Sorry, I don’t want to be presumptuous.

Wendy Piersall tagged me with this question a few days back: What Does It Take To Write A Great Blog Post? Kim Dushinski tagged her as part of Mohit Singhania’s Be Original Project.

bloggytagsmall.pngMy first thought…I have no idea. But I know, that’s a cop out.

The very next thing I think is that I can consider a post to be great, but you, the reader (and commenter), ultimately get to decide whether you feel the post is great or not. It’s sort of like me calling myself an expert in something and we already know how I feel about that.

I was curious what others had to say, so I poked around a bit and found that scrap booking is HUGE in the blogosphere. Who knew? And there were some helpful posts from scrap bookers. I’m amazed, however, at how developed this community is in the blogosphere.

Of course, I also found folks I was more familiar with with some very helpful ideas. For instance, Ben Yoskovitz suggests writing in bite-sized chunks, Terry Starbucker asserts his uniqueness in a genuine way, Mike Schaffner focuses his passion and explains it to the world, Leo at ZenHabits puts himself in every post, and Mike Sansone gives tips on making your blog sound like you.

My favorite piece of advice has to come from Dave Olson – live, feel, think, write and edit. It’s simple. It’s sweet. It’s beautiful.

Of course I had to take a look at what Liz Strauss had to say on the subject. Sure, I consider her a friend. Yet she write some of the most interesting and most conversational posts I know of. Liz suggests before you begin, STOP.

Choose to write about your passion whenever you can, but when you cannot, be passionate about what you write.

  • Reflect on what you want to say. Know in your mind what your message is. Try it on for size. Imagine what you want readers to know, want them to see, want them to feel in their bones.
  • Give those feelings spectacular words such as breathtaking, exhilarating, compelling, stunning, amazed, intrigued, or entranced. Imagine being a kid discovering this information for the first time. Try to capture the way it would feel.

Okay, enough stalling. The title of my post is How ‘I’ Write Great Blog Posts, so I should probably explain my way.

For me, it’s pretty simple. I write about what’s fresh on my mind and in my heart. I’ve found that what I’m living, loving and learning has the most passion for me. It’s the most honest, the most exciting and the freshest.

Sometimes it’s directly business / blog / conversation related. Sometimes it’s more about personal growth, spirituality. Sometimes it’s something I’ve learned or have a new thought about. Other times I have something to teach. And still there are times when I just need to take a stand on a topic.

Sure I peek at my reader and various search topics. And I always keep an eye on hot blogging topics. But I always bring it back to what’s fresh in my life, what I’m currently in love with and what I’m learning.

The other key for me is that I don’t separate Dawud the Blogger from Dawud the Man, the Father, the Husband, the Business Owner, the Coach & Consultant, the Healer, and the Spiritual Being. I am all of those when I blog. In other words, I bring my whole self into my blogging; from all perspectives and from every experience.

To summarize, here’s a few questions you can consider when you’re sitting down to write you posts:

  • What is fresh in my mind, my heart and my soul today?
  • What from my life will my readers enjoy and gain benefit from?
  • What am I currently in love with?
  • What have I recently learned or am learning?

The last question, which can be more of an overall blogging goals-type question:

  • How can I bring more of my entire self forward in my blogging?

So now you know my secrets. Well, truth be known they’re not really secrets because I’m here doing it every day. I love the conversation and I love the relationships. That’s why for me writing a great post is about bringing my whole self forward and being true with where I am.
Of course I have to share some techniques with you like how to be original, how to create original content, using GMail’s autofilters, adding cool images, and listening to your inner voice. Not to forget the 101 ways to create original blog posts.

So how do you do it? How do you write great posts?

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. This is a lovely post Dawud. I liked the way that you summed up previous writers’ thoughts and opinions. It is a difficult question, isn’t it, because the immediate thought is, “What, am I meant to think that I write outstanding blog posts?”

    And then a helpful conclusion – put yourself into your post.

    Good stuff all round!

  2. Dawud,

    Thanks for the kind words. I love how you bring everything to the one concept: current. I like that. Fresh and relevant. I see that in what you write.

  3. Dave,

    Thanks. It seems I’m just figuring out more and more that what I’m writing is me. Know what I mean? It’s not the topic so much as it is me showing up fully in my posts. That’s what seems to make all the difference.

