Pre-Writing Strategies for Your Blog Posts

This is a guest article by Lauren. Join the discussion and voice your opinion by following our guest blogging guidelines.

If you’re lucky, writing blog posts comes naturally. Congratulations! You’re probably a talented writer who can just sit down and write whatever comes to your head. However, there are plenty of us out there who can’t really do that. Instead, we have to rely on some pre-writing strategies to help us get our blogging done. If you’re like me, then you know what I mean. Maybe you could benefit from using some of my own pre-writing strategies?

List Dump

Basically, when you start a list dump, you write down every single idea you have in a list form. These should be single words or short phrases that can become topics of future blog posts. Keep this list in a file that you can add to whenever you feel like list-dumping or whenever you need an idea for a new blog post.

Free-Write for Five Minutes

Another way to start preparing to write a blog post is to actually simply force yourself to write for five minutes. It might seem silly at first, but really, free-writing allows you to just write down whatever you can think of regarding a specific topic. You don’t have to worry about formatting, or typing errors, or grammar, or even making complete sentences. Instead, you just want to get down all of your thoughts so that you can edit them later. Some of these thoughts might turn out useful for a serious blog post.

Map Out Your Ideas

If you’re more of a visual kind of writer, then you might consider pulling out a huge sheet of paper and sketching your blog post into a bubble map or web of ideas. Sketching your ideas into a visual design could help you see how each idea relates to another. It could even help discover some other relationships that you hadn’t thought of before, which would lead to more content for you, either in that same blog post or in future blog posts.

Outline A Post

Outlining is a great way to organize your thoughts. Once you use other pre-writing techniques to figure out what you want to write, you can outline your thoughts to help you organize them into a well-structured blog post that has an introduction, middle, and conclusion. This will make your blog post much easier for your readers to read. Try to fill out an outline format of your ideas: write a thesis statement, topic sentences, supporting details, and a conclusion. When you go to write the actual post, you can pull from those sections and then write in the transitions on your own.

Comment Essay

Another, perhaps more unique, form of pre-writing is to actually build a comment into your actual essay for a post. Go to a blog that you frequently read and select a post in which to write a comment in response. Start typing your response in the comment section and write as long as you can in response to the subject of the post. When you can’t write any longer, copy and paste that comment into your blog post editor. Look for ways that you can flesh it out into a stronger post; when you publish it, be sure to link back to the post on the other blog that inspired it.

  • I’m totally rubbish at writing. I had to pay someone to write most of the content for my site. Now i hope to change that and get over my blank sheet issues.

    Many thanks for your help.

    • Start now and you will got overcome the fear. I remember, at the start, i was not even able to complete a single paragraph. But the situation changes with practice

  • Cool. I am not a natural-born writer, so these tips although simple, but I can definitely use them! Thank you so much.

    Excuse me, now I need to go crack some good content for my blog. 🙂

  • I am not great writer but your article gives idea about how to make myself great writer thanks

  • I guess writing has been my biggest issue for sure. I try to let my pictures do my talking for me!

  • Joe

    well, for you it might sound easy, because I guess you’re a copywriter or at least you blog pretty often, but for us, the more techie guys, programming with all day long:D it might sound a little bit difficult. anyway, I like 2 steps: write for five minutes and using mapping tools… i’ll try the other tips too in the future

    • Joe, it might be difficult at first, but it will become easier after you get tuned to process. I am a techy guy, so I understand your situation. Any person can become a good writer by being consistent reader and writer. The more you read and write, the better you become.
      The key is to never give up.

  • I tend to be a free writer, but there are some great tips here for me to try next time I need a bit more help.

  • Thank you for your tips!

    It seems that just after reading them all I did understood that for me writing of blog posts come more in a natural way. As so far I did not have a real necessity to do any of your suggestions. However, I think that it always is a good idea of brainstorming what you have in your way mentioned at the beginning, but I use it more for getting new ideas, not really exactly for writing posts.

    • What you actually do is : mind mapping. I do the same when I am on the lookout for new ideas. These strategies are for the guys who have a difficulty in writing well articulated articles. For the ones who have a natural flair for writing can employ their existing techniques to write articles.

