Starting to write is hard. But it’s incredibly rewarding when you’re done.
And with blogs specifically, the creative process can be a bit different than other types of writing.
So in an effort to become a better writer myself, as well as share my process with others, here’s a quick overview of my creative process!
Almost everything you write starts with some type of inspiration, and blogging is the same. But, as you start blogging more frequently, it can be hard to keep coming up with new blog topics.
My strategy is to have a running list of topics and blog post ideas. Then, when it comes time to start writing, if I don’t have an immediate idea, I have a ton of previous ideas to choose from!
I also keep a list of inspiring topics, titles, and ways to approach writing from the other blogs I read. As a blogger, finding inspiration from what you enjoy in other bloggers can help you expand your writing and be a better blogger!
This is the longest, most necessary, and usually hardest part.
When I sit down to write a blog post, I turn off all distractions. For me, soft music and a hot cup of coffee in hand really get the creative juices flowing. Create the perfect working environment from yourself and the words will come much easier for you.
I start my writing with the title. Some people call it word vomit, but I basically try to write down as many keywords, titles, and themes that I can think of on the topic I’ve chosen. This helps align your thoughts to a specific title, so that your writing makes sense along the way.
Then take notes. Answer key questions like “what do you want to say/accomplish?” “what do I want my audience to learn” as well as any thoughts, facts, resources, etc. that work with your brainstormed list of titles. Don’t worry about being organized; just write everything down as it comes to you.
Now here comes the actually planning. Once you’ve gotten through brainstorming, pick a title to work off of. It will shape your writing throughout, but you don’t have to settle on that exact title quite yet. Translate your notes into an outline. Organize your thoughts in an order that makes sense. Add to your notes where it needs it, and take out the fluff. If done right, you’ll be finished with a concise outline that will make the next step, writing, a breeze.
Now that you’ve spent a lot of time planning out what you’ll write, the actually writing is simple. Follow your outline. Make sure your ideas flow. And the finished product will come easier than you think.
Start with the meat. Take the body of your outline, and work on drafting that first. By focusing on middle first, your ideas will be fully fleshed out before you work on the most important parts: the introduction and conclusion.
For your introduction, try to find a new way to start it. This is another area where it can be useful to do some research on compelling ways other people are starting their writing. Your goal in your introduction should be to hook your readers and lead them to the themes in the rest of the piece.
Lastly, don’t forget your conclusion. In blog writing especially, it’s important to have a succinct call to action for your readers. Many times, we focus on creating an informative, unique and eloquently written piece, but forget to give our readers something to do next.
Yay! You’re almost done. But now it’s time to edit… a lot. I’ve found that proofreading and editing your work can be a lot of work, but it leads to higher quality content and writing in the end.
Then, once you’re done, ask a friend to edit it. I promise you’ll have mistakes. And having a second pair of eyes often catches the ones you missed.
Now, pick your final title, and voila, you have a blog post!