Let’s take another look at your writing.

What’s Your Point?

When my son was in high school, he signed up for an advanced English class and quickly found that his writing wasn’t quite up to snuff. His papers were regularly bringing in Cs, where before his grades never went below a B minus.

The problem? He was trying to write flowery and emotionally based essays. They were so beautiful, they might’ve been considered poems. (He fancied himself a songwriter back then.)

But his papers ended up wandering everywhere and leaving the reader wondering what he really meant by it all.

Being the good mom (with an English degree), I reminded him of the basic format for any writing:

  1. Thesis statement
  2. Evidence
  3. Conclusion and restatement of the thesis

Since he couldn’t quite wrap his brain around that, I used this analogy:

You know how when you have something you want me to do for you (like, give you $100 so you can buy a new pair of shoes), you come up with a convincing argument to make your point? You’ve always got a long list of good reasons WHY I should give you that $100? That’s exactly what you need to do in your writing.

When writing a blog post, the idea is the same:

  • Have a clear purpose or topic — its simplicity will depend on the length of your piece. You should be able to state it clearly in one sentence.
  • Have at least three examples to explain or elucidate your topic (this is your evidence).
  • Wrap up with a conclusion that restates your topic.

Bonus Content!

If you follow the above outline, you’ll meet your readers’ minimum expectations. Good. But not delicious by any means.

To make your blog posts really rock, you’ll need to add these as well:

  • Instructions – Don’t just tell your reader what they need to change and why. Give them some simple starter instructions for next steps.
  • Inspiration – Are you inspiring your reader to take action? Are you touching their emotions somehow? (We’ll address this one more fully next time.)

Take a look at your content from this perspective and see if it measures up. If not, go back and revise or edit out anything that muddies your original intent. Then make sure you fill in any holes.

That’s it for today. The next assignment will have just a few more tips for improving that piece (so don’t publish it just yet).