I’m here to give you some suggestions on how to find thoughtful, informative, entertaining, and educational things to say on your blog.
The Writer’s Triangle
When I’m looking for ideas, I like to use the Writer’s Triangle. The Writer’s Triangle is a simple tool that’s flexible enough to be used in a variety of circumstances and solid enough to lean on when the writing gets rough. (For more information, here’s a short video.)
The Triangle sits inside the circle of Context. So take a look at what’s happening in your field, discipline, or industry. A great way to do that is to set up Google Alerts. When you set up a Google Alert, Google searches the internet for keywords of your choice and sends you a digest however often you decide—daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s an easy way to stay on top of things without spending all your time on the web.
Next, think about your WHY.
At the base of the Writer’s Triangle is your Purpose.
- Why did you start a blog?
- Are you trying to drive customers to your website?
- Well then, what is it about your website that would interest them?
Are you trying to make sales? What’s so great about your product that people should jump out of their desk, grab their wallet, and buy it – right NOW! (without all the sales hype, of course)
Are you trying to make people aware of your presence online? Then how can you entertain or educate or inform them in ways they would appreciate?
And that brings us to the left side of the Writing Triangle, your Audience.
- Who are they?
- Are they male, female; white, black, or brown; skinny, fat, or pear-shaped?
- Are they happy with their jobs, miserable at work, or unemployed?
- Do they have kids, or dogs, or grandkids?
- Are they struggling with the empty nest syndrome, anxiously waiting to fill the bassinette, or running for cover from the screaming demons (oh, I mean, li’l darlins.)
If you don’t know, ask! Conduct a survey. Run a contest. Have a giveaway. And find out who your readers are and why they’re coming to check out your blog (or not).
Finally, who are you? After all, you’re the Author.
It’s your blog. And it’s no good pretending to be somebody else. Your readers will figure that out in a heartbeat. No one will come back to a blog that reads like an insurance brochure.
So if your writing sounds like a stuffed shirt, loosen the collar. Throw in a few contractions. Speak directly to your reader, with personal pronouns – like you, or even y’all.
But don’t overdo it. Unless you actually are a 16-year old girl, you don’t need to write like one.
Be yourself; just be the best yourself – then Photoshop yourself, with all the colors enhanced, so that the tones are rich and the shadows are muted and all the surrounding hues complement your features perfectly.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Remember, whenever you’re looking for something to say, return to the Writer’s Triangle and consider your Context, your Purpose, your Audience, and yourself-the Author. And if this post gave you any ideas, be sure to share them!
[box type=”info”] Michelle Baker earned her PhD in English Language and Literature from the Catholic University of America in 2008. After teaching English to adult professionals for more than a decade, she founded Corporate Writing Pro. Her company is dedicated to helping well-educated, competent professionals communicate clearly with confidence and ease. For more information about her work, please visit http://corporatewritingpro.com. [/box] Guest post by: Michelle Baker, The Corporate Writing Pro.