Blog Writing 101

I’ve written a lot of posts about blogging on my other blog, including some tutorial stuff, so if you want more than what I’m going to talk about in this post you can check those things out here. I find it incredible how many people I run into that, when I start talking about blogging, they start having palpitations. Did almost everyone really have that much trouble writing papers in school?

Catbert and the company blogger
Niall Kennedy
via Compfight

Writing is as easy or as hard as one decides it should be. Earlier this evening I was reading someone else’s blog post where the guy said he spends 6 to 8 hours writing each blog post. Most of mine takes between 10 & 15 minutes, depending on how much I write and how much internal linking or image adding I do. Most people I talk to say it takes them between 30 minutes to 2 hours to write blog posts.

Remember story writing when you were in school? The teacher told you that every story has to have a beginning, middle and end. Any time you start thinking about writing a blog post, the beginning and the end should write themselves for you most of the time. If you start with a certain point, that’s going to be one paragraph. Unless you write a list post your closing paragraph will be kind of a reiteration of what your opening premise for your post was, with a few things thrown in from the middle.

That should take care of anywhere from 50 to 100 words for you, maybe more. Since the recommendation is to try to write at least 250 words (300 or more is better) you’re already 20 – 40% of the way there.

What should your middle be? It can obviously be almost anything but what are you prepared to do? If you don’t consider yourself all that prolific then let me help you.

Let’s use baseball for this exercise. Let’s say you wanted to write something about the Boston Red Sox and their chances for winning their division in 2014. You don’t know everything about the team but you know enough to be dangerous.

In your opening paragraph you indicated you were going to talk about the Red Sox in 2014, so in your second paragraph you could start by mentioning how the team did in 2013, which included winning the World Series (yes, I’m a Red Sox fan). You could mention the immediate offseason hopes and dreams and how it all collapsed quickly (oh yeah, that’s how this season is ending; sigh…).

Then you could talk about players the team still has, how David Ortiz might fare in his final season, and so on. You could mention any new players coming into the fold and how good or bad they played the previous season.

Finally you could talk about whether you believe they improved, went backwards, or stayed the same. You could mention how you they didn’t so enough to catch the Yankees, or how management seemed to have given up on the team early by sending off its two best pitchers.

With your first paragraph pretty much done and your middle complete, your last paragraph could be a quick summary, something like “The 2014 Red Sox lost their momentum from last year’s World Series victories but looks like a contender heading into the next season. With unbridled enthusiasm and some great young players coming up it should be an exciting season next year.” That was 41 quick words, and I could have said more.

Blogging doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s not necessary to hit a home run, if you will, with every single post. Blogging isn’t meant to be a series of white papers; it’s meant to be a series of thoughts that not only help you show whatever expertise you have, but to help your main website, if your blog is attached to it, with its SEO properties. You can do this; trust me.
 

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13 comments on “Blog Writing 101

  • Hey Mitch,

    I should get you to write about the Rex Sox on my sports blog. 😉

    I always make sure that my posts are over the 300 word limit for obvious SEO reasons. 8 hours to write a post! Man, if it took me that long to write a post I would have given up long ago. I can write some posts in about 15 minutes. Others may take longer depending on whether or not I have to do any research on the subject. My Hot Sports Babes actually take a bit of time in the research department and putting the collage together.
    Peter recently posted…Blonde Sports JokeMy Profile

    Reply
    • Well, there’s writing posts and there’s the background stuff. I don’t count that because I talk more about writing and many folks here aren’t adding images anyway, which we both know doesn’t hurt to have. Actually, I have a post coming on Monday that took me a while to put together, and if you check it out you’ll see why. Yup, a teaser! 😉

      Reply
    • Actually Jenny, stories work well on every type of blog, just not every type of post. For instance, I write both a blog on leadership issues and one on financial things. Sometimes I preface my points of view by starting with a story that goes along with the point because it’s my hope to capture people’s attention on concepts that they might not be thinking about initially. I do understand the point about concentration in general though; that’s why writing in spurts is good for some people. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  • healthyandcute says:

    Hi, I agree and disagree to your article. What i agree on is the time you spend on typing. Depending on the subject you are familiar with or not. But i disagree with the whole time cost. To make a great blog you need time to choose the image, you can also spend time selecting the colors you wish to add. Then there are the link you need or not to includ. Some articles need research so that take’s time. I have created a blog but it’s not about me. I can’t just start writing about what i did last night. I need to figure out what people want to read, make each article unique with value added information. The problem with blogs today is that 3 million new blogs are created per month. That is a lot of information. 90% of all blogs are managed by S.E.O companies so the content isn’t really “approuved”. it’s just words and links. Making a good article may need a little more than just that. This is my opinion and i hope no one will feel bad about what i may beleive. 🙂

    Reply
    • Greetings Jennifer,

      First, I notice you live in Liverpool; I assume you’re in England? I live in Liverpool NY; small world! lol

      Second, I’d say you’re probably on the wrong end of the spectrum in believing who’s writing blogs because very few SEO companies will do that. Instead, many will hire writers to write guest posts and try to get them onto other people’s blogs. Overwhelmingly most blogs are by individuals, based on surveys, and business blogging is about 21% at this juncture, but some of those are individual blogs, like one of my other blogs.

      Also, truth be told, great looking blogs don’t mean they’re successful. Some of the best written blogs in the world are quite minimalistic. What you can’t have is an ugly blog, or one that’s hard to even look at because of funky colors. It’s all about the writing, and though some do take a lot of time, like the article I just wrote after this one, not all articles need to take that kind of time and don’t need that much research if you’re writing on something you already know.

      I see you’re a new blogger so I wish you good luck with it.

      Reply
    • As I told the other Dhinesh (who adds an extra H in his name lol), don’t wait for the future articles. Look back through this one; 1,500 articles of some pretty good stuff if I say so myself. 😉

      Reply
  • Blogging isn’t meant to be difficult however most people that start blogs usually don’t keep them up after a short period of time. Mitch, I wonder if you have stats to prove my point.

    Writing is difficult. Some days are easier than others. The formula that works for me is setting a personal contract to write something, anything, every single week.

    There are weekends I sit down and I have nothing. Other times I sit down and the words roll off the keyboard like butter.

    I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last 3 1/2 years. Thanks again for getting me going.
    Steve Borek recently posted…I’ll Hire A Coach For Accountability – Really?My Profile

    Reply
    • Glad to do it! 🙂 I don’t know if anyone has a real stat but I saw something that said 90% of all blogs are abandoned within a year. I’m not sure how accurate that is but I did my own little study that I wrote about some months ago where I went to look at all the people who commented on this blog my first year and very few of them are still blogging, let alone have that blog even live anymore. Of course that was 7 years ago but it’s still pretty telling.

      Reply

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