‘I’m not a writer so how can I write a blog?’
Many of those who attended the Blog Writing Workshop for ETIA Instructors in October believed this. Yet by the time they had completed the one hour workshop they were well on their way to writing an engaging blog.
If you are curious about writing a blog, immerse yourself in the following simple exercises and you too will be on your way to writing your very own blog! The following are notes presented at the workshop.
Before I begin, let’s clear the air on what a blog is. A blog is a type of website focussing on written content. Usually a blog has a personal perspective and is often informal and conversational.
So why write blogs for ETIA (especially if you think you are not a writer)?:
- Your passion for Effectiveness Training (E.T.) skills shines and connects directly with readers
- Public awareness of our courses and benefits
- Boost traffic and send quality leads to our website and to you
- Inspiration for others to find out about E.T. skills
- Grow your E.T. profile and business
- Interactivity through comments and links to social media.
Who are our audience?:
- Parents, grandparents, carers
- Teachers, support workers
- Individuals, business people
- Organisations, schools, playgroups
What content should I write?:
Think about the types of blogs that excite and interest you. ETIA wants content that relates to skills from any of the E.T. courses or content that is helpful and supportive to instructors. If it helps the reader solve a problem then the reader is likely to share the blog with others. It is great free advertising for ETIA and you.
My son Scott Tonges suggests there are ‘5 Actionable Steps to Writing Effective Blog Content’. In his blog he states: ‘It’s all about the value for the reader’
- Step 1: Identify a problem – (eg problems parents and families face)
- Step 2: Write quality content – (eg use of skills to overcome problems)
- Step 3: Add hyperlinks – (eg other relevant blogs by instructors)
- Step 4: Be consistent ( you probably don’t have the time to write a weekly blog but if every instructor contributes then ETIA can be consistent in posting on social media)
- Step 5: Share it (you can share your blog and other instructor’s blogs that are posted).
How to begin writing?
- Choose a time that works for you
- Keep an ideas book – jot down ideas or sentences when they pop into your mind
- Just write – don’t succumb to paralysis by analysis
- Visualisation exercise (close your eyes):
- Think of a situation when you or someone you know used an E.T. skill effectively
- What do you see, what was the situation, what did you feel, how did you feel after?
- Jot down what you felt and experienced.
How to capture a reader’s interest?
- AIDA – arouse Attention, Interest, Desire, and ability to take Action
- Arouse senses and feelings, be descriptive to put the reader in the picture
- Note what captures your attention when you read blogs
- Personal stories e.g. overcoming a problem
- Your blog title.
- Use a hook to capture reader attention and arouse curiosity to read on:
- I was overwhelmed. Exhausted from a full week of work.
- Bang! I heard the …..
- No, I don’t want to! How many times have you heard this response? My 2 year old…..
- Close your eyes and begin the first paragraph of your earlier visualisation. Now write it down.
- Tell the story
- Some actual examples of use of ET skills
- How has this impacted your life?
- Sum up:
- How do you and your child (or other person) feel?
- What worked?
- How has this impacted your life and theirs?
- Conclude with readers wanting to find out more or learn more from you – a call to action.
- Check in with us if you need feedback regarding your topic choice
- Check and recheck after you finish writing – wait a few days to get perspective
- Have a friend or relative check over it
- Send to us for editing only after you have checked for:
- Too much repetition.
Just do it! New instructor Jacqui Bowden shares her helpful tip for writing her first blog: ‘It is my first blog and I honestly wrote it in one sitting. I just sat down and recalled a really nice moment that felt intuitively right to me and it flowed out. My only advice would be just write down real things even ideas you are yet to try out, then try them out and write about that. From personal experience, I know the times I have just shared a story have always landed better than giving advice, so I go with that now. ‘
ETIA wishes to support you in achieving your hopes and dreams in sharing the wonderful Effectiveness Training skills. Blog writing can help you, other ETIA instructors, and the public.
If each Instructor can contribute just one blog per year we can exponentially grow our social media presence and in turn help so many people make a positive difference in their relationships.
In anticipation, ETIA thanks you for your generosity of time and contributing to writing blogs.
Together we can make a difference!