The 5 things to keep in mind while writing a nonfiction blog post are:
That’s the kind of sentence I would start my answers with in school when I couldn’t think of an appropriate introduction. Don’t worry, the rest of the post isn’t going to be inspired by my high school self. Let’s get to it, shall we?
I. Who are you talking to
Keeping your audience in mind will help you choose the right words. If you’re a doctor and you’re talking to fellow doctors, you have the liberty to use medical jargon. But if you’re a doctor talking to mothers, you have to talk to them like they are sitting in your drawing room over chai and biscuits as you give them some gyaan.
II. What’s the purpose
Not to get existential on you but this will help you structure your thoughts better. If the purpose is to inform (like this post) then you need to keep the language crisp and give the information as soon as possible (hence the short introduction). If the purpose is to entertain, your language has room to be flamboyant. If it is to inspire, it has to be as personal as you dare.
Even if you want to put a click-bait title, ensure you deliver on what the title promises. I know I click on a post because of the title – and the anticipation of what may be written inside.
After your reader has finished reading your post, they need to leave with a sense of purpose. We often focus on the introduction because it has to entice the reader and the middle because that’s where the meat of your post is. But we neglect the conclusion. You cannot leave your reader hanging at the end of your post – either give them an action (comment, share your thoughts, etc.) or give them a last takeaway, something like a secret between you and them.
V. What’s the story
It’s not necessary that a nonfiction blog post should have a personal story though that works the best. But storytelling is what ties your entire post together and makes it readable.
But what about creativity?
Writing is about creativity but it is also about structure. Just because it is a nonfiction piece, it doesn’t mean you can make it a listicle, add in a few pictures and viola you’re done. You have to create boundaries for your creativity and that’s why you need to have a process to your writing. Once you have internalized the process, it won’t feel like a cold winter night, but rather the heat of a cozy blanket.
But you haven’t said anything about editing!
First you have to write – you cannot edit a piece that’s in your head. Besides, I need to write 8 posts this month and if I give away the tricks I have learnt over the years in one post, then that’s not good blogging sense, is it?
What’s my concluding paragraph? If you wanted to add a point to the above 5 points, what would you add?
The whole of September, I will be sharing posts on things I have learnt about writing. I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.