Planning your blog posts

Hey Paul! Any advice on how to plan your blogposts?


Blogging is hard. There is no doubt about it. It requires you to be committed, organised and have a very thick skin. However, equally there is no better way to promote your business, improve search engine rankings and demonstrate your expertise.

When I first read Jon’s question I had a look at what I have written in the past on the subject of blogging. It turns out that I have written quite a lot over the years. So instead of repeating myself, I am going to take various pieces of advice from those other posts and bring them together here.

So here we go in no particular order…

A good blog post should be a dialogue

The most successful blogs are more than a broadcast tool. They are a dialogue between the individuals within your organisation and your users.

You should be encouraging users to contribute to your blog through comments and constructive criticism.

A blog post is not a press release

As the name implies a press releases is meant for professional journalists. It is designed to encourage journalists to write about your product or service. It is not designed for your customers. A blog on the other hand is meant to be read by prospective and existing customers.

Keep the end user in mind

When writing a blog post you should always have the end reader in mind. What will they learn? What insight will this give them into who we are? How will it help build our relationship with the reader?

Make it personal

People don’t like, trust or want to work with corporations. We associated those feelings with individuals, not companies. It is therefore important that a corporate blog is about the people within your organisation, not the organisation itself. Your blog should focus on different people and the role they perform with your company. They should be able to demonstrate some of their personality as well as share their expertise.

Keep it short. Keep it scannable

With so many blogs online you need to make your posts stand out from the crowd. Always ensure users can get the gist of what you are saying by just scanning the post. This can be achieved using a number of techniques…
  • Summarise a post at the beginning and in the title. Don’t leave users guessing what the subject is.
  • Be controversial to grab users attention.
  • Use headings as a way of grabbing attention and summarising content.
  • Use images to break up the copy and communicate key points.

Do not feel all of your posts need to be an essay. Short posts that propose a question or draw the readers attention to another site are just as engaging. Anything that is of value to the user is worth posting.

Vary the style of post

Remember that there are lots of different types of blog posts. It is easy to get stuck into one type of blogging and that can seriously limit potential subject matter.

My post entitled Successful Company Blogging lists a number of post types you might wish to consider.

Just write. Edit later.

I would highly recommend just writing with no concern for grammar, spelling, or the readability of your post. The initial draft should be about getting your ideas down on paper as quickly as possible.

Or as Ernest Hemingway put it:

Write drunk; edit sober.

More advice

If like Jon you want more help blogging. Why not have a look through the articles I used to put together this post…

“typewriter vector” image courtesy of

  • really, man?

    You lost me when you used “your” instead of “you’re”.

  • Alex Subrizi

    At my company, where my role extends to corporate communications, we’ve been discussing the purpose and importance of our blog for some time. Yes it’s hard, as you point out, to get employees to contribute regularly, and over a five-year period we’re averaging only about 10 posts per year. More significantly, none of those posts has ever generated a relevant, serious comment (there are always spammers that always insert a URL after some bland bit of praise).

    So the question we are asking ourselves as we try to revitalize our blog is whether the lack of comments equates to a (near) total lack of interest in our blog, and whether this might be addressed by more frequent posting or more high quality posts. Having to choose between these last two, which ranks higher in your view?

    And yes, I agree that you could fix that “your > you’re” typo. It’s the first word of your fourth point. Having your ideas thrown out by a reader because of a spelling or punctuation mistake is short-sighted, I agree. But forgoing the chance to correct an error once it’s pointed out is odd. For those with an eye for such things, errors interrupt the flow of discourse: call it a harsh truth about written communication. Proofreaders have jobs for this reason. You didn’t “lose me”, I kept reading, and enjoyed and shared your post. But I find it strange that, once the error is pointed out, it remain uncorrected.

  • C.I.Agent Solutions┬«

    This is a great post full of useful information! I was recently tasked with starting a blog for my small company, as part of a newly implemented social media strategy. We offer secondary containment solutions for the utility industry, so consistently coming up with creative content for interesting posts catered to such a niche audience poses quite a challenge for me. Even more disheartening is the majority of our target market don’t find blogs to be a valuable content type, according to a recent survey by CFE Media and TREW Marketing.

    Despite these obstacles, I’m determined to keep at it in 2015, and your pointers will help me in this process. I do disagree with you on point 3. Of the blogs I follow and read regularly, I prefer ones with teaser menus. We’re rolling out a new website design in a few weeks, and my designer recently asked me how I wanted our blog laid out. I know you’re a designer, too, so I thought I’d ask you why you advise against the “teaser feeds.” We host our blog on our site, so a large feed of full articles (and the scrolling involved) would feel cluttered and disorganized, at least in my opinion. I looked at the 37Signals blog you referred to, and while I was extremely impressed with the quality and variety of posts it offers, I found the overall blog format too “text-heavy” for my liking (though they did a very good job of effectively breaking up the text with images, etc.).

    Thanks again for the post – I have bookmarked this article and will probably refer to it often through this corporate blogging journey. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

    • Dan Kemp

      I think what Paul is saying about the teaser feeds applies for when people subscribe via RSS and get an email saying a new blog post has been published. He is advocating for blogs to provide the whole content within the RSS feed, so people don’t have to click through to the blog post hosted on the original website.

      (Having said that, I arrived here thanks to an email from Linkedin that told me Paul had shared a link via Linkedin. The Linkedin post was just a teaser!).

      I think you’re right to go for “teaser feeds” on your blog design – a simple headline, excerpt and a strong image should do it.

  • Atiqur Sumon

    Hi Paul a company should have a blog. Beside that blog update people everyday, anywhere anytime. Blog have contributions on the social media.

  • Nicole

    If you think I’m one of the high-strung weirdos who gasped when you used “Your” instead of “You’re”– then you, sir, are totally correct.

  • M R Karim

    I have a blog and i think that 50% success depend on planning. So it’s important to need know how to blog post properly and effectively. Thanks Paul for you kind and helpful tutorial. I apply your advice in my professional life.