A simple blueprint for blog posts that sing
Have you ever put a puzzle together?
Did you wonder if you’d ever get it done because there were just so many pieces?
Did it make you feel like you just wanted to pay someone to come in and finish it for you?
I felt like that the last time I helped my son put together a 50,000 piece Lego creation.
Really, it was more like 1100 pieces, but you get the point. My patience ran out long before the pieces on the floor did. It took us three nights. My wife stepped in to help. And by the time it was done, it looked pretty freaking impressive.
Legos need other Legos to be valuable.
A pile of Legos is worthless without a map to join them together.
Your writing is a lot like that.
You start with a raw idea. Then you figure out how to make it worth someone’s time to read. It’s kind of like drawing a picture by connecting a series of dots together. When you’re done, you have an aha moment you can’t help but share with others.
Do you see your writing as a building project?
The fun of writing is the thrill of free expression.
Free writing is what you do to vomit up a first draft. It’s useful when you want to explore the four corners of a new idea. And it’s great stuff to fill your journal with a stream of honest consciousness.
But it makes horrible writing to show your friends.
Does the thought of using a template make you cringe? Does using a blueprint feel restrictive to your creativity?
In this post, I’m giving you a template that is a lot like a Lego construction map. More specifically, it’s a blueprint you can apply to anything you write, especially blog posts.
If that’s a bit cloudy, here’s a metaphor.
When you take a trip, there might be ten ways you can get from where you are to where you want to be. What the map I’m giving you will do is make sure you take the best road, minimize detours along the way, and build an unforgettable experience when you arrive.
Then read on and unfold the map.
A Simple and Powerful Blueprint for Blog Posts That Sing
You won’t need 1000 pieces to build an awesome blog post.
You just need three.
Life is complicated enough already, right?
This will be even easier to remember because all the blocks start with the same letter. You may have had the 3 R’s in school — reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Allow me to introduce you to the three C’s.
And yes, they all really start with the letter C.
Building Block #1 — Be CLEAR.
When you’re building with Legos, you can’t build a hundred different things at once. If you want your finished piece to look like the picture on the box, you’ve got to follow the map.
To do that, the instructions should be crystal clear.
When you’re writing, have one objective. Focus on one main idea. Prove one point.
Leave the side road for another blog post.
Have you ever asked someone for directions and ended up more lost than you were before you asked?
Sometimes your point is complicated. If you’re solving a problem that has confused your reader for far too long, take time to break it down so she can understand.
When we can clearly see what we’re facing, we can decide what to do.
Be the guide that shows travelers the secret passage that leads to salvation. Show them a way when every way they’ve tried has failed. Give them the missing pieces so they can build something great.
Building Block #2 — Be CONCISE.
According to internetlivestats.com, there are almost 2 BILLION websites online right now.
Our culture has given us too many choices and too little time to explore them all.
As a result, we have shorter attention spans than goldfish. It’s not that we can’t concentrate for that long. We don’t want to because we’re afraid we’ll miss something that matters.
So we end up chasing every rabbit we see.
All rabbits are not created equal, however. The trouble with them is there are just so many. And when they run in front of us, we can’t help but look.
Your best bet at grabbing attention in this busy world is to be a Brooklyn Rabbit.
My favorite cartoon rabbit is Bugs Bunny. He’s got a mashed up Bronx/Brooklyn accent. He’s smarter than all his adversaries. And his wit keeps him five steps ahead of everyone.
It’s hard to ignore a wisecracking rabbit when the rest are silent.
What can we learn from this Looney Tunes legend?
Keep it short.
Hit ’em hard and fast.
And tell your whole story in less than 6 minutes.
That’s why headlines are a sentence long.
Fluff is for pillows. Grab us quick, deliver the goods, and let each paragraph entice us to read the next.
Let up for a split second and we’ll chase another rabbit.
We all want quick solutions. We don’t want to spend three nights building one Lego project. Make your point quickly and your busy readers will become raving fans.
Building Block #3 — Be CONVERSATIONAL.
What do you do when you build a Lego set with a friend?
You chit chat. You tell stories. You have a conversation.
There’s joy in connecting with others. There’s power in locking arms with a colleague to get something done. When people say life is better together, it’s because the experience is magical.
When you teach a lesson to others, someone else taught it to you. Great writing is a conversation over coffee, not a college lecture. Even the word conversation implies togetherness.
Invite people to share their stories, ask questions, and give you feedback. It’s a great way for us to sharpen each other. And who knows? You could uncover a point you can write your next blog post with!
We’re all telling ourselves stories. They’re the reason we do what we do. They’re the lens we use to look at the world. And they shape our thoughts morning, noon, and night.
When people ask us how we’re doing, they‘re asking for a story. Can you really develop a relationship with a series of one word answers?
Your readers are people, not stats on a chart. When your posts feel like conversations with a friend, your reader will read all the way to the end.
Go Build Your Own Masterpiece.
When you treat your writing like a Lego project, you’ll always build something awesome.
When you’re clear, concise, and conversational, people will think you’re a great writer. And you will be, because you’ll make the most of the limited time your readers can afford to give you. In fact, if you’re really good, they’ll find more time to devote to your words.
Build your next blog post with this blueprint. Then share your masterpiece in the comments so we can all rave over it!