The hardest part of writing a blog post for me is the first sentence. You need to draw someone in and convince them to stay. And if you don’t do that, the rest of the post doesn’t matter.
So how do I do it? How did I find that sweet spot between interesting but vague enough that the content of the whole post isn’t given away in a second?
I ask myself a few questions about what my post is about.
Here are those questions for you.
Question 1: What am I trying to say?
If you don’t know the message of your post, you’re not going to get anywhere. Why? Because anyone reading it isn’t going to know where you’re going either. Unless you have a clear idea of what you’re saying, you’ll never get a good message across.
One thing that helps me to find what I’m trying to say is a title or one sentence that sums it up. For instance: “Walking Every Day for 100 Days: What I Learned”. That’s pretty straight forward. I knew what the point is: talking about what I learned from walking every day for 100 days. With that title in hand, the rest of the post isn’t as hard to come up with because I know the message.
Question 2: What impression do I want to give?
This is going to affect how you write your post. Everyone has a certain style. Are you going to keep with your normal style or go in a new direction? Or even, if you have several styles you write under, which one would work best with this topic?
Whenever I am writing a post in my category “The Church Collection”, I make sure the style is more poetic, introspective, and flowery. I use vaguer terms or more emotionally based posts. My Achieving category, however, tends to be more straightforward and flat out.
Both of these styles are elements of my personality and two different ways I communicate with people in real life. Consider what impressions you can give with how you speak naturally, and bring that out.
Question 3: What’s my hardest part?
Write that first. Try to work out the difficult bit, whatever it may be. Once you mount that hurdle, it gets easier to figure out what the rest of your post is going to be.
The hardest part for me tends to be the beginning and the end of writing a blog post. I get these ideas for content, and I know how to communicate it and even write a title to bring you in. But the second part of that is convincing you to stick around for the rest of the content. So my goal is to get the beginning and end of my post before anything else.
Question 4: What comes naturally?
What style makes sense for the content of your post? How would you say this if you were talking to your best friend? Your mom? Your boss? Consider what makes the most sense and use that when you’re writing.
When I sit down to write a post in my travel category, I know my audience is going to be people with wanderlust. So the feeling I want to give is the feeling I get when I finally visit those places that I’ve been dying for in my heart. That’s very different from how I want to wake people up to being smart with my achieving category. Which is different from my filmmaking category that’s a jumble of my styles (half the time I don’t know how I write those posts in there).
And then those posts that just go in more than one category, well… they’re an interesting bunch. There are exceptions to every rule, so don’t let your category stereotypes hold you back. Bend those rules when you need to.
How do I want readers to come away from this?
Similar to what impression do you want to give. What thoughts do you want your reader to be thinking when they’re done reading your post? What kind of questions will you have answered? What topic have you brought up that they’ve never thought of before? Are they happy? Angry? Excited? Nervous?
Your post creates an emotion. Make sure it’s the right one.
Writing a blog post is a great thing to do. You never know who you could reach with your words. You never know who you can encourage and what you can share about with the world. You never know until you post. So I reccomend you do just that.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you a few ideas on how to come up with content for writing a blog post.