By Stephanie Judd, Erb ’13
So, you want to write a blog post for Erb Perspectives but don’t know where to start? Consider these 5 easy steps:
Step 1. Brainstorm topic and format
Most blog posts can be broken up into 3 primary buckets. Before you begin to write, decide which type of story you want to write and stick to it:
- Breaking News (you are the first to report on a story)
- Resource posts (Top 10 lists, Best of, 5 ways to do X, etc)
- Original News (Reactions to news articles, interviews, a lecture you attended, an epiphany you had, case competitions, conferences, trips, community events, EAB events, etc).
The blog is designed to showcase what Erb is currently up to, so anything you do as an Erb student is a relevant topic. The audience for the blog is mostly the wider Erb community, including prospective students, alumni, and potential employers. Think about how you would want Erb to be perceived by these people, and adjust your tone and professionalism accordingly.
Step 2. Title, title, title!
Use a title that is catchy, but relevant. Research has shown that people primarily SCAN things they see on the Internet until they find something that catches their eye. If you want to create a post that is widely read, shared, and appreciated, be sure to craft a good title.
- Jakob Nielsen’s How Users Read on the Web
- 10 Articles All Bloggers Should Read (at least once)
- How to write great headlines
- More Headline Formulas
Once you have a good title, a revealing or catchy subheading can go a long way toward hooking readers into actually reading the post you have spent so much time working on.
Step 3. Writing style
Writing effective posts requires unobtrusive and simple language. Here are a few tips:
- Get right to the point.
- Use subheadings whenever possible to break up the post.
- Don’t write paragraphs that are longer than a few sentences.
- Highlight major points in bold font. Omit needless words.
Step 4: Images
It is standard practice among bloggers to include a small picture, image, or infographic at the beginning of a post. This image helps contextualize your post, as well as draws potential readers in out of sheer curiosity. Use this as a chance to visually show the world the Erb awesomeness.
Step 5: Add Links!
Links to and from the blog help to raise it on Google search rankings and drive traffic to the site:
- Include links to outside blogs, articles, companies, etc.
- If you link to a blog, have them link to you. This is common blog etiquette, and a great idea if you maintain your own personal blog.
- Post links to your articles on Facebook, your Google status, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Step 6: Send your Content to the VP of Communications
The VP of Communications will act as the editor and parse your article before posting it. (S)he will provide you with feedback and suggestions in order to refine your tone and finalize your content. When your article is ready, the blog team will post it to the blog.