Of course there is no one-size-fits-all approach to blogging. Still, it is helpful to have templates or patterns for writing a post on your blog that can help you to enjoy the value that blogging allows.
One of my favorite templates to use when I structure my blog posts goes as follows:
- Lead paragraph. This already sounds like you're back in high school English. I know. But the importance of a seductive lead paragraph is invaluable to persuading your readers to choose to read the entire post. Three of my go-to strategies for sculpting my lead paragraph are 1) using a compelling statistic, 2) posing a thought-provoking question, 3) telling an emotive story. Which one you decide to use depends on the content in the rest of your post.
- Embedded media. I'm a blogworm, but even my eyes need a rest from Times New Roman once in a while. Inserting a picture or YouTube video that supports your content is an effective strategy to maneuvering your reader through the rest of your post. Inserting two or three "media-breaks" throughout your post provides a subconscious pit-stop that will make your text more enjoyable to read.
- Personal account. The most primitive form of social media was story-telling. It's stuck with mankind since our genesis. Including personal narratives connecting you with your topic illustrates why the point that you are marketing through your blog post is important. A short story about your experience with whatever it is you are writing about also appeals to the emotions of your reader, which is always a good thing to do.
- Inspire a conversation. It is very tempting to put a period at the end of a very-well written post. But it is better to pull out a question mark. Ending a post by asking an engaging question invites your reader to think about what he or she just read, make a direct application to his or her personal situation, and comment on your blog about their resulting thoughts. Have you ever thought about that?
How you blog is up to you. I've found that following a template helps me to get my thoughts out onto digital paper. I've even gone back to read over a post and discovered opportunities to optimize my message through changing or adding to this basic blogging template. Forget about wasting another minute watching your cursor blink at the top of your screen. Using a template like mine, what are you going to write about?