  4. Yes, we scrapbookers are a noisy lot with plenty to say, aren’t we? If you were surprised by our presence in the blogosphere, you might also be surprised to hear that scrapbooking is a $3+ billion industry. We have our own trade show that draws thousands to Vegas every year, and there are more than 8 consumer magazines devoted to the craft.

    All that aside, I appreciated all your links to all the discussion on this top (and am grateful for your link to my part in it). Kudos on the link roundup!

  5. Rory,

    Thanks. I worked a good bit on this post. It took me a bit of time to put all the links together. But I enjoyed reading each post. And, I was totally surprised by the scrapbooking blog community. That threw me.

    Thanks for reading and for commenting. I’d love to know more about your posting process.

  6. It does take time to put links together, doesn’t it – and there were a lot of them on your post. It wouldn’t be the first time I drew together a list of links, and had them all point to the same address!

    Actually, Dave Olson very kindly tagged me on this question and I claimed that outstanding posts arrive fully formed, which means that I spend an inordinate amount of time at the library agonizing over the idea that won’t quite take shape.

    There’s actually quite a bit of truth to that last statement. I finish work early some days, so I spend the time in the library with a notepad, exclusively writing articles – even if it’s just parts that can be shaped later. That time, just an hour or two, is very helpful in getting several articles ahead. And then I try not to be stuck in front of a computer at home (too much).

    I must check out more of your writing – I see some very interesting titles in your sidebar…

  7. Angie,

    Wow! I had no idea. I knew that scrapbooking was huge in general, but I had no idea it’s a 3+ billion dollar industry. Amazing.

    You’re welcome on the links. Looks like I somehow set myself up to spread the scrapbooking word a little bit.

    Rory,

    I spend an inordinate amount of time at the library agonizing over the idea that won’t quite take shape.

    I know what you mean. You should see the list of partial posts I have in my WordPress account. It’s amazing, really.

    I like the idea of getting away from the computer to write and coming to it with fully formed ideas. I’m going to give that a try. I usually chunk through a topic mentally before I begin writing but it would be good to do so on paper away from the computer. Could open a whole new set of ideas. Thanks for the tip.

    And please, poke around. I hope you find some posts you enjoy. I’m going to head over to your blog and read the post you mention above and poke around myself.

  8. Dawud:

    This post was definitely You — from the care and attention to looking at the expertise of others to sharing yourself AND managing to create useful points out of that direct sharing. Thanks!

    I can only share that I agree with being Present in one’s posts — and that can be difficult for me. If I try too hard to be organized and coherent and on target, I get caught up in trying to sound Smart and Knowledgeable and getting the post-to-be Just Right. Which of course leads to it not happening at all (and hence my own pile of draft posts to be completed).

    I find for myself that I need to write while the impulse is fresh and I need to just imagine it as a piece of a conversation — just sharing my thoughts, not Trying to be Brilliant and Impressive. Then it’s more likely to actually get done and the Post button clicked. 😉

    Love your conversations — 😉

    Karen

  9. Karen,

    Thanks.

    The key for me is to write while the impulse is fresh, as well. It’s just I do so with all my…senses, if you will. In other words, I don’t worry so much about sounding great. I focus, instead, on expressing myself just as though we were talking in person. I’m sure you hear that in my posts and in my comments.

  10. Exactly —

    I personally just have to go fast to make sure I don’t start overthinking and talking to myself instead of “just talking” to someone else. 😉

    Karen

  11. Karen,

    That might be perfect…think of it as ‘stream of consciousness writing.’ I sometimes like the way my writing comes out when I write as from a single stream of consciousness.

    In other words, turn that problem into an apportunity.

  12. Exabyte

    Fire in a tropical desert.

    The smoke plumes for 500 miles.

    Morning like a raw throat over a clear still lake.

    Captured in the blinking eye of an escaping lizard.

    squatting beside a riot.

    Dateless and flailing in the breeze.

    Edging closer to a hurricane and shouting at the eye.

  13. I just started out blogging and I’m looking for good resources on the internet. Your blog seems pretty good, might be going down my bookmarks. Take care and pay my blog a visit sometime. 🙂

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