How to Write Blog posts for TM Clubs and Beyond: First in A Series

(Image credit: Jon Tyson on Unsplash.)

Are you stuck writing a blog post? Are you staring at a blank screen, the cursor blinking?

Does the Blog Project – “Write a Compelling Blog” in Level 4 of Pathways feel insurmountable?

I’ve been a blogger for at least eight years, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. I thought I’d share some of them with you. This might give you a quick start with this project!

The Pathways project description offers some great steps to begin your blogging journey.

Among other things, it covers the following topics. Read through these points as you think about your blog idea.

  • Choosing a Blogging Website
  • Creating Your Blog
  • Choosing Blogging Options
  • Choosing a Template
  • Privacy and Sensitivity
  • Engaging With Readers
  • Promoting Your Blog
  • Feedback

In this post, I’ll offer some reflections on the first two points, and in subsequent posts, I’ll present my thoughts on some others.

Choosing a Blogging Website

There are many of these. WordPress and Squarespace just to name two of them. Choose between a free blogging platform and a paid one. You might find it best to start a free platform and explore its functionality – and whether you wish to blog on a long-term basis before you commit to a paid blog hosting service.

You may wish to have a blog where you can design the look of your own site or a place, like Medium, which has very simple design and all you do is post the text and perhaps a simple photo. You can publish blog posts on LinkedIn, the business connection platform, as well. If you are looking for a platform that is strongly image-based, Instagram could be a good choice.

Now some of you may enjoy playing with design, fonts, and colours. If you like this idea, try WordPress or Squarespace, where you can customize the design.

Blog Post vs. Having a Blog

Writing a blog post isn’t the same as having a blog. To complete the requirements for the “Write a Compelling Blog” project, you need to have an established blog, and you need to publish a minimum of eight posts on the blog over the course of a month. Blogs – personal or corporate, consist of numerous blog posts. Sometimes individuals don’t comprehend the difference here and talk about “writing a blog” when in fact they mean “writing a blog post”.

Finding an Audience

When we publish blog posts, we are hoping that readers will find and enjoy them. But finding readers doesn’t happen overnight. Anyone who has posted something on social media and has only received a few “likes” will understand this. Finding an audience is a long-term project that requires consistency. You need to ‘show up’ on a regular basis. Like giving a club speech, you need to pay attention to what engages your potential audience.

To fulfil the project requirement that you engage with readers, you need to find them first. Since this takes time, you may need to complete the project without much of an established readership. But this is okay in my view. There is so much to learn from this project that gaining readership simply may be a later goal for you to achieve.

Gaining Readership by Promoting Your Blog

You can gain readers by promoting your blog on social media channels. However, there are millions of blogs out there – the blogging landscape is very congested, and your blog needs to be very engaging to stand out. Rather than focusing on promotions right away, it would be better to work on the content of your blog. A blog with strong content, that reflects the interests of readers, will over time find those readers. A snazzy promotion might lead a potential reader to your blog, but they won’t return if your content is not interesting or relatable. It’s just like a successful Toastmasters club – strong promotional efforts can bring visitors in the door, but you want your visitors to return because they’ve had an excellent experience.

Frequency of Blog Posts

The more blog posts you publish on a blog, the more your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) improves, and the ability of search engines to “crawl your content” and allow readers to find you. The Pathways Level 4 project asks you to publish eight blog posts in a month as the minimum, but these eight posts should be part of a larger effort if you wish for readers to find your content.

Well, I will close this post for now as it’s better to divide this material in digestible chunks. I’ll be blogging again soon on some of the other requirements of this project.

Created by Bryn Snow Immediate Past President Milton Escarpment Toastmasters 2021-2022