This article will show you five practical tactics you can employ when writing any blog post. The great part is that you're going to get it done in less than 15 minutes.
Before I begin, let's address a horrible content-based epidemic swarming the Internet: quantity does not equal quality. Most great writers know the importance of being brief. This does not necessarily mean that you should craft a one-line post, but it does mean you should be value-focused and not length-focused.
Tactic #1: Plan Your Writing
What are people searching for? What interests them? What do they want to read? Figure this out and then develop an organizational format for your articles. For example, my organizational format for this post is:
- Tactics and explanation of tactics
- Call to action
Tactic #2: Create a Headline Bank
Why do you think most blog posts fail? It's because the headline isn't catchy! People are drawn in by headlines. Determining the right headline for your post can be the difference between a reader staying or leaving your site.
A headline bank is nothing more than a list of grabbers that will not only save you a huge amount of time in the initial writing process, but they attract your readers to the content. At the very least, your bank should include:
When you begin by asking your readers a question, they feel as if you are speaking directly to them. There is much power in asking the right questions. For example:
- Who else wants to write a great blog post in less than 15 minutes?
- Is your Twitter campaign sinking?
- How do you make the perfect connection with your audience when speaking?
Very few bloggers begin their posts with quotes, but they are just as powerful as questions because they add credibility to the subsequent content. For example:
Nicholas Boothman stated, “The cheapest, most effective way to connect with others is to look them in the eye.”
You can use sentences and phrases as well for story headlines. Stories do not have to be two or three paragraphs in length. Let's examine two short powerful story headlines:
- The Runaway General
- A Tale of Two Twitter Users
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Numbers always gain the attention of your readers and they do it quickly. For example:
- 100,000 people affected by iPhone 4
- 500 million flock to Facebook
Although you need to have a bank of headlines, you shouldn't write your headline until the body of the article is complete. Why? Because as you write, ideas change and as ideas change, so will your title. Allow the content to control the title.
Now, if you examine this list closely, you'll have an option for every day of the week. All you have to do is rotate them to fit the needs of your audience. Also, see Brain Clark's article 5 Simple Ways to Open Your Post With a Bang.
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Tactic #3: Time Yourself (Watch the Clock)
You need to make every minute count.
When I first started blogging, it would take me three hours to write ONE blog post. Yikes!
Your first task is to remember that perfection is not an option. Don't spend all day trying to craft the “perfect message.” Create short, comprehensible sentences and step away from the computer.
You may be concerned that people will not read your article because it's not perfect. Not true. Think of progression and not perfection.
Despite all of your perfective tactics, some people will still never be satisfied. Set your timer for 15 minutes and when it stops, you're done.
Tactic #4: Use the “Series Approach”
Say you're planning to write a blog post concerning this topic: 5 Simple Steps to Getting Your Business on Twitter. Instead of packing all five steps into one post, create a weekly series by breaking each main topic down and creating a single post for that topic. By doing this, you'll have developed blog posts for a full week:
- Monday: Set Up Your Twitter Account
- Tuesday: Choose Your Twitter Name
- Wednesday: Upload Picture
- Thursday: Upload Your Best Link
- Friday: Write an Interesting Twitter Bio
Now, let's create a plan with a few tweaks to the article titles.
- Monday: How to Set Up Your Twitter Account to Attract More Business
- Tuesday: 3 Steps to Avoid When Crafting Your Twitter Name
- Wednesday: Using Your Twitter Picture to Attract Targeted Prospects
- Thursday: Link-building with Twitter: Upload Your Best Link for Success
- Friday: How Writing an Interesting Twitter Bio Can Make You Millions
This will keep your readers coming back for each step. By looking at the titles of the above posts, you'll be sure to cover only the necessary content that pertains to that headline, meaning that the content will be shorter. Thus you can almost ensure that you meet the 15-minute mark.
Tactic #5: Get to “the Meat of the Problem”
How would you feel if you went to McDonald's and ordered a quarter pounder with cheese only to walk away with bread and lettuce? You wouldn't be too happy. So, keep that in mind when writing for your readers.
They want value, not diluted information.
So don't get your readers all revved up with a great grabber, neglect the body (being the meat) and skip to the conclusion. Imagine reading this:
- Introduction: “Are you aware of the fact that 80% of your colleagues spend more than 45 minutes crafting an introduction for their daily blog posts?”
- Body (the meat): Here's what you should do to avoid this roadblock: Prepare.
- Conclusion: All you need to do now is click the Join Now button and pay the $99.95/monthly fee.
Wow, what a great way to start a relationship. Not good.
The point here is that anyone can ramble on and on or even write a brief statement about something that really does not provide value. If you want people to continue to follow you and your blog, you must provide quality and not leave the bigger needs unmet.
In the above example, the questions that your reader is going to ask are, “How do I prepare?” and “What am I preparing for?” You see, this is the main source, the missing piece to the puzzle that will throw the entire article off into wonderland. Simply put, your readers want detailed solutions to problems.
Creating a great blog post in 15 minutes might be difficult for you at first, but if you focus on providing value, planning ahead while keeping “headlines in the bank,” your readers will thank you every time!
What are your thoughts? What's your experience? If you like this article, press the retweet button at the top of the page. Let's get the discussion going.
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