Tweeter Linder 2017 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock
Blogs play an important role in influencing in the digital domain. Serving insights to readers in a bite-sized format. With an opportunity to act as a link between steps in an iterative learning process. Developing blog writing skills is growing in importance. First, businesses’ engagement in the digital domain is more about educating than selling. Second, customers trust texts written by a person more than corporate messages.
Purpose of the template
Provide a structure for 500-1000 word blogs. For agendas where you want to influence by sharing insights. In a way where you trigger the reader to continue the learning process afterwards. A template developed and battle tested on this site over 30 months.
This template describes each element in the order they will occur in the final blogpost. But can be a developed in a different order. Explore which flow you find best. I prefer to work in the order than the reading order. In the order Introduction, Reading suggestions, Insights, Questions, Headline and Pictures.
Blogpost without an attractive headline are dead on arrival. And worth spending 20% of your blog writing time on. You want to attract three different audiences. First, want anyone in your existing network to read. If they like the topic when your post shows up in a social media feed. Second, people how search for insights on the subject. Where an idea of their search questions are key to crafting headlines. Third, you want targeted e-mails to trigger readers. And your headline should attract all three.
Visuals attracting readers
Blogposts need pictures to stand-out. Especially as an attention grabber in social media feeds.
Spend 20% of your time in finding optimal pictures. Elaborate around different key words. Select a few picture candidates before your final choice. And reward your writing effort with paid pictures. Give your text the deserved attention grabber/s.
Introduction – 3 sentences to capture your reader
Digital audiences have very short attention spans. You get no more than 3 sentences of your reader’s time before the verdict is out. Continue to read or move on.
Go straight to the point with what you want to tell. Include numbers to trigger reading interest. Keep sentences short.
2-4 sections with the insights you want to convey. A blogpost designed to influence need to provide insights. 2-4 insights to support the messages you conveyed in the introduction. Blog readers are critical readers. They expect to learn something new. And you have little room for “dull transport text sections”.
Your quality as a blogger come across as a combination of your language and content skills.
One insight I have leveraged is to help the reader understand which questions to work with. Great questions develop minds better than great answers. Help your readers with questions and hints rather than pitching answers. Leading questions taking learnings to the next level.
Additional reading suggestions
In a blogpost you are skimming on a subject. If you capture your reader’s attention you want to assist with possible next steps. As part of researching facts for your blogpost you find good references. Other blogposts, articles and books other material for a deeper dive. Add them at the end as possible next steps.