You’ve just read my blog about writing a blog and you still don’t know where to start?
That's fine. You’ll get the hang of it. You just need a little extra help.
Please remember my top tip: just start writing. You’ll learn a lot through the process of writing and can rearrange, rework and reedit your blog to make it work.
Blogs take lots of different formats and you’ll have your own style. The most important thing is to think about your audience and what they really want to know about.
Your blog should be relatively informal, friendly in tone and want to help the reader understand a subject.
Now to get you kick-started with our tactics for breaking through your blog writing block.
A quick way of generating a blog is to create a quick series of four to five questions then imagine you’re interviewing yourself. The questions can be as serious or light-hearted as you want, but should take the reader deeper into the subject.
Think about the questions you get asked, list the questions you would want answered or ask a friend for their ideas.
You can then answer your own questions and a Question and Answer blog (often called a Q&A for short) will quickly form in front of your eyes.
This approach also works for quick case studies which you can send out to people to answer.
You can then pop an introduction on top and you’ve got your first blog.
This is just the same as the first example, but you then hide the questions and think about how to connect your answers. So the questions provide a quick way to structure your blog, but then you get rid of them and turn your article into a more conventional blog. All the normal rules apply and you can add in additional content.
We’ve all planned essays and reports so why approach a blog differently? Remember a blog should remain relatively informal, but there’s no harm in drawing yourself a quick flow chart and outlining a basic structure.
This should include your introduction, the key ideas or issues you want to cover and your conclusion. If you’ve got an amazing revelation of a conclusion I recommend you don’t hide it away at the end. Find a way to cover it in the introduction, build up to it again in your main text and then roll it out in all its glory at the end too.
Everyone loves lists. Buzzfeed revamped lists and made list-icles fashionable – as long as the list was odd numbered or included a fraction.
Now its okay to have a list of five or ten helpful things.
The classic list format is the tips list – a roll call of the best advice for a given situation.
List-icles are incredibly popular and can be about anything, even a list of your favourite blogs.
Be inspired by what others are doing. If you see a blog which works well and really connects with you, think about the techniques and approaches the writer has used. Never steal content and always link out to content you love, but borrow good ideas and experiment.
Journalist and trainer Janet Murray has created a business around her writing and is someone I often check out for tips and advice, but a quick web search will uncover other writers and tutorials who will help you. Don’t forget LinkedIn Learning is available through the University and covers many professional skills like blogging.
This might sound a bit weird in a blog encouraging you to write blogs, but - whisper it quietly – you don’t always need to write a blog.
If you want to share very instructional information then perhaps it might work more effectively as an article on the staff or student directory, in which case contact the web team.
If your message is for a very small audience perhaps there are other ways to connect with them – run a workshop, arrange to speak to them directly, or ask to join relevant meetings.
If it’s a very simple message perhaps it can be promoted without a blog on social media or via our staff and student newsletters.
Blogs can be amazing ways to connect with people, but use them wisely.
In the words of the famous dance tune by Olive – “You are not alone”.
While we might not “wait until the end of time for you”, we will do everything we can to support you.
Email us to submit your blog, ask a question or pitch and idea and we’ll give you help and advice.