16 August 2009

Using Formulas to Generate Ideas for Blog Posts

When you already have sufficient ideas, using formulas for structures will help you to turn them rapidly into posts. They allow you to sit down and write something of good quality quickly, blowing past writers’ block. I believe that all high-volume writers make use of formulas.

Here are a few that I have found work well for blog posts:-
1. Lists

Lists have three principal advantages. They are:

1. Easy to put together
2. Flexible
3. Popular

2. How to

A how-to post also provides a list, in this case a prescriptive one. They can be organized in list format or simply described, one step after the other within paragraphs. Readers like them because they provide practical help. To write one, you:

* Describe the goal or value of doing something.

* List or write up the steps required to achieve the goal in chronological order,
providing a brief explanation of each one.

* Warn the reader of any risks or problems she is likely to encounter.

3. Story with a Oint

I sat listening to a recruiter, whom I will call Nikki, describe how she had assembled a table of important guests for a fund raiser. Nikki, whose intelligence and lack of pretention appeal to everyone, had been trying to network with executives who were her seniors in age, rank, status and income and, naturally, had been struggling. She sparkled as she told how she lined up one exec after another for the event. I knew she had made a breakthrough.

4. Diamond in the Rough

A diamond-in-the-rough post starts with some mundane observation and holds it up to the light of reasoning to show that it actually glistens with deeper importance and meaning and possibility. For example, using a formula to structure a post might seem a sure way to lower its quality. Formulas might be expected to produce posts of leaden similarity.

But . . . let me compare it to another’s way . . . of writing, say Shakespeare or Browning writing a sonnet. As one of the formulas described in this post forces a tight structure on your writing, so much more so does a sonnet with its limit of 14 lines of ten syllables each, all in iambic pentameter and with a set rhyme scheme. Structure liberates as much as it constrains in both poem and post. . . How does it help you? Let me list some ways. . . It forces structure on your ideas, and that structure helps you articulate them clearly. As you become more familiar with the structure, you become better at fitting your thoughts to it, so your writing becomes more compelling. Each post can be different and good as were Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets. Not having to develop a structure from scratch, you can produce your post or poem more quickly, helping you, and Shakespeare, master that . . . bloody tyrant, time.

5. The other Point of View

A post using the formula, explains another point of view to those who might not have either the opportunity or inclination to hear it otherwise.

For example, I have been resisting becoming actively involved in Twitter, concerned that this blog demands so much focus and time that I can’t afford to add yet another communications channel to my market and work it effectively.
Though the time invested in developing content for a blog is substantial, once you have it, it is easy to adapt for use in other social media. And the value is high, because the additional channels, be they LinkedIn or Twitter or whatever, feed readers to the content and make it easier to find. Unless the content you spent so much time developing is found, it will do you little good. “Every post has at least one idea that can be captured in 140 characters for Twitter. It’s so easy, why pass it up?” she concluded, neatly making her point in her two tweetable closing sentences.

6. The interview

If you can think up some good questions and come up with an expert, you can write an interview post. seo guru has published many more interviews in his blog:

Q: What are the principal advantages of interview posts?

Man: They offer direct insights into an expert’s views.

Q: How do they need to be adapted to the blog post format?

Man: You have to summarize to fit the need for short pieces while maintaining the integrity of the original thought and the voice of the speaker.

Q: Why do you like doing interviews?

Man: My readers like them and I get first hand exposure to the ideas of some of the leading thinkers in the professions.

Guest MiniPost:

Why Use Posts by Guest Bloggers by, SEO Guru
Asking someone to guest-author a post on your blog lets you present a fresh voice and new perspective to your readers. When the guest blogger promotes the post to her network it can help increase your traffic and potential subscribers. And, if you’ve got writer’s block or simply blog-writer-fatigue, having someone guest-post gives you a little respite.

contributed by, ABHISHEK SEO

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