21 December 2010
If you have to read halfway down the page to get to the main point, chances are you’ve already lost most people. But for many rookie bloggers, the instinct is to pen posts that start with a story and conclude with the main idea. (And, yes, these do work sometimes, too!)
For most blog posts, spill the beans straight away. Tell the most important information at the beginning and then add the details along the way in order of importance.
And here’s how: memorise (and keep as a mantra) something known in the newspaper world as “the 5Ws and an H” immortalised by Kiplings poem and the “inverted pyramid.”
The five “Ws” are: who, what, when, where, why and the “H” is how.
In newspaper journalism, reporters are told to get the 5Ws and H into the “lead”, which is comprised of the first sentence or two of a news article. The lead contains the most important information.
While it’s not essential (or even appropriate) to include each and every “W” (or even the “H”) in most blog posts, they help with the importance of getting to the point—fast.
Another tool for clear and concise blog writing is the inverted pyramid. It was invented because newspaper editors, working on tight deadlines, must often chop news stories to make room for advertisements, photos and other news from edition to edition. And they always start chopping from the bottom.
Using the inverted pyramid helps you focus on writing a concise blog post. Try to keep under 500 words.
Sure, blogging is very different from traditional news writing, but the “gist” of the 5Ws and H, along with the inverted pyramid, are both ideal for bloggers in an age when attention spans are short.
For more information on how to write for your blog, or how a blog could work for your brands, products and services get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0845 612 7147.
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