why Spell Check was disabled. I told him because when I write, I don’t want my concentration broken, and editing, including spellcheck, is distracting. I explained I enabled spellcheck when I began editing by not while writing because I wanted the creative juices to flow not to be stopped and started by interruptions that slowed the creative process.
After writing a post, I’ll let it sit for at least 24 hours, usually longer, before I begin the editing process.
- Enable Spell Check
- Read from start to finish
- Read one sentence at a time starting with the last sentence
- Recite it aloud
- Have another person review and edit or use an app such as Grammarly.
Review in WordPress
The last step in my blog process is to place it in WordPress. At that time I proofread and review one more time and use Yoast to check readability and keyword optimization. I’ll review the post one more time before I hit publish, which for me is 60 to 90 days since the piece was placed in WordPress. And you know what? I almost always find mistakes, make improvements, and add or delete copy.
What’s Your System?
That’s my basic system. When you vet ideas, complete research, creatively write, thoroughly edit, and use WordPress to your advantage it’s hard to go wrong. So, what’s your system?
If you enjoyed this post you might also appreciate, Grammar, Your Going to Make Mistakes.