The other day, a coworker was asking me about how to write a blog post or an article. It dawned on me that once we get to college and post-college, that we don't have to write papers and essays all the time so we forget how to do some of these things. It can also be tricky trying to remember all the formatting and tricks on making a successful article or blog post. It made me start thinking about the top seven things I do when I start to write my Odyssey article for the week.
1. Select a topic to write on.
There are so many different topics one could write about, it can almost be overwhelming. I try to pick something that is a "hot topic" such as a movie that just came out or the season we are in. For example, with it being summer, I would try to write something about summer or vacation rather than winter and snow. Select a topic that people are interested in reading.
2. Pick my audience.
Sometimes, it's easier to pick the audience and then a topic to write on. With Odyssey, the audience is usually Facebook. For me specifically, most of my friends on Facebook are college students so I gear my articles towards things happening on campus or what it's like being a college student. If you are working in a corporate or business setting, you could be using your writing for marketing purposes. If that's the case, then you would want to pick a target audience that you work with.
3. Come up with a creative twist on the topic.
Instead of just writing about summer, try and put a twist on it. Rather than just summer in general, write about different things to do in the summer. Or a list of things not to do in the summer. Lists are also very popular (such as this one) because it's quick to read and if the reader wants more information, then they can read your descriptions under each topic.
4. Do some research if needed.
If there's a topic you are writing on, but you aren't sure some of the fine details, check your research before writing and posting. If you do use a source, cite the information and maybe even include a link to the website where you got the information.
5. Use images to make the article more appealing.
In today's culture, visual elements are very important to draw a viewer in. In articles and blog posts, the best thing to do to make a reader click on your page is to have a visually appealing image. Once the reader clicks on your article, you also want to keep them entertained once they are reading. Throw in some relevant images throughout your paragraphs.
6. Keep it short and to the point.
Sometimes, us writers can get wordy and make super long articles. When an article gets to be over 750 words, you can sometimes lose the a reader. By keeping your article short and to the point, you will have more people read your post.
7. Share, share, share!
Once you write your article, find social media platforms that are relate to what you wrote. You can always reach out to specific pages on Facebook and ask companies to share your article. It's also important to share your post outside of Facebook to places such as Instagram, Pinterest and even SnapChat.