Need to write a blog, but don’t know where to start? The Blog IT! method is a simple five-step process for writing a blog. If you follow this method you’ll soon be churning out great blogs like there’s no tomorrow. The Blog IT! method is a five step process: BLOG-it-1-300x61

Think IT!

This is the free-thinking part. It involves brainstorming ideas, concepts and information. Brainstorming is a method for developing creative solutions to problems. Your goal is to think freely and get down as many ideas as possible without worrying about whether they are practical or appropriate. Brainstorming is best done in groups so grab your co-workers, friends or family and get to it. If you have no choice then you’ll have to go it alone. Post-it notes are great for creativity. Don’t type them out on the computer, write them in a numbered list or use a form. This will kill your creativity.  Use coloured pens and even draw pictures. This will stimulate the right side of your brain and fuel your creativity. From a young age we’re told to Think, Judge, Speak (TJS). We think about an answer to a problem (think) then weigh up in our heads whether it is workable, appropriate and acceptable to others (judge). Only when we have filtered and sifted it in our heads and judged it an appropriate response do we then offer it to others (speak). BLOG-it-2 What you need to do is shift from Think, Judge, Speak (TJS) to Think, Speak, Judge (TSJ). Only when writing a blog you are writing instead of saying. Write each idea down on a separate sheet of paper then stick it to a wall or piece of flipchart paper. Have fun! Even wacky ideas can be made to work, and you’ll find that ideas spin off from one another, so that really daft idea you wrote down a minute ago might turn into a spark of brilliance. With your topic identified and sticky notes in hand, write down:
  • Ideas
  • Facts
  • Related stories
  • Case studies
  • Examples
  • Anything else that comes to mind
Tip: If you’re in a group have everyone face the wall (or problem) rather than each other. They will spend more time offering ideas then worrying about what others in the group think of them.

Group IT!

Now, mentally step back from your wall of post-its and do what you would do naturally – put the notes in groups! Group your notes according to any associations you see. Some will not fit nicely into any of the categories so feel free to leave them by themselves. If you find others fit into several categories then copy them out onto new sticky notes and stick one each group. Tip: If you find a group has ten or more sticky notes then consider if it should be more than one category. After you have finished grouping give each group a name or title. Next ask “Which group would my audience be most interested to hear about first, second, third,” and so on.  As a rule of thumb, consider limiting it to three points. This will keep your blog article simple and concise. Save all your other groups and ideas. Either jot them down on paper or take photographs of each group of sticky notes. You can use them in future blog posts.

Trim IT!

cuttingNow, strip out everything that doesn’t support your main message or is relevant to your target audience. Remember, you may be writing your blog about you, but you’re writing it for other people, not yourself. Trim your material until it is sufficiently lean. Although three items is your rule of thumb, you are not bound to it.  Just keep it simple. Usually your outcomes and reader benefits will be stated in the beginning and restated in the conclusion.

Spice IT!

With your main content at the ready it’s now time to spice it up! The purpose of spicing it is to make it memorable and aid retention (and therefore encourage) readers to finish reading it and then return for your next blog post. The contents of your spice rack include:
  • Stories
  • Quotes
  • Facts
  • Anecdotes
  • Handy hints
  • News
  • Graphics
  • Hyperlinks
  • Metadata

Blog IT!

All your planning is done, so now all you have to do is blog it. Write, write, write and then edit, edit, edit before sourcing any graphics or visuals to accompany your presentation. Graphics will also help to break up the text so it is easier on the eye. Use short sentences and paragraphs. When you’re done then save it as a draft. Leave it until the next day then take one final look at it. Reading it with fresh eyes will allow you to spot any mistakes you’ve missed. There’s nothing worse than posting a blog and finding that your main feedback is on spelling and punctuation rather than the content itself.

Over to You

So there you have it. If you follow this five-step process you’ll soon by writing blogs like a pro.  Do remember to save the notes from your unused ideas. If you’ve allowed yourself to be sufficiently free-thinking you should have at least a dozen or so ideas for blog posts. I’d love to hear from anyone who gives this a go. Let me know how you get on and what feedback you receive. If you have any other recipes or tips for writing great blogs then do throw them my way too. This blog was provided by Clive Maloney of Praxis 4 Training – Praxis 4 provide training and consultancy to public and private sector businesses and individuals]]>