The key to crafting a great blog – do not rush through writing down everything that enters your mind. Take time to pause as you would in a prepared speech and give your audience breathing room to think about what you’ve just written. Give every word purpose and meaning to create the impact that you want. Here are a few tips that might help you craft that successful post.
Choose a Topic
Take a little extra time defining your topic and the post will flow better and you’ll develop something that matters to readers. “Like when you’re developing a topic for a great speech, think about your fellow Toastmaster’s interests…and what they want to read!”
Craft a Title
Perhaps the most crucial part of actually getting readers to start reading your post is when they see it on the blog site or D44 website. “As in any speech that we write we want to grab the audience’s attention with a clever title!”
The Opening Line
First impressions matter. Once you’ve got someone past your post’s title your opening line draws them deeper into your post. “Once again we all know as Toastmasters how important that introductory line is…the one that sets the hook and starts reeling us in!”
A post needs to have a message. If it’s just an intriguing title and opening you’ll get people to read – but if the post doesn’t ‘matter’ to them it’ll never get traction. As in your CC speech project “Get to the Point”, get your point across with simplicity, eliminate any jargon, unnecessary words and descriptions.”
Activate Your Audience
Driving readers to do something keeps a post in their mind and helps them to apply it and helps you to make a deeper connection with them. “We constantly inspire others with our speeches. Make your words memorable so your audience can relate to them.”
Fine Tune Your Post
Small mistakes can be barriers to engagement for some readers. Spending time fixing errors and making a post ‘look’ good can take it to the next level. “As Toastmasters we know that good use of grammar is very important and easy to do when writing so taking the time to edit your words helps the editor (LaTrice) in the long run.”
Length of Your Post
The length of your post should be no more than 300-600 words in length. “Like an elevator speech, saying what you want in a short period of time.”
If you write a really long blog post (1000 words or more), you have a higher chance of ranking well in Google. Long posts require strong writing skills. Not every writer will be able to write readable blog posts of more than 1000 words. Content that exceeds 2,000 words performs best in terms of social shares and backlinks.
Promote Your Blog Post
Before sending off your blog to me to edit, try sending it off to a few of your fellow Toastmasters to receive testimonials that you can add at the end just like a great book. “Readers will definitely want to read it then!”
Often the real action happens once your post is published and there is interaction with readers and other bloggers. Taking time to dialogue can be very fruitful. “The D44 Facebook page is a great way to get people to comment on your ideas and give you positive feedback (like in a speech evaluation or mentor feedback on a written speech).” The District 44 PRO team will promote your blog on Social Media and include a link to your blog.
Your photos for the blog can increase your readership. Photos are generally either: 900px x 300px for large pictures or 300px x 300px for headshots.
Photos can be cropped in most photo editors on your desktop, but if you don’t have one – a free tool online called PicMonkey can help immensely. You load your photo, make adjustments to size, and then save back onto your computer.
They should be saved as jpeg files and should typically be not more than 100k in size.
Sometimes One Picture Won’t Do
Here is a way to get three pictures into one using PicMonkey Collage Maker. It allows you to add 3 or 4 pictures into the 900px by 300px size. This is perfect for Charter Parties and Celebrations.
First set the size settings in PicMonkey (per screen settings below), then choose your photos and upload them onto the canvas. Choose your large people photo for the big box, choose a few important people for one of the small boxes, and perhaps choose your charter celebration cake for the other small box. Give it a try. No downloading necessary.
3 Click submit button and send to the editor – we post every Tuesday
When you feel you have crafted a blog that will inspire your readers, submit your post and photo to District 44 Blog Editor LaTrice Ross, DTM: firstname.lastname@example.org