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Blog Post Magic Bullet

by Randall Craig on June 21, 2013

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet

Tagged as: , , ,

Are your blog posts really that effective? Do they grab the reader, and convince them to read on? And is there a magic bullet that can immediately make this so?

Too often, a blog post is an outgrowth of “stream of consciousness” thinking, and rarely hits the mark.  Adding strategy and structure can make a vast improvement.

Strategy:  Determine the goal of the post, and write with this in mind.  In the case of this post, the goal is to improve the effectiveness and impact of your blog posts.

Structure:  There are a number of different writing structures that you can choose from, depending on your chosen strategy.  Using the same structure for the majority of your posts helps readers become more comfortable:  they know what to expect.  There are many  potential structures, but too often we don’t think about structure at all. Here is an example:

  1. Statement of problem:  The first paragraph (and first sentence) needs to immediately grab the attention and demonstrate relevance to the reader.  If not, then they likely will not read further, as the solution to the problem also will not be relevant.
  2. Insight and solution:  This section of the blog post provides a different perspective on the problem, illuminating the solution – and by example,  your depth of knowledge in the subject.
  3. Twist:  In this segment the insight is extended into an area that the reader might not have considered.  Your ideas become more valuable when they can be applied beyond the narrow problem that was identified at the outset.
  4. Action Plan:  Knowledge and perspective are great, but how can the solution be translated into action, so the problem can be resolved?

Interestingly, this same structure works well beyond the world of blogging.  Presentations with this structure are far more powerful, as are emails, as are one-on-one conversations with your colleagues.

This week’s action plan:  Whether you blog, present, or write emails, embed better and more consistent structure.  Choose one communication this week, and try your hand at the structure described in this post.  And if you are a blogger, then look through your archived posts to identify whether you can improve the structure moving forward.   Writing effective posts doesn’t need a magic bullet – just some strategy… and structure.

Meta: In case it isn’t obvious, this post and most of my archived posts all follow this structure.  The first sentence is the Statement of problem (“Are your blog posts really that effective?”).  The paragraphs on Strategy and Structure provide Insight and solution.  The paragraph on using structure beyond blogging is the Twist.  And then the Action plan follows.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

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www.RandallCraig.com

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About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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