I write a lot of blog posts. I work as a communications strategist, and find that a blog post often hits a sweet spot as a way to convey important information.
Just good enough blogging
Blog posts are usually long enough to provide context, durable enough to come back too, editable for when things change, and shareable when you need to answer a question that has already been answered. A well put together post takes the reader on a complete journey and can continue providing value over the long term / tail.
A blog post often needs to be “just good enough”, and readers expectations are “did I get what I came here for”, which is often an idea or help with something or a diversion. Most people aren’t expecting literature and they know that there is a pretty good chance that the older it is, the more grains of salt they should allow for.
Skip the blank page
When you get to writing a lot of blog posts, you come to appreciate having a framework that makes the process quicker and easier. You want a way to skip past the blank page and get information out of your head. And you want to be reasonably sure that it contains everything it needs to satisfy your reader.
You don’t want to spend ages writing, and you don’t want to ramble. You don’t want to confuse anyone, or make the the information hard to follow. You don’t want to leave anything else, or end flat. The best way I’ve found to tick all these boxes when writing blog posts is to use the 3 act structure.
Use the 3 act structure
That’s right, the same 3 act structure that guides all your favourite movies, books, and plays. How can you apply that to a blog post? Thanks to comic book artist Tim Stout, it is easy. On your blank page write:
Provide the reader the information they need to understand the subject of the post. Questions to answer here are: What makes you credible? What problem are you trying to solve? What led you to this point? What else did you try before?
These goals are usually shared goals that both you and your reader can relate to. What are we trying to change? What does success look like? What problems will we avoid if we get this right?
What is making things hard? This is the cost of not doing anything, or getting it wrong. What is at stake? What could go wrong?
Here we’re solving the problem or implementing the suggested change. We show them something new or different, and ask them to do something about or with it.
A complete story
I use the three act structure to write blog posts about almost any topic in a way that tells the reader a complete story. If you look closely you can see that I’ve used it to put together the posts in this #30for30 challenge. What is your go-to blog writing framework?