Use a Blogging Template to Write Posts Faster [Video]

In this brief video, I share the six-part framework I use to write my own blog posts. This enables me to write faster and with more predictable results.

  1. Start with the headline. Write something that will pull people into the body of the post.
  2. Write a great lead paragraph. Make the topic immediately relevant and explain what people will get in the rest of the post.
  3. Use a relevant image. Magazines do it. So do newspapers. Pictures catch the eye and pull people in.
  4. Tell a personal story. Nothing works quite like stories. They connect with people and pull them deeper into the content.
  5. Make your content scannable. Use short paragraphs, short sentences, and simple words. Use bulleted lists. Help people feel a sense of progress.
  6. Invite others into the conversation. End with an open-ended question. And then participate in the discussion.

In addition to this short tip, Stu McLaren previews what we have going on this next month at Platform University. He previews the new Master Class, Backstage Pass, Member Makeover, and From the Road segments.

If you haven’t yet checked out Platform University, have a look at the first video. It’s free. I share how I built my own blog audience to more than 350,000 unique visitors a month.

Question: Do you use a blogging template? How is it different from mine? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Get My New, 3-Part Video Series—FREE! Ready to accomplish more of what matters? 2015 can be your best year ever. In my new video series, I show you exactly how to set goals that work. Click here to get started. It’s free—but only until Monday, December 8th.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://launchyourgenius.com/ Harish Kumar

    Hi Michael!
    Thank you for a great post!
    It is interesting that I use some of the very techniques that you mention in the classroom setting. I start with an interesting hook to get students interested in the topic. The hook can be a story or just a statement. Then I use audio, video, activities etc to make the content relevant and interesting. The information is best delivered in bite size chunks like the scannable content that you mention. I tell a lot of stories to make things memorable and make them “stick.” And there are always open ended questions to engage students into a conversation. One thing I have to keep in mind is that there are different types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and so on. That may be the reason why a combination of audio, video, activities, still images and text might work well in a blog post as it does in a classroom!
    Thanks again,
    Harish

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It is interesting that the communication techniques that work in one setting often work in another. I guess communication is communication. Thanks for your comment.

      • http://launchyourgenius.com/ Harish Kumar

        You are welcome, Michael!
        Yes, it is interesting to see the same communication techniques work across different settings. I wonder what the research says about that?
        Harish

    • Sue Harrison

      Harish, Great point about the different types of learners.

      • http://launchyourgenius.com/ Harish Kumar

        Thank you, Sue!
        In my opinion, addressing different learning styles super-charges and inspires the learning environment like nothing else!
        Harish

  • http://www.confessionsofaparent.com/ Mike Berry

    Thanks for all of your work with Platform U Michael. I keep your blog bookmarked to refer to as I continue to build mine. Thanks for being a great resource!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome, Mike. Are you a member of Platform U?

      • http://www.confessionsofaparent.com/ Mike Berry

        Not yet, but planning on it. I’ve been reading up on it and I loved the book. One of my favorites. I’ve recommended it to many friends who are beginning to build their own platforms. Thanks again!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Mike. I think you’d love Platform U.

          • http://www.confessionsofaparent.com/ Mike Berry

            You inspired me. I just signed up. Thanks again!

          • http://www.jenniferrothschild.com/ Jennifer Rothschild

            Mike, you won’t regret it. My husband Dr. Phil is a member and loves it.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    Michael I pretty much use the blogging template you described. I’m wondering however if it might be useful at times to shake things up and do something totally different. I mean templates are good but sometimes they can also be a rut. Do you ever jump out of your ordinary template for occasional posts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Absolutely. Take a look at yesterday’s post where I used a totally different template. Thanks.

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  • http://www.earlybirdmom.com/ Sarah Mueller

    I use a template similar to the one you described. I also have more specific ones for various types of posts I do (I run a tip series, etc.) It definitely helps the words come quickly!

  • http://twitter.com/twool9 Thomas Wooldridge

    You was right on point on this one. Many times i struggle with it also. Keep this kind of perspective can help the creative juices flow

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  • Eric Dingler

    I’m starting to use a four part template.

    Awaken Enthusiasm
    A good hook and personal story here.

    Focus Attention
    “The Idea” A one sentence statement to capture the essence of the post.

    Direct Experience
    A list of tips, suggestions, ideas, etc.

    A list of immediate action steps. I try to add 2 or 3 things the reader can do right then in about 1 minute to begin taking action on the content.

    Shared Inspiration

    Invitation to participate.

    I’m giving it some time to see how it works. So far, it’s seems to be working. I’d like to see more engagement, but I think that will come as I improve quality of content and my readership continues to grow.

    Thanks for inspiring this template. It’s very helpful to have when I write.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Nice. Well done!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2349211 Kyle Musser

      That’s great Eric! Thanks for sharing that

    • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

      Eric, I have noticed your template, as the guest post you did for my blog followed this template. I like it, as it flows nicely and is easy to read. Well done!

  • http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/ Esther Aspling

    When using an image, I then post into Pinterest myself. This way I know a picture is working and other people are able to do the same easily.
    I love the scannable point. I can’t stand blog posts that are more link online books on a single page!

    http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/

    • http://nickmessengeronline.com/ Nick Messenger

      Hi Esther,

      I`ve just read your reply & had to let you know how much I agree with you on 2 points – Pinterest & length of posts.

      Pinterest is definitely becoming evermore popular so to put your blog post photo there for a link makes great sense.

