Do you get stumped for ideas when you're writing blog posts, yet have great photography or other visual content to share? Rich content can keep your audience's attention on your blog and enrich their experience, which builds their connection with you. It can mean the difference between a reader clicking ‘like' and moving on, or reading on and continuing to think about your content, even after they leave your website.
If writing isn't your thing, you can still produce well-rounded blog posts. Everyone has different strengths, but these go-to writing hacks can help everyone from the beginning writer to the experienced blogger crank out stellar paragraphs, captions and articles with every post.
- Set The Stage
- Easy 6-Word Formula: Who, What, When, Where, How, Why
- Your lingo: Write Like You Talk
Setting the Stage: Craft the experience you want your reader to have
In this method, you’ll:
- Focus on the intended mood or atmosphere of your post and draw out main ideas
- Write down specific words and phrases relating to those ideas
- Turn those isolated words into sentences by filling-in details
Whether your blog post consists of phrases beneath photographs or full-fledged paragraphs, you’re conveying ideas that help create your audience’s overall experience of your website. What kind of ‘experience’ do you want your readers to have? Probably one that keeps them on your site and draws them to visit again! Along these lines, think about your topic, the vibe you want to give, and then go ahead and jot down related words that appeal to you.
For example, let’s say you’re describing a photo shoot you just did with someone new (who you totally bonded with) in a surf-haven-type location you’re itching to visit again. Some key ideas you might include in this post are going to be:
- the atmosphere of the location
- the culture of the people there
- specific events — important occurrences, comical behind-the-scenes moments
- characteristics of the people you worked with
- the focus of the photo shoot — the location, a series of outfits, people, wildlife, etc.
Some examples of words and phrases describing these categories:
- Atmosphere: waves, eco-friendly, fun, natural, beachy, tropical, sunny, remote
- Culture: (lingo words are great) totally, laid-back, relaxed, energetic, lively
- Specific events: Shooting on the waves; Falling off surfboards; whale-watching
- Characteristics of people: quirky, loud, organized, professional, talented, adventurous
- Focus of photo shoot: outfit, accessories, function, style, contrast, coordinating
Get the picture? Once you lay out the ‘framework’ for key elements and words you want to use, all you have to do is think through each one and fill in the gaps to create sentences, and ta-da! You’ve got yourself a blog post. This is a great method to use when you need to crank out a post but you’re just not sure where to start.
Easy 6-word formula to beat writer's block: Who, What, When, Where, How, Why
In this method, you’ll:
- Focus on key story elements of your post
- Write down specific words and phrases relating to those elements
- Fill-in details to round out your article
These key terms will help you write a complete article and sort out all of the details that you need to cover, so that no gaps are left in the story. Even if you’re just writing a few sentences, starting with these 6 categories and then filling in details is a great way to begin writing on auto-pilot, instead of waiting for the perfect ‘angle’ for your story to pop into your head. This method also makes it super simple to convey information in an organized way, while not leaving room for a lot of unanswered questions or confusion. The goal is to give the audience an enjoyable experience and value, so that readers feel they have gained something after reading your content.
Think about the subject you want to write about, whether it is a styled ensemble, recipe or travel experience, and write whatever comes to mind for each key term. We’ll use the surf spot photo shoot example again in this method:
Who: you, a local Australian photographer you’ve never met before named Ollie
What: photo shoot featuring eco-friendly, Land-down-under-inspired clothing
When: sunrise to sundown, last Saturday
Where: remote beach, surf hot spot in ____ Australia
Why: Because you love surfing, eco-conscious clothes and wanted to shoot with Ollie
How: Edgy camera equipment, a surfboard, towels, and a beach-friendly vehicle
Once you have all of those thoughts written down, organize them as if you were speaking about this to someone in person. Let the information fall into a natural progression, then fill in details.
Write like you talk (with a few adjustments)
Your English teacher probably never taught you this, but for informal writing, which applies to many blogs, writing in a conversational manner is a sure-fire way to keep your audience’s attention. But you won’t write in the exact same way as you speak. Being as grammatically correct as possible, with correctly-spelled words ensures that your readers do not get confused, and keeps your content easy to follow.
‘Write as if I were telling this to a friend.’
This is a rule-of-thumb for me. For those who do not consider writing to be their strength, this will keep you focused on natural storytelling — which can seem hard when writing doesn’t come naturally to you. Because the most important part of blogging is establishing a connection with your audience, writing in a conversational manner will help create an authentic bond between blogger and reader. If you write in the way you speak, it will come across as casual and friendly, and website visitors will feel almost as if they know you personally.
Keeping a conversational tone is important generally, if that’s what you’re going for. But practically speaking, here’s how this can also be used as a method to formulate your blog post:
- Start writing the blog post as if you were telling someone about your topic face-to-face
- Review, revise and edit what you wrote until it’s fit for the digital screen
- Hit ‘Publish’
It’s that simple. If you’re comfortable just thinking about what you want to write and then getting it out onto paper or the screen, then this method may work best for you. I call it ‘letting the words roll off your sleeve’.
No matter what approach to writing works best for you, one of these three methods is bound to be useful on a day when, after ‘wearing all of the hats’, as many of us bloggers do, you’re tired and just need something simple and straightforward to help you write an awesome blog post. Just remember, keep it simple, stay true to yourself, and have fun blogging!