Blogging came as a bit of a shock hobby for me. What started as a sideline to my illustration business, a way of keeping my website generating new content became a business in it’s own right and my blog took on a life of it’s own.
Whilst I enjoyed writing essays in school it had more to do with the satisfaction of a few pages of nice handwriting. I was surprised how much I enjoyed blogging. The feeling of your fingers whacking out a post on your keyboard, the itch to get writing again after a few days, the need to brain dump all thoughts and emotions to a page on the internet.
What surprised me even more was how much other people seemed to enjoy it.
It doesn’t matter how niche your blog is, I think in some way we’re all looking to create something meaningful, something impactful on those who read our words.
We’re looking for someone to say “OMG ME TOO” or to leave a really insightful comment. We’re looking for someone to share it, to say they agree, to learn something or take something away. Even if we’re writing for ourselves I think we’re all looking for that impact, to look back on it and see how we’ve grown or changed since the being the person that wrote that.
I think there are 2 main ways in which you can write an impactful blog post:
1. Write something that provokes a thought or reaction.
2. Write something helpful or useful.
Some of my most successful blog posts are ones I wrote off the cuff with no schedule and no real plan. The ones with the most engagement, the most comments, the most shares on social media are ones I wrote on a bit of a rant. Something to do with the blogging community or being a millennial in the 21st century. Something that sparked a reaction from people,
The other half of my most successful posts are on bullet journaling, in fact this is my most successful topic. I offer advice, inspiration, ideas…I even offer printables and designs people can copy into their own journals. People can take something away from what they have read and apply it to their own lives.
When attempting to create a blog post you need to decide what you want to achieve from the moment you press publish; do you want to evoke emotion or do you want to help someone?
If you want to evoke emotion you want to evoke a response. Your post is impactful because it caused a reaction, someone formed an opinion, someone shared your post because they wanted to generate a discussion.
Writing an impactful post because you want to evoke emotion normally means writing something thought provoking, something meaningful to you. This could take on any form but is often something you’ve been through or dealt with or something you have a strong opinion on.
If you want to help someone you want them to take something away from your blog. If your post is impactful because you gave advice, someone followed it or saved it or planned to use it and shared it to help someone else.
Writing an impactful post because you want to help someone normally means writing something that requires action. Again, this could take on any form but is often a list of steps to take, things to do or something the reader can react to when they’ve finished reading.
Your end goal is very important when it comes to structuring an impactful blog post.
If you’re going to share something personal or an opinion in order to evoke emotion you need to bear in mind how that might impact the reader. If you’re sharing an opinion, you don’t expect everyone to agree, which is part of the impact; it is the ability to share and say I don’t agree and generate a discussion. But if you’re sharing a personal experience, especially if it’s a difficult topic you need to make sure the impact is positive. You shouldn’t be filtered in what you write; the aim is to impact on people who might have been through the same thing and share that you’re not alone. However, it’s important to remember to include trigger warnings and the appropriate disclaimers.
If you’re going to share some advice or something that requires action in order to help someone you need your end aim in mind whilst writing. If you’re sharing advice are you sharing so the reader can make his or her own assessment on how to approach it? Or are you sharing step-by-step actions someone can follow?
The most impactful posts I find are somewhere in between. They are the sharing of an experience, of an opinion, of something that worked for you followed by advice or help the reader can take away. Much like the structure of this post.
The biggest advice I could give for creating an impactful post is not to put pressure on it. Sure your end goal is important, your structure is important but at the end of the day, the most successful posts are the ones where the words flow off the keyboard, where your mind runs and suddenly it’s 20 minutes later and whadda ya know, you’ve written something you’re proud of.
Write from the heart, don’t lie, own your truth and don’t be fake. The post impactful posts are the most authentic.
Gwennan Rees is a freelance designer, children's book illustrator, card maker and blogger from South Wales.
Her fun & witty designs can be found in her Etsy Store and is filled with cards, prints, stickers, notebooks, mirrors and a range of printable bullet journal accessories.
You can read her blog, Twenty Something Meltdown online and find out about her day with our #SpotlightOn: Gwennan Rees.