There are some things I have to remind myself of when I am blogging. One of those things is to stay on topic. You see oftentimes I get started talking about one subject and then wander off in the course of my writing to another one. It has always been a big problem for me to stay on topic and stick with just one idea at a time. I know that is a difficulty for many other people too. Everyone at times has a hard time staying on topic, especially when your write every day, like most good bloggers do. Well, hopefully I can help you out with some tips on how to stay focused and write really good blog posts, even when you have a tendency to get distracted.
Make an outline
A good way to stay on topic in your blog post, especially if it is a longer blog post or one with complex ideas, is to make an outline. You do not have to write everything down in an outline, but it is a good way to keep yourself on task and make sure you hit all the points you wanted to. This is especially a good idea if you are writing a blog post that includes vital directions or steps. This way you do not forget to include a step as you get caught up in your writing.
Keep a journal
I know I get lots of good blog post ideas while I am driving in my car, lying in bed, or doing some other mundane task. That is why you should keep an idea journal with you at all times. It does not have to be something big or fancy. A small notepad works well. Just do not scribble things down on random pieces of paper, you will never find them again. A journal can even be electronic, like a note section in your cell phone. That way you are pretty much guaranteed not to lose it. Remember to write notes on every part of your idea and be specific. You will end up forgetting something important otherwise. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves it that we will remember something later. You will not, so write it down clearly, legibly, and with all the points you need so that you can have a great blog post all ready to go once you are ready to write.
Make a list
A list format is a great thing to write for a blog post. Not only do your readers love a list because it is short, able to be scanned, and an easy format for them to grasp, but you should love lists too. Lists make it easy to see where you are going with a topic and break it up into small manageable chunks. This way you constantly have to bring yourself back to the main idea and see which points fit and which ones do not. There is no shame in editing out parts that do not fit with your bog post topic. Be sure to save those to use later in a blog post of their own. Speaking of saving…
I know a lot of people who write something and then reread it and delete the whole thing because they got off topic. DO NOT do that! If you have taken the time to write something, even if you think it is junk, do not throw it away. You may be able to reuses some parts of it or rearrange it so that it is a quality post at a later date. Do not waste your time and energy by throwing away great writing. Even bland or boring ideas can be played around with when you have time and made into something remarkable.
Keep it short
One thing that is a good idea for you to do if you are a flighty writer is to keep your blog posts short. The shorter your blog post is the less opportunity you have for getting off topic. The good thing is that readers enjoy short blog posts. It takes them only a minute or two to read them and if you write well you can pack a lot of great info into a very short blog post. Even if you have to make multiple short posts a day to keep on topic then you should do so. Your readers will appreciate it much more than a long and confusing post that covers too much.
Use small paragraphs
If you have to write something longer then make sure to keep the paragraphs on the short side. If you can break your idea up into manageable sized paragraphs it will make it much easier for readers to read and understand, not to mention being easier for you to keep on topic. It is also a good idea to use headers in longer blog posts so that readers can scan for the information or sections they are interested in reading.
Just the facts
Remember that readers are usually not reading your blog posts for entertainment. Instead they are looking for viable information. If you promise them something in your blog post title then make sure you actually give that information in a timely manner. A little personality in your blog posts is fine, in fact it is a good idea, but do not fill up your blog post with so much of you that the readers can’t dig out the information.
Get to the point
Similar to the last point, you should not fill up your blog post with too much introductory material. Get to the point right away and then if readers need further info they can read on. This will help you to keep on topic and to really see what it is you are writing about. If you do not know your topic right away then you know your blog post is going to be scattered and confusing for your readers.
Sum it up
At the end of your blog post you should be able to summarize what your blog post topic was in just a sentence or two. If it takes more than that then you should really think about what you have written. Blog posts are typically not meant for long, complex ideas. Instead focus in on giving one small idea at a time and explaining that well. You can always make a complex task or idea you are explaining into a blog post series. That way your readers will not get overwhelmed or confused but you still get to give the information that you need to.
Title your post accurately
Do not end up one of those bloggers who never gives readers what they want. Make sure your title matches your blog post topic too. I hate it when I click to read a blog post based on the title and then that title has little to nothing to do with what was actually written. A title is a promise to readers, so do not break their trust by going so far off topic that the title ends up meaningless. If you can’t come up with a good title for your blog post topic then maybe you need to change what you are going to write. A good title keeps you on topic and helps readers to get a sense of what you are going to write about before they ever see a work of the post itself.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make sure your bog posts stay on topic and are easy for readers to grasp. You should always start out with a firm idea of what you want to write about and what some of your key points will be. If you do not you could end up with a mess on your hands that no one will find useful or readable.
Author Bio: Jack Meyer is a regular contributor for nannybackgroundcheck.com. As a detective he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.