the speech & language trainers

Elklan Blog

How to write a blog post: tips to get started

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A blog is one of the best ways to advertise any business in 2013. To be seen as an expert in your field (but with a human touch) is what marketing and PR professionals are telling us all we need to do. I have been blogging for a while now but it’s still more daunting to add to someone else’s blog. I think this is one reason why British people in general don’t like to do guest blog posts. There is also the fact that people who work with children are not good at blowing their own trumpet!

I have decided to collate some top tips for writing your first blog post to help you get started because we want your news, views, stories, reviews and more. Elklan want the blog to be about the Elklan community. There is so much excellent work going on and we need to share it to inspire and support others.  Most of these ideas are from a leading socila media marketing expert, Susan Gunelius

1. Before you start: Read a Variety of Blogs

Visit a few different blogs and read some of the posts.  They don’t necessarily have to be on our topic, just something that interests you.  Of those posts you read which were the ones you liked the best and were more likely to comment on, share, follow some of the links in the post or the holy grail – subscribe to the blog as a result of what you have read or purchase?  What was it about them that made you want to do this?  Was it the writing style, the format of the post, the language, their unique angle or something other?   Whatever it was, try to replicate that in your work.  Whilst you are in reading mode, read other blog posts on the blog you are writing for.  Which ones generated the most comments, shares, likes, etc?  These are the people you are writing for, so you will get greater success if you write in a similar style and format to what they like.

2. Follow these Blogging Guidelines

Posts should be well-written and concise.  In most cases, posts should be at least 600 words long (content, not counting the titles and bio), but not too long.  However, shorter posts are also acceptable if the focus in on an embedded video or images.

Posts must be 100% original. It can’t be a post that has been posted on your own blog or anywhere else before. In other words, it must be a new post and should not be re-published elsewhere in the future. The Elklan blog will be the ultimate home of the post provided and can be linked to and referenced to in other blogs produced in future by the Guest Blogger.

The post should be either:

  • Fresh - A fresh post has fresh ideas or takes a fresh approach to a subject; or
  • Comprehensive – A comprehensive post has comprehensive treatment of a subject, usually in the form of a list (such as 30 reasons why we you must have a social media strategy).

Use short paragraphs, subheadings and/or bullet points to make the post easier to read. Lists are practical and scan-able.  

Articles should be submitted as either a document file (i.e. Word) or a text file, with all the appropriate links indicated with either full URL’s provided or attachments provided (e.g. images, original video files, etc) as applicable.

3. Pretend You Are Writing a Letter

For someone that has never written a blog before, the best approach to take is to pretend you are writing a letter and you want your pen pal (if you are old enough to remember what one of the is) to write back (in the comments).  Tell a story, use a conversational style of writing and ask questions of your readers throughout (or at least at the end as a minimum) to engage them to interact with your writing.

4. Content Is King

Your content should have a purpose, provide a solution for your readers and be interesting enough to maintain their attention and propel them into some sort of action.  Provide quality content – don’t just add to the ever increasing ‘noise’ of the internet.  Attention is an expensive commodity in most people’s lives these days, so use it wisely when it is given to you by providing value.  Once you provide people with value, you will start to gain their trust and increase their likelihood of following your call to action.

Preferred Topics and Subjects

Posts should be relevant to Elklan and could be on anything related

  • Case study
  • Evaluation
  • Personal experience of running a course or promoting speech, language and communication in your setting

5. Add Links to other articles

  • Links should be used as appropriate to the content of the post.
  • No links are permitted to unrelated sites or affiliate links.

6. Add a Guest Blogger Bio

  • Guest Bloggers should include a short biography of no more than 75 words, plus a photo. Guest Bloggers may link to their own work in their bio. This bio will appear at the end of the post and should be provided along with the post.
  • There will be a paragraph at the beginning of the post introducing the Guest Blogger that will also include a link to the Guest Blogger’s site.

7. Add a photograph

  • A minimum of one image, video and/or downloadable file should be submitted with the guest post to make the post attention-grabbing.
  • All images should be properly attributed and have been credited.

8. Check the Editorial Policy

  • Elklan reserves the right to edit the post as needed (for example to fix spelling, grammar and/or create clarity). Please don’t be offended if we suggest changes or ask you to rework part of an article to meet with our requirements.
  • Elklan reserves the right to reject posts if not appropriate.
  • Posts that criticise individuals and/or may be perceived to victimise or bully will not be accepted.
  • If your post is approved, Elklan will give you an idea of when the post will be published.

  9. Email posts to liz@elklan.co.uk