The most useful blog post I’ll probably ever write

In lieu of one of my top priority projects right now, I have spent a good deal of time in the last month (sorry this blog is late) creating and compiling ideas on “what makes a good blog post.” To help simplify the matter, I tasked myself with crafting together a 1 pager on this… create something I can give blog contributors who have the thoughts and the story, but maybe need a nudge in the “blog” direction.

After getting the handy-dandy advice from a few regular blogging friends, doing some hard core Googling, thinking, and watching a little “Home Alone 2”, this is what I’ve come up with. And I’ve realized that this is probably the most useful blog post I’ll ever write, which is a very powerful and terribly sad statement to make.

(Note: This paper was created for potential contributors to a corporate blogging site. While many of the points could be useful for writing blogs on a personal site, this paper was not created to give advice on that subject. In the meantime, I’d recommend you check out Jeff Goins’ blog for personal writing tips).

So you’re writing a blog post….

Writing a blog can be… well, a bit tricky. Did I say too much? Or too little? Do I write in my perspective? Or on behalf of the organization? What do I even write about?

The truth is, writing a blog is much, much, more simple than that. Consider it more a piece of opinionated art… the more personality, creativity and (above all) authenticity you put into it, the more colorful it will be.

Let your humanity shine. Be personal, honest with your audience, and reflective about what you’re trying to say, always writing in first-person perspective. Each of us truly shines when we can be ourselves. That’s what we’re asking of you – to be yourself. Remember, you’re not writing an essay, you’re writing a blog.

Have a passion for what you are writing about. There’s nothing easier to write with more authenticity and credibility than writing about a topic you have a real passion for. We find more words and more ways to express our passion than we do any other feeling. Write what you’re passionate about and the words are sure to flow.

Think “relevance”. The experiences and thoughts we have are original to us. But the underlying feelings and notions of those experiences and thoughts are often things that others can relate to. (Take this example: Your first grandchild is born and conjures up all sorts of memories from when your children were born. That experience has a narrow window of relevance since a majority of people are not grandparents. But the idea of the joy childhood memories evokes is a feeling we can all relate to.) Lesson here: Think relevance, write from your heart and create pathways for your audience to read with their hearts.

Tell a story. We all have a story to tell and it’s the way we tell that story that will either provoke a reaction from your audience, or not. The best story-tellers take their audience on a a walk with them through their own mind through written words. They use their words to paint vivid pictures making their story as colorful as possible.

Find your focus. Have one big goal or key point you are trying to drive home. This will help you keep your words to a minimum while getting your point across to the maximum.

Respect privacy, copyrights and accuracy. It is your responsibility to ensure you are not copyrighting materials, disclosing sensitive, proprietary, confidential, or financial information, and to ensure your facts and statements are accurate. If you are unsure of copyright and other standards, please consult with the appropriate team.

Own your content. Each of our posts will host a disclaimer message conveying “the opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the company”. You will assume full responsibility and liability for all actions arising from your posts.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these? Are there edits you would make? Additions you would include? Other blog posts like this you would suggest I read?

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