  • These are fantastic strategies that should really be applied to any kind of writing one does, really… I’ve forgotten how to do many of these since high school and your post sure helped bring back the techniques. Thanks!

  • Hi Lauren!

    There are some fantastic ideas here, especially the comment essay! I’ve been guilty of leaving comments that were more like dissertations, myself. And after over a decade of writing online, I find it’s actually HARDER for me now to write in Word rather than in a comment or forum message box!

    Kind of weird, but I’ve been writing online for so long now that it’s just what I’ve gotten used to. Sometimes the visual aides are all you need. =)

    Thanks for the post!

    • Delena,
      if you are more comfortable with comment boxes, you can write the article in the comment box and then cut and paste in your post editor. Through that method, you will be ready with plenty of articles and it wouldn’t feel weird when writing each one of them.

  • Good post Lauren, whenever I have an idea for a post, I write it down so I don’t forget about it!

  • Hi Lauren,

    I personally prefer your 2nd methods for deciding pre- writing strategies for a blog post. This is the best way to know that “with which level of comfort you can write on a topic” and if you are feeling uncomfortable in writing this then you can also refer to some another preparation for the same topic like reading some useful information from other post on the same topic and write your personal view or experience about that.

    • Soffia,
      Yes, if you are not uncomfortable with a certain topic or area, you will get to know about it when you are trying to jot down point and write about it. If you are comfortable with the topic, it wouldn’t take you long to complete a good article in a span of 2-3 hrs. But, on the other hand, if you have difficulty in writing, you may take days to write a average article.

      So. the best solution is to take some inspiration and read other articles which are similar to the topic you want to cover. By reading articles, you gain perspective as well as some good ideas which you can incorporate in your article (of course, you have to mention the sources).

  • Important tips. Enjoyed reading the article and I think we all suffer from writer’s block at some point so your advice will come in very handy for lots of people. I write random paragraphs just say about 5 of them and make an article out of the one that I get an idea,

    • If these 5 paragraphs are random, then, how are you able to relate them and make an article out of it?

  • Hi, Lauren.

    Great stuff you have here. Whether we are newbies at writing or have been doing it for quite a while, we can make use of the tips you have stated here. I have been writing for quite a time now and there are just times when I can’t put down anything on paper or even on my laptop. Even if I’ve already taken the requisite walk for me to de-stress, still nothing comes up. This is exactly that time when I could make use of the tips you have mentioned above. I especially like the one about the comment essay because I have not done that before. Might be doing one soon.

    A big kudos goes out to you, too, Gautam, for having Lauren and her wonderful post here.

    • Thanks Wes. The whole point of guest blogging is to have a forum where everyone can share something that actually helps others to be better bloggers and writers.

      The best thing I like about guest bloggers like Lauren, they add a new perspective to my blog.

  • Phil@yacht charter croatia

    Not to disappoint anyone, but writing actually tend to become harder and harder as time passes by, especially if you keep writing on the same subject. It becomes harder not to repeat yourself and come up with accurate information. Of course, it also depends on the rate with which you blog or write. But a valid entry nonetheless.

    • A really good point. The main reason why we struggle is because we are out of ideas and once you have covered almost everything, it becomes really difficult to write about something different.
      But, the only solution to that : reading and more reading. You are exposed more schools of thought by reading multiple blogs. An article can be an amalgamation of all these blogs i.e. a condensed article comprising of many sub-articles.
      There are hundreds of techniques which can get you better results than this, you just find out yourself.

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  • Important tips. Enjoyed reading the article and I think we all suffer from writer’s block at some point so your advice will come in very handy for lots of people. I write random paragraphs just say about 5 of them and make an article out of the one that I get an idea from

  • Fantastic article! This is exactly what I was looking for. Writing does not come naturally to me and I find that I waste A LOT of time when it comes to getting started on a post or any writing assignment. I have always been a procrastinator but I’m even worse about putting off writing until the very last minute. I really appreciate your great tips about free writing for 5 minutes and mapping out your ideas. I hope that these will work for me – I am going to give them a try and I will let you know!!

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