I wish I had a blog post worksheet when I first started my blog and website.
Back then, I had no writing plan and no blog writing steps. Instead, I had a lot of frustration. I published a 300-400 word post just once a month. That averages out to writing 10 words a day.
And getting that done? It was a stretch. I was working full-time outside the home. My husband and I were busy raising two young children and I had to learn to write in spurts in between baby bottles and toddler tantrums.
I found that if I didn’t have clarity about what to do in those snippets of time, I spun my wheels. I wanted desperately to get words on paper, but when I put my hands on the keyboard, the prospect seemed overwhelming.
No wonder would-be bloggers publish only intermittently … or worse, give up.
Since then, I’ve learned a simple truth: writing a blog post is merely a series of steps.
What made the difference for me? Having a blog writing worksheet to follow as I write each post. I set up the worksheet following the basic blog writing template: headline, first paragraph, post body, and conclusion. The worksheet is a visual tool that divides the blog writing process into segments. it organizes my writing steps.
When you have a “fill in the blanks” worksheet, you can see what ideas you’ve got … where you need to gather more information … where you need to wrestle for clarity.
I use it – then and now – to jot down notes. Scribble. Erase or delete and try again.
As you scrawl notes, you place them on different parts of your worksheet. That means you automatically create an outline. And you have a ready-made writing plan for your post.
Your worksheet divvies up the post into a series of segments that you’ll need to write out more completely. Then, when you have a few minutes to write, you can choose a segment to work on.
For instance, let’s say 15 minutes materializes before a Zoom call. Or your preschooler naps a little longer than usual. You can use that time efficiently. Just glance at your worksheet, choose one of your blog writing segments, look at your notes, and hit the keyboard.
And with a worksheet organizing your ideas (no matter how raw), you don’t need to carry all those thoughts in your head. You’ve got them on your worksheet, even if they’re rough.
That means you don’t need to write your blog by starting at the beginning, working on the middle, and finishing up. You can complete your blog writing steps in any order. If you’ve got a terrific idea for your post conclusion and your call to action, you can tackle those before hammering out the post body. Your blog writing plan flexes with you.
A blog writing worksheet gives you a visual outline to follow as you write the different segments of your blog post. Then, you write them one at a time. Here’s what I mean.
Your blog post headline is the first bit of content that the reader sees. But it’s often the last bit I write.
I use my first paragraph, main body, and conclusion to distill my message. Then, I fashion a headline that includes the posts keywords and offers a benefit to my reader. Or I get ideas while I’m writing the post and jot them onto this section of the worksheet.
Give yourself plenty of room on your worksheet to write a bunch of headlines – ones that will be useful to the reader, create a sense of urgency, offer some surprise or uniqueness, or be specific to her problem. Then when you’re finished writing and editing your blog post, choose the best one.
Your first paragraph should include your post’s main idea, (thesis), a hook, and a transition to the body of the post.
Even if you have your post’s main idea in your head, write it down. When you put the main idea on paper you get clarity, whether it’s a premise, problem, or promise.
You can state the main idea outright in the first sentence. Or you can open up with a hook – a quick story, interesting fact, catchy quote, or a startling statistic – and then move to your premise or problem or promise. The key to success in your opening paragraph is to get to your point right away. Don’t take a whole page to do it.
Your first paragraph should also include a note about how you will transition to your post’s main body. Explain that you’ll answer the question or solve the problem with a …
The typical blog post body is made up of at least three sections. Each section provides a point that helps to support the main idea of the post.
Of course, you can write two sections or even ten sections, if you prefer – depending on your topic.
And each section can be as long (several paragraphs) or as short (one paragraph) as you like.
Your worksheet can help you organize it all. (Here's the worksheet I use.) Use your worksheet to jot down ideas for each section, including:
If you’re writing a list post, complete one section for each item in the post. That would mean five sections for a post titled, “5 Tips for Writing Listicles That Stick.”
Jot down ideas for a snappy (rather than tedious) conclusion.
Finally, tell your reader what to do. Give a call to action to engage the reader, build a relationship, and get the reader to respond. A call to action tells the reader what to do next. For example, you can tell the reader to …
A blog post worksheet is a tool to get you unstuck. But it’s more than just an answer to writer’s block. It gives you a system.
Once you have your worksheet in place, you can write a new post one chunk at a time.
Use a worksheet and you’ll save time and be more efficient. But best of all, when you use a worksheet you’ll clear out confusion in your thinking. You’ll have clarity on the page. That means you’ll get more posts written … and into the hands of your readers.
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