The average person takes in the equivalent of more than 174 newspapers worth of data each day, and your challenge is getting someone to not only read what you wrote on your blog, but maybe, also, to remember something about it.
Once you understand how much information the average person is bombarded with in a day, you can approach your own blog’s content with wiser eyes.
Do you know what one of the best formats for a blog post is?
People like lists. They understand them. They’re easy to read and remember.
Why do you think so many lists appear in top-selling magazines? Think about Real Simple for example. The cover generally advertises at least a few articles inside giving you 14 Ways to Clean Your Kitchen, or 48 Ways to Easily De-clutter Your Bedroom, right? The research has already been done on this, so make use of this knowledge and apply it to your blog.
- Write a few words that describe your blog. If you already have a tagline, expand on that. If you haven’t branded yourself quite yet, briefly summarize what you normally blog about. Let’s say you write about your personal life, horses and baking.
- Pick one of those subjects and break it out. Take your personal life. What are things you have learned in the last year? What are some mistakes you’ll never make again and why? What have you purchased this year?
- Take the items you are most excited about and write the titles. Using the examples in #2 you could have:
- “8 Things I learned in 2012”
- “4 Mistakes I made as a Young Adult I’ll Never Make Again”
- “7 Things I Bought That Made My Life Easier”
Lists are great because once you have the title, they basically write themselves. They are also accessible to more potential readers; you can snag someone with a minuscule amount of time when you present a list. And most of all, lists are easy to share. People would rather share a list of something useful with friends rather than a very long diatribe about the happenings in your life the past week.
Lists help you package a lot of pieces together in a new way, and often, they make blogging more fun, too.
If you happen to be a journaler, packing your entries into list format is not only a good writing exercise—it also helps you gain a new perspective on whatever you may be writing about. Instead of just recording the happenings of last week, what if you called your entry “10 New Things I Discovered Last Week.” Your entry immediately becomes more than just a recall of events, and becomes something richer and deeper. If you are the type that hopes to pass your journals along to your descendants, reading list entries like the example above makes for some interesting reading.
Lists can be so much more than what you need to pick up at the grocery store or things you need to get done this week. Make use of this technique in your blogging (and writing).
Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of the How to Write series. Read the others here:
How to Write: Sympathy Notes
How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes
How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes
How to Write: Thank You Notes
How to Write: With a Fountain Pen
How to Write: To a New Penpal
How to Maintain Your Pen Collection
How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills
How to Write: A Letter of Resignation
How to Write: A Letter of Recommendation