How do you go from an idea to a finished blog post? What are some steps in a blog post’s development?
Finding great ideas is just the first step toward writing a good blog post. In the past couple of posts, we’ve discussed how to find good ideas and how to focus them. Now, let’s talk about how you go from an idea to a blog post draft.
To begin the process of developing a good blog post, you want to think about your idea and its focus. Ask yourself: What points do you want to make? What message do you want the reader to walk away with?
Gather The Information
Once you’ve answered these questions and have your focus in mind, your next step is to gather your information. For a factual blog post, you’ll want to gather facts and research. For an opinion piece or essay, have your notes and thoughts ready.
If you need to gather facts about your idea, look at studies or websites within your niche. Search until you find some good sources. Depending on your topic and the level of research needed, the library or newspaper or magazine databases or archives may be helpful.
This is the time to talk to people as well. If there are any experts who might help give your post an added perspective, conduct an interview with them to add to your information.
See if there are any places you should go and visit. If it suits your topic, first-hand observation will help you describe any relevant places in your post. This also gives you a chance to take pictures to add visuals to your post.
Once you have your information gathered, the next step is organize it. This helps you decide where you are going to start writing the story.
Sometimes, for simple topics, organizing in your head will be enough. And some people prefer to work this way. It may also help to quickly classify the information under a few subheads and categories to decide what goes with what. However, if your topic is complex, or you’re confused on how to start and structure it, this is where an outline can help.
As you organize your facts and information, there are three main parts of the post to consider:
- First, think about your lead. What is the most attention-getting aspect of the story? Write it on your outline first.
- Then think about the facts, notes or quotes that go together under subheads or Roman numerals. You may have three, four, or more main points, depending on the depth and length of your post.
- Think about your conclusion. What will end the post well and satisfy the reader?
Write Your Draft
Now that you’ve organized your information into some sort of outline or categories, you’re ready to write a draft of your blog post. I encourage you to think of it as a draft, because it should undergo some revisions and changes to polish it up before you hit the publish button.
At this point, review your outline again, making any additions or changes. The more detailed your outline is, the better your first draft will be.
Writers don’t just snap their fingers and have a good idea turn into a quality piece of writing. Writing is a process. Taking an idea and forming it into a finished blog post requires thinking, information gathering and organizing. Once you do this, your draft will come together much easier, and you’ll have a better blog post in the end.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about writing and revision tips.
Readers, how do you go from idea to finished post? What methods suit you best? Let us know in the comments.