How to turn an idea into a blog
I’ve been working as a writer in some form for 15 years, but every now and then I find it difficult to turn an idea into a blog.
Sure, the words will sometimes flow satisfyingly onto the page, but often this isn’t the case.
What do you do when faced with a blank page staring back at you, the cursor becoming increasingly hostile as it waits for your command? Panicked, you run away with your laptop, hoping to find a spark of inspiration at your local café. You quickly realise this is a huge mistake, discovering the owners have installed a soft play area for kids. You continue to stare at the screen, only now also having to guard your macchiato against a legion of little’uns.
Perhaps you’re completely new to blogging, or maybe you just need help getting a stubborn idea down on paper. Here’s some advice on how to get that blog written.
I can’t stress how important it is to do your research. You might think you know all there is to know about a given topic, but spend some time confirming this. You might also surprise yourself with additional information that can go into making your blog even more interesting.
When writing about topical matters, be sure to keep on top of the latest information as a story develops. Details presented at the origin of a story will often change over its lifespan. There’s nothing worse than finishing a great opinion piece to find your argument no longer has any grounding.
2. Title and opening paragraph
Put down something descriptive - not clever or funny - as a working title for your blog. You can change it later if you wish. It will help you pin down the core of what you want the article to say.
Similarly, the opening paragraph can be used to expand on your title, setting out what will essentially be a summary of what you intend to write about.
3. Headers outlining what you want to cover
Break down everything you want to say into sections, each with a title. It will help give your blog structure, reduce rambling, and also make the task of filling in a huge white space much less daunting.
Writing 100 words on each of the seven colours of the rainbow is likely to be much easier to get your head around than being asked to produce 700 words about rainbows.
This is your chance to bring everything you’ve said together and refocus on what you said in the intro. It needn’t be too long, with the emphasis on leaving the reader with something to do or think about.
5. Now what?
Now that you’ve got the basic outline of your blog complete, it’s time to go back and fill in sections. Once complete you can choose to leave the headers as they are, make them more interesting, or remove them altogether.
This isn’t a science, so you may find that you don’t need to do things exactly as laid out here, but hopefully you’ll discover that getting your idea written down isn’t as impossible or scary a task as it may first seem. I can’t do anything about children’s soft play areas. Sorry.
You’ll probably want to refine your work too, tips on which you can find elsewhere on DLG Digital.
Here's Dan, a designer at DLG Digital, speaking about the benefits of writing a blog.