For years, the rumor that blogging is in decline has circulated on the internet. But author and speaker Jonathan Milligan believes blogging is still an important foundational practice for writers. He cautions writers to avoid building their audience entirely on social media and suggests they use a blog as the primary place to connect with readers.
In an interview with hope*writers, Jonathan shared his POST formula for writing an engaging blog post. If you’re just getting started writing online or out of practice writing for a blog, consider using his formula to take your blog posts to the next level.
Before you start writing, determine the purpose of your post. Are you offering a solution or encouraging reflection? Maybe you want to teach your readers something or provide a sense of hope and healing. Whatever the reason, it will direct how you share your message. Does the reader need a story? Inspiration? A bulleted list of solutions? Writing with your purpose in mind helps you decide what form your message will take.
Unlike long-form articles or essays, blog posts are often received best by readers when written in an outline format. Use eye-catching headings with easy-to-understand and clearly marked subpoints. Change the font size and use bold letters to make the outline more skimmable. A clear outline helps readers zero in on the important information. Ideally, your outline will engage the reader enough for them to slow down and read the post in its entirety.
All writers hope readers will engage with every word of their blog post, but the truth is, many readers will skim the post first to see if it’s worth their time. Thanks to smartphones, sound bites, and social media, audiences have a shorter attention span for reading. Use white space and an outline to your advantage to keep your audience engaged with a post that’s easily scannable.
Be sure to include a teaser with each blog post that leads readers to something more — a lead magnet, a free offer, or a product — with the end goal of capturing their information for your email list. An email list is a great asset because you own it. Blog posts are a natural way to encourage readers to join.
Blogging isn’t dead! Take advantage of the opportunity to create an online space where you provide great content to your readers while encouraging them to sign up for your email list. Practice writing posts using the acronym above and watch your readership grow.
Are you a blogger who wants to publish a book someday? To help you make progress in your writing journey, we've put together a simple guide that will lead you through 10 questions to ask yourself before you write a book. Click here to check out this free resource.