Content marketing has become a mainstream method for business owners to create a Web Presence. This means, in addition to creating social media posts to share, you should be blogging minimum once a month; better once a week; better yet, to beat your competitors (unless they’re in the media business), twice a week.
But how do you do this if you don’t like to write, or if your mind goes blank when you sit down in front of your computer?
Even though I’m a longtime writer, many times I find myself confronting this exact problem. My mind gets stuck on how to approach translating my ideas into words.
To solve this problem I go back to the basics of what I was taught as a journalist: the five Ws.
- What happened?
- Who was involved?
- Where did it happen?
- When did it take place?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
When writing for a newspaper you must identify those questions in the first two paragraphs maximum.
Usually it’s best if the five Ws are answered in the first paragraph. This is because if you do not hook your reader by the second paragraph, you’ve lost them. People want to know immediately what valuable information they are going to get from taking time out of their busy day to read your article.
The same goes for writing blogs posts. In this digital age, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. So you’ve got to get right to the point.... people's attention spans are shorter than ever. So you've got to get right to the point. #blogging… Click To Tweet
While the five Ws works well for a journalist who wants to get the basics of an important news story, some of the questions may have to be answered a bit differently for a blog post about your business.
To break it down for a business blog post, ask yourself:
- Who or What are you writing about?
- Where may not apply, but if it does add it.
- When do you do What?
- Why is it important to do it?
- How do you do it?
I’ll use the writing of this blog post as example of the five Ws.
What is my subject? Answer: Blogging. That’s mentioned in the first paragraph, along with When: Once a week.
Why is answered in the first sentence of this post: It’s one of the best ways to create a Web Presence.
How? I pose the question in the second paragraph, and answered it partly in the fourth paragraph: Use the Five Ws.
The five Ws will get you started writing, and may even release that writer’s block to find yourself with a finished post in no time.
If that’s not the case, continue reading to find out how to fill out the main part of a blog post.
Bullet Point Your Ideas
An easy way to figure out what will comprise the body of your article is by outlining it with bullet points. For example, I would outline this post, including the beginning, as follows:
• Subject: How to write a blog post
• Problem: Some people aren’t natural born writers, suffer from writer’s block, don’t like it or don’t have the time to do it
• How to Solve the Problem: Give them easy ways to draft and write a post
• Step 1: Answer the Five Ws
• Step 2: Outline your post with bullet points
• Step 3: Fill in each bullet point with more details to illustrate your main points
Now, this may seem quite simplistic, but I’ve already completed my article on how to write a blog post, using the method outlined above.
If you’re stuck on how to explain the concept or idea of your blog post, go back to the basics and answer the five Ws. You will pretty much have an outline for your post, and you can fill it in by bullet-pointing the answer(s) to How.
Good luck on your writing! Let me know if this post helped you, and if you’ve got anything to add, please write a comment below.