Writing web content has become my modus operandi. So when an opportunity came up to write for the Aha Media blog a few months ago, I was intrigued but skeptical. I didn’t see myself as a blogger. But I’m always trying to hone my craft – so I decided to give it a go.
After a few attempts, I realized that the “magic” to writing a great blog post could be broken down into a few steps. And this process bears a slight resemblance to Bruno Mars’ creative process. Stay with me on this.
6 Steps of the Writing Process for Blogs
Bruno Mars is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter whose records sell millions of copies. He spends months perfecting each song, which is why it takes him years to pull together a new album. Your blog post won’t take nearly as long, but you probably won’t knock it out in one sitting.
Here’s how the magic comes together through 6 steps of the writing process:
1. Start with a blogging primer
Bloggers and singers both have to multitask – no easy feat – and make it look effortless. When you write a blog post, you’re telling a story while sharing an important message. When you’re Bruno Mars, you’re singing, playing an instrument and dancing at the same time.
Bruno comes from a musical family and has been performing since he was 4. But even if you started blogging a little later than age 4, you can still achieve greatness! Fast-track your writing prowess by learning about the differences between web and blog content.
2. Be amazing just the way you are
I was reluctant to blog because I assumed people only want to read something written by an expert. But when I read other people’s posts, I never check to see if the writer is an expert. The catchy headline and relatable content draw me in.
I was also hesitant because it seemed like every topic I wanted to write about already had scads of blog posts. Turns out, that’s OK. Bruno Mars isn’t the only one writing love songs. It’s his unique style that turns them into Grammy-winners. When it comes to blogging, presenting an interesting angle on even the most common topic will win people over.
3. Pick a topic
Few things are more daunting than staring at a blank screen. So go easy on yourself by selecting a familiar topic:
- Did you learn something new that helped you overcome a challenge? Your knowledge may benefit others. I certainly benefited from Anna’s post about how to jump-start a stalled project.
- Is there a topic you and your colleagues can’t stop talking about? A virtual water cooler discussion among Aha writers inspired Gila to write this post about productivity when working from home.
4. Do a little secondary research
A quick search can reveal helpful insights, such as statistics that underscore a point you’re trying to make. This step is especially helpful if you’re learning about a new topic. Whether you use this information in your post is up to you.
A word of warning: You’re not the only one hitting up Google for additional information. Seeing the same statistic referenced repeatedly in different blog posts hits a sour note for originality. Instead, be like Bruno Mars who may channel the grooves of Michael Jackson, but puts his unique spin on it. Capture the gist of your source data instead of repeating it.
5. Start writing and tinkering
Bruno Mars, when asked about the songwriting process, told Rolling Stone magazine, “Bro, it’s the hardest.” Preach, Bruno! Organizing your thoughts into a cohesive blog post and making it memorable is hard, too.
You just have to stay the course. Bruno threw out “Uptown Funk” several times. But he kept coming back to it and ended up with one of the longest-running No. 1 Billboard hits of 2010.
Many times, I’ve been knee-deep in fragments and ideas, convinced that a post wasn’t going to come together. But I stuck with it, and it always did.
6. To get better, stay humble
Once you’ve written a few posts, you’ll likely find your own steps to blog magic. But don’t stop there. As Bruno Mars said, “The most dangerous thing that could happen for a musician is to think that everything you write is good.”
I read other people’s work for inspiration. I keep an open mind about what I might blog about next, because ideas come when you least expect them. And I’m always thinking of ways to improve my blog magic process.
Now Get Crackin’!
I look forward to seeing your work out in the blogosphere. Until then, here are some additional posts about how other members of our team work their magic: