Do you want to start a blog, but you have no idea where to start? Through blogs I help you further in a world that seems more difficult than it is. Because blogging doesn’t have to be that difficult at all.
Starting a blog for the first time is a bit difficult, but it is certainly not a higher mathematics. With the tips, tricks & tutorials below you’ll get you started in the wonderful world of blogging. Before you know it, you want to start another blog, just because it’s so much fun! (And that’s why I have a little too many of them by now) And quite honestly: why not maintain multiple blogs if you have the time and knowledge on multiple subjects? It’s educational, fun and you can also start a blog for free or with a small investment in for example a domain name. You can read all about that here as well.
Starting a blog: what’s stopping you?
Writing a blog is not as easy as it seems. My first blog post was not a success. It was actually only half an article that I posted on the blog of LinkedIn, Pulse. In the first paragraphs I dropped that after a long brainstorm I had written a thriller, which was published by a reputable publisher. After that I boasted that every week I sold ideas for articles to national newspapers like de Volkskrant and Quest. Then I invited the reader to click through to my website Schrijfvis, where I would reveal how I came up with these great ideas.
Logical. Nobody is waiting for someone who really only wants traffic to his website. But how can you write a blog that people are passionate about? I already explained that to over one hundred and fifty people in my Blogging for more clients course – here’s a detailed preview of that course.
Writing a blog: 7 tips
The absence of visitors was, in a way, a liberation for me. In the following blogs I was no longer keen on being interesting. Slowly but surely I started to write more blogs about problems I was struggling with: slowness in my texts, words I used too often and concentration problems. I no longer portrayed myself as an ‘expert’ but as a struggling journalist and writer. In short: as someone who makes mistakes, just like everyone else.
From that moment on the blogs were better appreciated. A piece about 11 words that I had to delete more often, was read almost 80,000 times and got over 4,000 likes. Articles about phrases you can leave out, my concentration problems and boring verb forms attracted more than 150,000 readers.
I don’t believe that writing a blog is just one formula for success. However, my most read posts have a few ingredients in common in terms of content, structure, structure and especially tone. If I could travel back in time and advise myself when writing my first blog on Linkedin, I would give myself the following tips. So: how to write a blog?
Blog writing tip 1 – Start with a blunder.
If you want to inspire someone else with your insights in a blog, first show them how you got them yourself. Nobody learns without first going on their own. Share this story in the form of a short anecdote, about the same way you would tell it to someone in the pub.
Writing a blog in which you make a fool of yourself in the first paragraph is a good way to break the ice and draw the reader into your story.
Blog writing tip 2 – Write a note-top paragraph with recognizability
Your anecdote, if it’s good, symbolizes a bigger problem that more people are struggling with. In the second paragraph you show that by widening your personal story and asking a question. For example: my first blogs were not a success. You broaden that by asking yourself: how do you actually write a good blog that people are waiting for?
Such a paragraph is also known in journalism as the notendop-alinea. You use it to announce which question you’re going to answer in your article, so that people immediately know what they’re going to find out when they read through it. Writing a blog is above all: thinking from the reader’s point of view.
Blog writing tip 3 – Give tips, but don’t pretend to be an expert
Blogs are often popular when they contain tips that readers can use directly, for example when writing emails, business texts or motivation letters.
But that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself on a pedestal as an expert. You are more likely to be an expert by experience. You ran into a problem and are now using a different approach that works better for you.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the only right approach.
With this tone you leave more room for discussion and reactions. That results in more involvement and therefore more readers.
Blog writing tip 4 – Make the tips concrete with clear language
Above all, try not to make your tips too big and float, such as ‘write with more feeling’ or ‘live more in the moment’. These are clichés that you can explain in many ways.
Tips work especially when they are practical and written down in clear language, preferably without many suffering shapes and tang structures.
When you say: it’s better to delete these 11 words, or this software can help you concentrate better, there’s no discussion about what that means exactly.
Everyone can try it and judge for themselves whether it works for them.
Blog writing tip 5 – Structure your paragraphs
Also at the paragraph level it is nice if your text has a good structure and generates a bit of tension.
You can use topical sentences for this. These are sentences that summarize the central idea of your paragraph. Usually they are at the beginning of a paragraph, so that readers know what to expect in the next piece of text.
It works well not to reveal everything already in the topical sentence, so that some tension is generated. An example of a topical sentence that creates tension.
If you don’t know how to start an article, the pub talk rule is very useful.
The reader knows from this sentence that in the next paragraph he will read about a writing method that has something to do with pub talk, but nothing more. So encourage you to continue reading.
Blog writing tip 6 – Don’t exaggerate the effect of your tips
Don’t pretend your life has been radically changed by your insights. No one has the recipe for success. Don’t be afraid to say you’re still wrong.
I’ve learned a lot about blogging in recent months, but that’s not always a guarantee for readers. For example, a few weeks ago I wrote this blog on LinkedIn that has been viewed by a hundred more people, even though I used a lot of these techniques. Sometimes you just don’t have the right subject.
Blog writing tip 7 – Ask your readers for help
You can give the success of your blogs a helping hand by explicitly asking for the help of your reader. Often articles are not shared on social networks, because that’s just not in people’s systems. There’s nothing wrong with just pointing out the possibility to them.