Top tips for writing a blog
I’ve always wanted to know what’s the best way to approach writing a blog.
Luckily for me, I attended a wonderful and inspiring Women in Tech event in Nottingham, where guest speakers Naomi Pentrel and Victoria Bate provided insights into the what’s, how’s, and why’s of writing a blog post, along with their personal journey into tech via The School of Code Boot Camp.
Top tips for writing a blog
I wanted to share some of Natalie’s key learnings to benefit anyone who is just like me; who doesn’t know where to start and is unsure how to write a blog post effectively, or is a little nervous about writing a blog and thinks ‘who is going to listen to little old me anyway?’.
The good news is Natalie definitely reassured me, so I’m here to pass on her words of wisdom!
Choose the best writing device and environment for you
When it comes to choosing a device to write your blog, it’s entirely up to you. It could be a laptop, phone, tablet or iPad – it’s your choice. Write wherever and however, you feel most comfortable.
Natalie also expressed that the environment in which you choose to start writing a blog is very important, so find somewhere where there are limited distractions and you feel relaxed.
Decide your topic/area of conversation
This could be anything that’s of interest to you or anything you want to learn more about. Alternatively, it could be something that people are always asking you for advice on or something that a ‘younger you’ would have loved to know more about.
Establish your target audience
You need to know who you are writing a blog for – is it someone who knows nothing about your topic, or someone who has only established the basics? Maybe they already have a good understanding.
When you establish your target audience, your style of writing alters, as does the tone of your blog. For instance, if you’re writing for a beginner you will need to be far more descriptive.
Never start with a blank page
In the moment, it’s likely you will panic and think ‘I can’t do this – how am I going to get from this blank page to an engaging blog post that people want to read?’. Forget the blank page and instead, start researching.
Discover as much information on your topic area as you can. Make copy and paste your best friend and compile all your findings into one document.
Generate a clear structure
Devise your research into sections – this could be in the form of bullet points with clear headings.
Decide on your tone of voice
This simply means deciding if you are writing a blog formally or informally. If informally, don’t be afraid to insert emojis, images and GIFs if you like them. Your blog post is your piece of expression, so make it entirely your own.
Now you are ready to start writing, it shouldn’t feel quite as scary as you initially thought. Simply turn your notes into a story; a narrative that a reader can understand and connect with – you’ve got all your content right in front of you.
Yes, the introduction is always the hardest part! It’s often the section of writing we all dread and is exactly where we should turn research and facts into an illiterate piece of work. So where do you begin?
- State what the blog post is about and the aspects you are going to cover throughout
- Set out your target audience, who is this blog post for?
Optimise your blog content
Push the boundaries of your blog post, shy away from endless amounts of long-winded paragraphs. Add personality and character – by doing this your blog post will become far more exciting and engaging. Here are some suggestions you could try:
- Incorporate social media sharing buttons
- Include an interesting image, one which conveys what the blog post is about. They’re great for breaking up text as well as helping to explain your content
- Have an attention-grabbing title. It could be direct, sensational, potentially controversial, create urgency, simplistic or use keywords
- Have good formatting – use bullet points and avoid using too much colour
- Provide actionable content – include steps that are easy to follow
- Make it fun, inject personality and humour wherever suitable
- Choose a legible font
Write a solid conclusion
As previously stated, writing an introduction can be challenging but so can finishing your blog with a solid conclusion. So how do you start when you don’t know how to end?
- Come full circle – summarise your main points
- End on a cliffhanger, perhaps by leaving your readers with an idea in mind, one that could potentially be turned into another post
- Ask your audience for their input, is there something I have missed? What are your thoughts?
- Project to a future post that you are yet to write – keep your readers engaged
- End on an inspirational note – give your readers something to think about
How to get your blog post out there
Here you have two options, either create your own blog and share your content across all your social media accounts. Or, why not join an online community where you can share your thoughts or ideas to a different type of audience who may already be involved with your subject?
My biggest takeaway from the event is that writing a blog is for anyone, anywhere, at any time! There’s always going to be someone who listens – so, what have you got to lose? Get creative, start writing and enjoy it.
For more information about blogs and creating content, please get in touch with our specialist content team who are more than happy to chat.