This is the fifth in a series called How to Brainstorm a Year’s Worth of Blog Topics in Four Hours. You can read the first, second, third and fourth in the series by clicking on this link.
If you think that blog quality is a subjective matter, think again. You can learn how to judge whether the stories you are publishing are good content – ideally brilliant blogs – and you can learn how to write to the highest standard, too.
By “blogs”, I mean well-thought-out, well-written articles of 400 to 750 words on topics that matter to your readers.
“Quality content” is the biggest factor in the success or failure of your content marketing campaign, the research tells us again and again.
Good content is informative and entertaining. Brilliant blogs do more. They make us we feel we must read them right NOW (even though we don’t have time). We feel they are written for us personally. And we trust what we read – they respect our intelligence and give us the whole story (not just the bit that serves the company or person publishing them).
So, sorry to be a hard-ass, but your blog sucks if it lacks:
- a snappy headline that tells readers why they must read it NOW.
- anything to say – you have not decided what you are telling your readers.
- any research to back up what you are saying
- facts presented in an informative and persuasive way
- arguments against what you are saying that are refuted convincingly
- examples and anecdotes to bring your ideas alive
- jargon, acronyms and assumed knowledge (the art of blogging is to inform readers of what they don’t know without making them feel silly)
- longer than it needs to be to get your point across.
- shorter than it should be to convince your readers you are right.
- your first draft.
- spin in disguise
- not about what really matters to your readers.
- not delivering you leads and customers
So how can we start writing brilliant blogs? Here are three essential ways:
- Start with an idea that matters to your readers. Are you answering questions your customers ask you, and giving them information to enrich their lives?
- Do some research. Read books and articles. Search for other articles on your topic – for and against. Do an interview or two.
- Write at least two drafts. No one, including an experienced writer, gets it right in the first draft. Experienced writers know they have to work on a piece of writing to make it really good.
Write a draft quickly and then go back and ask yourself:
- Have you started with a proposition and then proved it through the blog or article?
- Does each paragraph start with an exciting idea?
- Have you taken out all the adverbs, and replaced repeated words as much as possible.
Blog Series: How to brainstorm a year’s worth of blog topics in four hours
This series of seven blogs solves the single biggest problem facing bloggers. That problem is not, as you might expect, getting started. It’s keeping going.
Most of us can pump out a blog or two. Sadly, that is not going to serve you. In fact, it will do you more harm than good. People will look at your website, see you haven’t blogged for three months (or years), and wonder if you are still in the game!
Bloggers stop writing because they run out of ideas. If you plan your blogs ahead, you will never run out of ideas. It will only take you 30 to 60 minutes to write your blog.
This blog series will show you how you can brainstorm an entire year’s worth of blogs in four hours! You will never run out of ideas and will write your blog quickly and efficiently every time.
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