Saint Jerome writing

Good blogs communicate ideas and information. Do it with crisp, unambiguous writing.

There’s nothing wrong with flowery writing. Just leave it for poetry, song lyrics and literary fiction.

Here are seven steps to help you turn out snappy blog posts that’ll have readers coming back for more:

  1. Get straight to the pointSet out your store in the opening paragraph. Tell readers what the rest of the story will be about. If you’ve got one, make the first paragraph your opening argument.
  2. Prove it. Follow your opening paragraph by building on the first idea or argument. Provide back-up information to explain or support the first paragraph. Tell readers why you said what you did in that first paragraph.
  3. Make extra points in descending order of importance. Readers can drop out at any point. Make sure they get the best points early while you still have their attention.
  4. Use plenty of full stops and line breaks. Short sentences make your copy dynamic and fast-moving. Short paragraphs make text easier to read. This is more important on-line. As a bonus, tight copy helps you articulate your ideas.
  5. Murder your darlingsIf you think you’ve written something clever, chances are you haven’t. Hit the delete key and move on. Don’t use favourite obscure words or complicated metaphors. Anything that sounds like poetry needs cutting.
  6. Get on, get off, don’t hang around. And don’t outstay your welcome. Don’t feel the need for a long wrap-up. Make your last point, summarise if it helps, then stop writing.
  7. Check before hitting the send button. Read through your post, spell-check, look for poor grammar, weed out the needless words, make sure the text is understandable. I sometimes walk away and do something else before returning for the last read. The distance helps.

4 thoughts on “Seven steps to a crisp blog post

    • I used to joke about walking away and “letting the fester” for a while. Taking a decent break between writing and re-reading is important. Although it’s not much help if you want to be first with something important or newsy.

  1. Tough guidance, but words worth considering.
    Unless your “blog” is better described as a Site for publishing essays which are intended to achieve the exact opposite, perhaps?

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