It’s time to start my writing mini-master class – Ignite Your Writing.
Let’s take your writing from boring to amazing with some writing tips and ideas!
If you get stuck in blogging ruts or feel like your writing is a little snoozefest right now, this post is for you.
We’re going to start with a plain old story – a made-up version of what happened in Betty Blogger’s day. Then we’re going to ignite that story into 10 great post ideas.
I stayed up too late last night watching Toddlers and Tiaras. When I woke up this morning, I decided to make a green smoothie before getting my kids ready for the day. It was delicious! Little Kate woke up first. I put her in front of Dora the Explorer while I finished my breakfast, then I went upstairs to go get Baby Johnny. My 7 year-old, Noah, was on his way downstairs. Little Kate started yelling because Dora was over. I quickly got baby Johnny and went to the kitchen to find – yup, you guessed it. Noah had spilled the orange juice I had left for him – all over the floor! Sigh.
After getting everybody cleaned up and dressed, we all piled in the minivan to take Noah to his Saturday morning soccer game. Gee, I wish I didn’t have to drive a minivan anymore! Anyway, Noah scored a goal at the soccer game and we were so excited that he got the game ball. I missed the goal because I was on snack duty, darn it! Unfortunately, he cried the whole way home because they lost the game 4-3. His dad and I explained that he would lose games sometimes, and encouraged Noah to be happy that he scored a goal! To celebrate, we took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. They earned so many tickets playing video games, but had a hard time choosing from all the prizes at the prize booth.
It was a fun time. We got back into the car and headed home. Halfway home, little Kate said her tummy hurt and before I could turn around to ask her what was wrong, she had puked all over the minivan. What a day!!!
ZZZZ. That post is a real snoozer. About all you’re going to get in the way of commentary from readers is, “Oh, I hate when my kid pukes in the car.”
Why write a post like that when it is CHOCK FULL of exciting, informative and entertaining material that can form the basis for a MUCH better read?
Here are my 10 ways to take that story, break it apart, and write it differently. I’m going to share 5 of these ways today, and 5 more tomorrow. I’m also going to include links to posts I’ve written in each of these formats, just so you can have something as an example.
1. Write A List Post.
People love lists. They are short and easy to read. Our sample story could be transformed into “10 Things I Learned About My Kids On Soccer Saturday” or “5 Reasons Why No One Will Ever Buy My Minivan” or “7 Ways My Day Was Over Before It Ever Really Started.” Weave elements of what happened that day into the list. Look for connections and common threads and tie them together in the list.
Examples of My List Posts
Instead of writing an account of a frustrating day playing games with my kids, I wrote Top 5 Reasons I Hate Chutes and Ladders
5 Marital Conversations You Should Avoid Having On Facebook was inspired by an annoying Facebook status update I read on my wall.
I elected to not write a play by play of the day one of my kids got sick and opted to develop The 10 Rules For When Kids Get Sick
2. Write a Recipe Post.
Maybe the best thing about the day was that killer green smoothie for breakfast. Don’t lose that! That’s a post! Take a photo of the smoothie and post a recipe. DON’T just stick the recipe in at the end of a long narrative story. It won’t get tweeted or pinned or shared if you do. Dedicate a post to it. You can still weave in personal elements, but make the recipe the main point of the post.
Example of My Recipe Posts
3. Exaggerate and Write a Humor Post
With a little bit of writer’s embellishment, you can make a ho-hum story something that a fellow mom can relate to and laugh at. Instead of just relating the events of the day, exaggerate! Maybe Noah spilled the OJ on the floor. Write that Noah and Kate then pretended that the OJ was ice and they began “pretend skating” all over the kitchen. Describe the crazy ass soccer moms that you saw screaming at their kids on the field. Make the post larger than life. Comedy is all about universal truths told in an exaggerated way.
Examples of Exaggerated Humor Posts
4. Write A Lesson Learned Post
In our sample story, the blogger could identify moments where she learned a bigger life lesson and share it. She could write about how she discovered that her son was more competitive than she had realized, or share that maybe she needs to give up her Toddlers and Tiaras time to get more sleep.
Examples of Lesson Learned Posts
5. Write a Reflection or Opinion Post
Our sample story has lots of nuggets for a reflection or opinion post: why Chuck E Cheese should stop giving out prizes, how she doesn’t understand her daughter’s fascination with Dora, or how she dealt with the frustration of a day that didn’t go according to plan. Find the larger dilemmas or issues that bubbled up in the day and address one at a higher level.
Examples of Opinion or Reflection Posts
Every little thing in your day can be the inspiration for an amazing post, if you’re able to take a moment and look at the story from a different perspective. Come back tomorrow when I share 5 more ways to take that same story and ignite it into more great blog post ideas. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!