Blog Post Blueprint – my writing process

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This is my blog post blueprint. I use it as a checklist to help gather information then write, and format my blog posts. I include only what the reader needs to know, then I format the post for easy scanning. If I use images, I make sure they’re relevant to the message I’m trying to convey.

Choosing a topic

Your first step is to choose a topic to write about, and to make sure your ideal customer is actively searching Google for this topic. There’s no point writing an article or blog post that nobody is going to read. SEO keyword research is a good way to find popular topics.

Blog post blueprint guide for small Bradford businesses.
In your blog post blueprint, only include the information your reader needs to know.

Build a data dump

Learn all you can about your chosen topic. Use Google, books or talk to people who know your topic well. Gather more information than you will need. I gather at least five times the amount of information I will eventually include in my articles.

Digest the information

Read the information in your data dump several times to fix it in your memory. You want to teach other people about your topic, so you need to understand it fully.

Need to know information

From all the information you gathered in your data dump, what stands out as information your reader needs to know? Make sure you only include the need to know information in your blog post blueprint.

Your data dump will contain a lot of extra information that your readers might like to know, and information that you would like to tell them about. But you must be ruthless and only include information that your reader needs to know. The more nonessential information you add to your blog post, the less chance anyone will read your post at all.

So, stick tightly to your point and only include the information readers need to know, and don’t overwhelm them.

Write an overview

This overview will help you fish out the information needed for your blog post. But, the overview is not your blog post, it’s not even a first draft. It’s a way for you to organize the information in your mind and then on screen. It makes sure you include everything your reader needs to know without confusing them by adding unnecessary details.

People skim and only read a fraction of most blog posts, so you must get to the point quickly and be concise.

Write an overview of your introduction

Your introductory paragraphs give the reader the key points of your blog post, so she can tell within a few seconds if this post interests her or not. Your introduction makes sure she understand what the post is about without going into detail. She now knows if she wants to skim down the page or leave.

Write an overview of your blog post

Again, you’re not writing the actual blog post. You’re fishing out the information your reader needs to know. Now, when you write your blog post, you won’t slow the reader down or confuse them by adding unnecessary details. Think of your blog post overview as a very rough first draft that only contains need to know information.

Write an overview of your call to action

At the end of this post should they view another page to get more in-depth information? Should they contact you to enquire about your services?

Tell them what to do next…

  • Contact Me.
  • Sign up for my newsletter.
  • View my portfolio.
  • Go to my blog page.

If you tell them where to go next there’s more chance they’ll stay on your site instead of leaving.

Write the headings

Each heading in your blog post is one piece of the information readers need to know about your topic. Writing the overview made you think about what information your reader needs to know. Now list the important points. Don’t include things readers might also be interested in, or related things you’d like to talk about. Only include information the reader needs to know to grasp what your post is about and understand the point you’re making.

The headlines alone must tell the whole story

Make sure “an idiot in a hurry” will get the main points of your message from the headlines alone. Most people scan the page looking for useful information. If you organize the information well, and label it clearly, they might decide it’s worth reading.

Headlines are beacons

After their initial scan of your page the reader might want to return to a topic that interests them. Clear headlines enable readers to find the specific information they need.

Reorder and organize the headlines

I write my list of headlines as an unordered bullet list in Microsoft Word. I then use the hot key combination Alt + Shift + up/down arrow, to reorder the headlines into the hierarchy I need them. It makes this easier because my list of headlines is a list of the information the reader needs to know to grasp and understand what my blog post is about. Good job you’ve got this blog post blueprint, or things could get complicated 🙂

Writing the main blog post text

What I want to say in my blog post is now clear in my mind. Each headline introduces one chunk of information that my reader needs to know. The paragraphs of text below each headline explains, reinforces, and proves the truth of the statement I made in the headline.

I use simple words while keeping sentences and paragraphs short. But I avoid making every paragraph or sentence the same length. This prevents every paragraph looking the same.

I use lists to make important, need to know information, easy for people scanning the page to spot.

Images must be relevant to the topic of the blog post

Web pages are becoming more and more visual every day. But you must take great care when choosing the images for your blog posts.

  • A relevant image will help the reader to grasp your message.
  • An irrelevant image will slow the reader down.

When a reader encounters an image that is not relevant to the surrounding text, she stops and tries to work out why you included that image, in that place. Just for a moment she’s confused. This slows down her progress, and on an unconscious level it might even annoy her. So, make sure every image you use helps to explain the point you’re making. You can place a caption below your image to make the purpose of the image even clearer.

How to make your message clear.

First write a stripped-down version of your page that gets your message across clearly and simply.

Make your first draft short, clear, and simple

Decide what each headline and paragraph must say. Write so few words that you can clearly see the page’s message and formatting. This is important. Because once you start to “flesh it out” by writing the copy, you will no longer see your message, or the structure of your page, so clearly.

Your goal is to make your message clear and easy to understand. You need to write each headline, paragraph, and sentence, simply. This will make your message clear.

Do not write the copy until you have a clear well-structured message

When you’ve reduced your message into its shortest, simplest, and most easy-to-understand form. You can convert that text into your web page copy.

So far you have a clear message in plain English. Your message includes stripped down versions of your headlines, paragraphs, and sentences. But your copy looks a bit clumsy or wooden.

Now you know what to say you can start writing

Next, rewrite that clear message, making it more enjoyable to read without losing the clarity.

Don’t overdo the writing, you’re not Shakespeare.

As you flesh out your copy, you must keep the clarity. Because the clarity of your message matters more than the quality of your writing.

It’s like note taking in reverse

When you take notes you start with a lot of text and fish out the important parts. When you write, you start with the important parts and embellish them.

The big takeaway from this article

Make sure your message is clear, easy to understand, and enjoyable to read.

PS. one extra tip.

Sometimes I organize my page like this…

  1. I read and digest my data dump.
  2. Fish out the points I want to include in my article.
  3. Make each of these points into an individual sentence.
  4. Group those individual sentences together into page sections or topics.
  5. Use joining words to convert the individual sentences into full paragraphs.
  6. Make a headline to place above each section or topic.

The article or blog post has now written itself.

Read more useful articles like this in my blog...