“Well, that was a waste of time!”
This is a reaction you do not want to hear after someone has taken the time to read something you’ve written. Blogging can be a daunting task because of the fear of judgement. Especially when you’re writing as a young professional, and hoping that your work reflects the aspiring and capable individual that you are. This article intends to help with that. Yes, a blog about blogging.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
The biggest factor to writing successfully is to prepare yourself with the necessary information needed. By organizing your goals and thoughts effectively, it will feel like filling in the blanks by the time you sit down to write. Below is a list of questions to answer, and items to consider, before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), with suggested action items for each.
- What question am I answering, or problem am I solving?
- Write out the main question or point (thesis statement if you will) on paper and read it throughout your writing process
- Who is your audience ?
- Picture the types of people who you are writing for. What will you need to include to ensure they get the most out of your writing
- What tone will I be writing in? (informal, strict business tone, etc)
- This is crucial to keeping the reader’s attention. Consider your use of slang, contractions, etc. Bonus: read something first that is written in the tone you want. For serious work, read the Economist, for example.
- Will my work require images to support my points?
- Sometimes images can be very helpful. Make sure you find ones you are allowed to use and that actually help. They are to enhance your point, not replace writing.
- What do I not know about the topic that I will write about? Where can I find this knowledge?
- Not. Guess. If you need knowledge, or proof of your own, find it. Without credibility, you will not have any repeat readers.
- If you are making an argument or proving a point, what is/are the opposing point(s)? Make sure you acknowledge
- Your readers will come up with oppositions as they read. Anticipate these and write them down before you write. Come up with your own counters point. Bonus work: bounce the ideas off some peers to get perspectives you do not have.
- Will I be sharing personal information or experiences?
- These can be powerful tools, but make sure your experiences are relevant.
- What keywords do I need to ensure are in the writing?
- When posting things online, you might as well make it as search engine friendly as possible to increase readership. Think of what someone might put into google to find information on your Use those same keywords as often as possible throughout your article to increase the chances of it appearing in the search results.
- How long of an article do I need?
- Do not be afraid of a short post. Going on needlessly will just be boring. Go on for as long as you need, and then stop.
Put It Together
With these questions asked, and organized on paper, the blog should almost write itself! Finally, be confident. If you are in a position to be writing, that alone proves you deserve to be there. Show off your talent and enjoy the success that comes with it!