5 tips for bloggers' fingers

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Writing for your company blog may look daunting at first. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Here’s a scenario that’s becoming all the more common: The company you work for is investing more into the online blog. You’re asked to contribute - to share your insight. You know your subject, but have no idea how you’re going to translate it into a blog post.

The first step is understanding the very purpose of the article. Ask yourself: Who am I writing this for? Why am I writing it? What message do I want to get across? Do I need to abide by my brand’s tone of voice? What is it?

Answering these questions will give you a solid foundation to build your article on. Next, it’s time to start writing.

1. Draw me in

You know that feeling - you’re at a party and there’s someone you look up to or admire. Then you realise you have a friend in common who is about to introduce you. You feel nervous and start to mentally rehearse your opening line - you want to sound interesting.

That is how the opening paragraph of your blog post should sound. You want to attract the interest of someone you admire - your audience. You can use an anecdote, a general thought or reflection. You could also choose to go straight to the point if you feel it works best. There’s no hard and fast rule. Just make it engaging for your audience and consistent with your brand.

2. Tell me more

Now that you’ve got them interested, that person is going to want to know more. Think of this person as someone extremely inquisitive and interested who keeps asking questions about your topic of conversation, that is, the topic you are writing about.

Try to map out what an interested reader would want to know: Why are they reading this? What did they search for? Answer those questions clearly and to the point. Be aware that your reader is probably very busy so, steer clear of information overload. Stick to the topic without derailing - you can always write another blog post about the other subject.

3. Break it down

People “scan” an online article. They don’t necessarily read every word. One way of keeping readers focused is breaking down your article into bite-size, digestible and scannable sections by creating subheadings. This can be done in various ways. You can, for example, come up with a set number of tips, such as: ‘100 ways to say “click here”’. You could also have subheadings sectioning off different parts of your evolving argument, much like short chapters.

4. No loose ends

There are various ways to end an article. You can, for example, wrap up with a personal touch, such as an opinion or reflection. You can opt for a call to action, depending on the subject. It’s important that the reader feels the article came to a satisfying end.

Of course, don’t forget to ensure that your post has been proofread before being seen by your readers. Spotting a silly typo, even if surrounded by great content, is like finding a fly at the end of a double chocolate fondant.

5. Think visuals

Be aware that, sometimes, visuals are strong enough and can stand alone. There’s no need to explain everything in writing. Infographics are a great way to get information across. You can illustrate your evolving argument with a range of visuals such as videos, photos and illustrations… the list is endless… unlike these tips that just came to an end.