Sometimes, the words flow like water. Other times, you feel as dry as a July day in Death Valley. This happens to everyone, even the most prolific writers and creatives.
I was reminded of this over the weekend as I watched the first episode of a new Netflix series called Abstract. This documentary series steps inside the minds and processes of today’s most innovative designers. The first episode profiled illustrator Christoph Niemann and he talked about the struggle and anxiety that he feels most mornings when sitting down at his desk and staring at a blank canvas.
A Simple Solution
Starting with that blank canvas, or screen, is hard, but there is a very simple solution that works most of the time. You could call it many things: a guide, a framework, a set of parameters to work within. You could even call it a box. Some might say you shouldn’t put creativity in a box, but in that Abstract episode, Christoph Niemann himself demonstrated how he often starts his design process by literally drawing a box to frame the story he wants to tell.
The creative process behind writing is certainly no different. There are, however, unique challenges that come with a higher-volume editorial endeavor. Sustaining a high-quality, high-value blog property requires a specialized strategy, process and significant resources in time and people. Those people are going to get blocked or run dry frequently. One of the best process tools for delivering a consistent flow of quality content is a solid blog post template.
Today, we’d like to share our template with you (MS Word format).
What makes this blog post template so special?
As mentioned previously, having a guide or framework can play a huge role in turning a trickle of an idea into something that makes it rain. We’ve used and fine-tuned this particular template over the past decade, and its guidance has never failed our small team of content nerds. We’ve built our readership significantly with a solid strategy, regular content planning, and consistent quality. Beyond that, a good blog post template has many other benefits:
- It helps you gather and organize your thoughts
- It reminds you to research the topic fully and consider outside perspectives, references and examples
- It guides content structure
- It improves consistency in quality
- It can improve the overall speed of the writing/editing/approval process
- It helps ensure you don’t forget key elements (CTAs, links to your product/service, supporting images, keywords, etc.).
Our Blog Post Template Components
It’s a simple starting point. If you bring a trickle of an idea, these eight questions will get your creative juices flowing. In most business-blogging situations, your content should be designed to answer questions that wade through the minds of your prospects and customers. The more focused you can be right out of the gate, the better. What’s the question you’re trying to answer? And who is asking it? Can you subtly tie a product or service into the solution and what are the next steps if a reader wants to dig deeper?
Typical Formatting Guidelines & Best Practices
If you’ve ever researched blog post templates, you’ve probably found variations that cover different types of formats, like “the how-to post” or “the list post”. These variations can be helpful, but in the early stages of writing, those formatting restrictions might hinder more than they help. Let the idea be what it wants to be. Our template provides some guidance and best practices without getting in the way.
Our blog post template includes a starting point for a post-writing checklist that you should tailor for your own process. You may have very specific “checks” or standards that need to be followed as part of your review and approval process, so we encourage you to create your own and hold your writers accountable to it.
Download the template. Test it out for a while. Make it your own. I’m confident that you will start realizing many of the benefits mentioned. When you do, find this post and leave us a comment. We’d love to hear how this template has helped you and your team improve. Lastly, for more resources like this, subscribe to our blog.