What’s your process for writing blog posts?
In Writing to Deadline, Donald M. Murray said he would rehearse before writing anything.
The rehearsal stage was Murray’s time for just thinking about what he knew about his reader and topic. If he had an hour to write, Murray would think for 30 minutes, write fast for 20, and edit for 10.
The main focus of Step 2 in the 7-Step Checklist for Small Business Blogging Success is all about thinking. You can write a blog post more quickly if you spend 5 to 15 minutes just thinking about your subject.
Thinking about Your Blog Post Begins with Thinking about Your Ideal Customer
All content marketing activity begins with your ideal customer in your target industry. Can you remember the conversations you’ve had with this person? What did he or she say is important?
My customer says she wants to communicate better with her clients. She has a set of long-term clients she feels are her family. She also wants new clients to replace the ones who leave. So both page content and blog posts must show her knowledge, creativity, and personality.
Then, when I write content, I think about the conversations I’ve had with this customer. I then ask myself, “How does my topic relate to her needs and problems?”
Brainstorm with a Mind Map
Mind maps are fun, colorful, and help visualize thinking. So use one to brainstorm for ideas about your topic and how it relates to your customer.
When you’re done, select your best ideas and group them by category. These categories represent the main subject headings in your outline.
Finish Thinking with an Outline
If you are a linear thinker, skip the mind map and just create a simple outline by asking, “What are the three main points I want to get across to my customer?”