I use a 6-step blog writing system to keep me on track. 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 6-step 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 reference?
- 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. However, I haven’t always used logic. 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 putting pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard. 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.
- Support customer service
- Recruit and hire
- Follow and support procedures and policies
- Hold the team accountable
- Offer continuous training
- Create a positive environment
- Share a vision
- Make a profit
I wrote from one sentence to an entire paragraph on each point.
At an event, a friend took over note-taking from me. He used my laptop and, after a few minutes, asked me why Spell Check was disabled. I told him that I don’t want my concentration broken when I write, 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 and 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 up
- 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 it again 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 two to three weeks after 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.
How Can I Help You?
Let me know if I can offer any help or advice. If this post struck a nerve, you might want to check out my book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever. The book is full of action plans to create a blogging/writing system that works for you.