Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Make Each Blog Post as Good as a Book


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Don’t panic. This may sound daunting—to make each blog post as good as a book. What I mean is, does it have a main idea that gives the whole post value? Does it have an intriguing beginning and a powerful ending? Do the paragraphs stay on track and share just enough detail to make your point? Is the take away presented in such a way that it will affect the mind and heart of the reader? Is it as good as a book?

The comforting thing is that blog posts are short—normally 500-800 words. Their shortness made me think a long time ago that maybe they were “lesser” writing. (How wrong I was!) Although it was challenging to craft a blog post good enough to use, I felt that articles and books were further up on the hierarchy of importance in the publishing world. Plus, I didn’t think that many people were following me. I wanted to encourage others, but how were people going to find my blog in the thousands of Christian blogs online?

The Day that Blog Posts Got an Upgrade

I realized the value of blog posts when a kind friend asked me to write for her blog. She had been reading my blog (to my surprise), and she asked me to contribute to hers. She helped me to know that what I was writing was reaching an audience. Blog posts received an upgrade on my priority list that day.

Although books and magazines are the published materials we find on Amazon, blog posts help us get there. How is an editor going to know that our writing has quality? How are readers going to discover who we are, what we write about, and how we craft our messages? How can an agent tell if we’re serious about writing? Blogs matter. And even those weekly blog posts can end up on Amazon author pages. A nifty feature links an author page to the author’s blog, allowing previews of posts to appear on the page for all to see.

Another Valuable Priority

It’s not just the hope of a book contract that can motivate us to blog—it’s the people who will read our words. A book can take twelve months or more to be published. A blog post can take a few minutes. Through our blogs we have instant access to readers and their hearts and minds. This form of quick “publishing” should motivate us to work hard on making each blog post full of insight, personality, and take away.

7 Tips for Crafting Fantastic Blog Posts

Include some of the following key ingredients to craft blog posts that grab the reader’s attention, reveal a writer’s personality, share a structured message, and touch the reader’s heart and mind.
  • 1. Give your blog post a killer title. Pick a unique phrase from your lead-in to be the title, or use numbers. People love seven tips to do this or five steps to do that. Think practical.
  • 2. Start your blog post with a gripping first line. Make your post stand out by writing a first line that uses vivid nouns and verbs. If you’re starting with a story, leave out some vital information in the first line so the reader moves to the second line to see how the story progresses.
  • 3. Share relevant stories from the heart. As you share a story that relates to your take away, recall how you felt through the struggle, surprise, or challenge. Include some of your responses to a problem, and then share how God helped you through it. Readers may think, “I’ve been there, too.”  
  • 4. Think “devotion” or “article,” not “diary”—streamline your paragraphs to eliminate unnecessary details that distract from your main point instead of building to it. Some bloggers may use their sites as an online journal, but if your purpose is to encourage your readers, each post needs application for the readers’ daily lives and less of a “diary” feel.
  • 5. Don’t write “stiff”—write as if you are talking to a friend, and use what sparkles in your personality (humor, encouragement, punch, or the right amount of “mischief”).
  • 6. If you have written “from the heart,” go back and see if your post follows a hidden outline. If it doesn’t, tweak the wording and paragraphs to keep your flow of thought traveling in a straight line. If you always write from an outline, make sure the post has a flowing “melody” to your mind’s ear. If it has a staccato one, adjust the transitions between paragraphs to enhance the “music,” the flow, of your writing.
  • 7. End with a bang—take away that the reader will treasure, put into practice, or ponder for days to come.
Have you come to see the value of every blog post you write? What are your goals as you blog? Share them in the comments below, and join the conversation!

TWEETABLES


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, a ministry which seeks to connect people to God through His Word. She has taught the Bible to women and teens, and has published two Bible studies on winning life’s spiritual battles. Her newest release, Breaking the Chains, is a compilation on how to overcome spiritual bondage. Katy is also an editor and a designer of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. She makes her home near Atlanta, Georgia.

19 comments:

  1. Wonderful advice Ms. Katy. Thank you ma'am. This is definitely a "keeper." I too have always tried to teach write the way you speak. Let your words flow naturally. That's the beauty of writing; you can always edit to improve later. God's blessings

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    1. Thank you, Jim. Writing conversationally makes a world of difference. At least the writing that has affected my life. God bless your writing.

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  2. This is how you turn blog posts into a book! Great ideas.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. My Bible studies tend to be a series of articles or devotions, so it would be easy to turn blog posts into a book. Have you ever tried that? I wonder how hard it would be to piece together posts into chapters. God bless!

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  3. Great advice as always, Ms. Katy.
    Only one disagreement, a blog post does not take minutes to write. It takes 2 or 3 hours. Still shorter than writing a novel.
    I do agree it is important to let your personality show.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Ingmar. I was talking about how long it takes to publish it or post it. It definitely can take that long to write it. Even more when research is involved. Take care!

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  4. Katy, thanks for this list. I started my mom blog because an agent told me I needed an online presence. I didn't know enough to have any other purpose for my blog. But now, two years later, I have enough good content to start thinking about converting my blog into an e-book and use it as a marketing tool. As I comb through the posts, I'm going to use your tips to make some of my so-so posts stronger. Thanks!

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    1. That sounds like a great marketing tool, and I am so glad you want to use this post to help! Thank you for telling me. I hope the project goes well.

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  5. Katy, great advice! I really like the idea of a hidden outline in our posts. I know I usually have a main thought I'm trying to convey, but thinking about the hidden outline is a great tip. Thank you!!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne! When I write, I like to just "go for it," but I know I need to look back at the writing and make sure it has a structured flow of thought. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  6. I love these tips. No matter how much I learn about blogging, there is always more! Thanks.

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    1. Hello, Barbara! Nice to see you here. Thank you for your comment, and blogging is a year-long adventure, isn't it? There's always something to learn and something to share.

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  7. Very timely article as I'm editing my second ever blog. Thank you!

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    1. Congratulations on starting the blogging life! May God bless your blog, and I am glad you found this post helpful, Beth.

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  8. Great tips for posting one’s best on a blog. Possible book material. Thanks for sharing, Katy!

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    1. Thank you, Deborah! The principles do work for books too. Thanks for your comment.

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  9. These are all excellent points I'll try to apply to my blog writing. Thank you, Katy.

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    1. I am glad you liked them, Connie! Thanks for your comment and happy blogging.

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  10. Katy, this is excellent advice! Thank you so much for sharing such valuable insight.

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