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BLOGBlog Post Magic Bullet

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Blogging, Communication, Make It Happen TipsheetTagged 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.  Using different structures for a smaller number of posts keep things interesting, and is more likely to engage long-time readers.

There are many  potential structures, but too often we don’t think about structure at all. Here is a structure 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.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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