I’ve recently had the opportunity to write and edit blog posts for a prominent fashion company. In doing so, I’ve experienced a new style of working.
Writing my own blog, I control the process, and the content. And safe to say, working on a school magazine held a lot less pressure. I definitely wasn’t searching up SEO words for my article on the school play, that’s for sure!
Working to a set brief comes with its own challenges. This often forces you find new and innovative ways to express your creativity. Being given a box means that you can step outside of it (to a reasonable extent of course!) However, it mustn’t be forgotten that any blog post has certain requirements it needs to reach, no matter how ingenious your personal take on the topic in question is.
Know Your Stuff
Write what you care about! That goes unsaid. But if your stuck writing a post about something you next to nothing about – research, research, research! And write as if it was your passion all along!
Even a quick research goes a long way – a mere 5 minutes, if time pressured, is better than nothing. Simply skim the top 5 articles regarding your topic. Not to copy, but to gauge a variety of opinions, and to gain some new outlooks before forming your own opinion and writing on it.
You may think you are the Queen of improvising, but if your blog post is directed at a certain group of people – promoting a business, a topical newsletter etc – then your readers will have certain expectations. They’ve been reading these blogs a lot longer than we’ve been writing, so don’t underestimate their skills in identifying glorified nonsense.
Creating a Narrative
Creating a narrative in a 300 word piece can be tricky, but it is not impossible. By this, I don’t mean having a beginning, middle and end, but rather, identifying key talking points. You do not want to end up simply writing filler sentences with no genuine content. Nor do you want your post to be overflowing with content, but lacking an easy-to-follow flow. Link your ideas, however tenuous! And remember, you are telling a story, so keep in mind your aim - selling a product? promoting an event? creating a conversation?
Break It Up
Subheadings and pictures are your friend! This will make your content easier to digest. To repeat many of our teachers favourite advice - Signpost your work! It makes it easier to navigate, and is a lot less daunting than being faced with a huge block of text.
Keeping things short and snappy is great, especially if you are working on a short blog post designed to engage, and yet shouldn't require time and energy to read.
SEO words are important, otherwise people would not build whole careers around it. So don’t ignore it! A quick google will tell you all you need to know. Don’t force the words in, but bear them in mind and integrate them into your narrative.
The 20 word limit
Although this should go unsaid, I feel as though I must say it – a 20 word per sentence limit does not mean ‘count 20 words then put a full stop there, no matter the grammatical consequences.’ To my surprise, the editing process of a blog post can often be rushed, and techniques such as this, used. It honestly does not take much effort to simply add a comma, reword the sentence, and cut out a couple of unnecessary words.
If you have any more tips, feel free to add them in the comments section below!