      There seems to be a select group of bloggers who write posts of 1000 – 2000 words +. I have read many of these posts & they are are bursting with great content but I do find myself thinking “this is meant to be a post NOT a book!”

      Hope you didn`t mind my replying to your reply!

      Nick

  • Jacqui

    I have a new children’s blog, Two Fish Five Loaves. When I posted Peanut Butter and Jelly: Don’t Get Into a Sticky Situation; Have a Sticky Snack Instead (http://jacquiwilson.net/twofishfiveloaves/?p=17), I received a huge response. In writing the post, I believe I successfully used three of the tips you mention. 1. The title is eye-catching. It makes a person ask the question “what?.” 2. Children can relate to the story. 3. The images are relevant.

  • Zaretta

    Thanks for the template. Because I write for teachers (www.ready4rigor.com), I also include some type of “putting it into practice” segment in order to help them see how the information can be applied in their instructional practice.

  • Byron Sasha Jones

    Thanks Michael, again you have managed to take all the questions and concerns that I’ve had (and that have held me back from actually making a decent go of blogging) and surmised them perfectly. It now seems a little more possible and a whole lot less daunting!

  • Eddie Casado Sr.

    Thank you Michael for the impartation and for making it seem so simple.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    These are great tips Michael and definitely a good system.

  • Susan Penning

    Michael, you always BRING IT! Thanks for more great tips. You continue to be a source of motivation and inspiration to me on my blogging journey. By the way, thanks to you, I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t think or talk about the “resistance” (lowercase on purpose :)). Being aware of it and realizing everyone encounters it has done wonders for me! Keep up the great work.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Susan. Thanks so much.

  • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

    This is a great template Michael.

    I use something similar but with minor tweaks e.g sometimes I’ll get the “perfect” headline after I finish the post.

    I like your last point “participate in the conversation”. It puts me off when a blogger has Comments enabled but never responds to them. :)

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  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com/ steveborgman

    Hi, Michael. I remembered a lot of these points from a previous post you wrote on a similar topic. However, what stuck out to me this time is the importance of sharing a personal story. I’m going to work on injecting my stories into my writing from here on out. Or at least a story, even if it’s not my own, since I can’t imagine my life relates to everything I write.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Steve. Great idea. I did this in Friday’s post. I deviated from my standard template, but I got a very positive response to the story. Thanks.

  • Gel

    Great advice. Thanks!

  • http://leadright.wordpress.com/ Brent Dumler

    This is clear and easy advice. I mostly struggle with #1 (the headline). While I want it to catch attention, I also strive for integrity not wanting to artificially lure readers to a post that may not accurately be portrayed. Any tips?

  • http://nickmessengeronline.com/ Nick Messenger

    Hi Michael,
    Great post, thank you! What I particularly liked was your video to introduce the whole theme of the post. It also doubled up as a great photo!
    Your video was easy to watch & was great preparation for the the actual written part of the post.
    I look forward to your future posts.
    Nick

  • http://multimediamarketingshow.com/ Jake Hower

    Great tips! Looking forward to the new content this month, all the content to date has been aweseome :)

  • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

    I have based my blogging template of a post of yours, Micheal, I read a while ago. It has helped me tremendously. One thing I am realizing I need to do more of is include personal stories. My personal stories do well on my blog. Thanks for this post/video!

  • http://twitter.com/Jeremy_Birch Jeremy Birch

    Just writing a handful of posts before I launch my website & blog, but I’m using your S.C.O.R.R.E. outline you reference in the Platform book. It adds another layer of understanding, though, to watch you explain it in your video.

    One question that I’d like your thoughts on, though, is how do you divine an attention-grabbing headline from link bait?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m not sure I have a good criteria. I just try to be authentic to who I am and my values.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    A great place to find royalty-free images is Compfight.com.

    • http://www.sheepdressedlikewolves.com/ Andy Mort

      Ahh ha that’s good. I use Flickr custom search for Creative Commons work. It takes a little longer. This seems to be basically that but lots quicker, AND there’s a wordpress plugin. Great find. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.moore.7186 Angela Moore

    I really appreciate this template – particularly because your posts have the most appealing format of all the experts I am currently studying. One question though: have you thought about putting an invitation to opt-in at the bottom of your posts? I learned about this from Derek Halpern and am planning to incorporate it once I launch my site. I would love your thoughts if this is something you have considered. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I actually do use that kind of opt-in from time to time. (You can see it on my About page about the middle of the page. I took it out recently, because I am running an affiliate ad for Bluehost. I don’t like to have too many calls-to-action on a given page. Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/angela.moore.7186 Angela Moore

        That makes sense. Thanks for the reply!

  • Rob

    Michael, do you mind sharing what you use to record video? Which hardware and how do you record nice sound such as in this post? So which camera and mic? Thanks, Rob.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This was done on a Canon 5D. I am not sure what the mic was. This was done professionally. Thanks.

    • http://www.sheepdressedlikewolves.com/ Andy Mort

      I agree, it does sound and look lush. It’s amazing what you can do with many Digital SLR cameras now that record video. Ramps quality up to the next level. Canon 5D is fairly pricey, but you might be able to find a photographer friend who is equipped with video on their camera and needs an excuse or an opportunity to practice with it. Ask around!

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne – NoteTakingNerd

    I love your advice about making the headline stand alone. It’s way too easy to have the little argument with yourself of, “This is too clever NOT to use. It doesn’t matter if they don’t immediately get it because it will make sense once they get into the body copy.” But the headline is the ad for the post and if that doesn’t get them, only the die hard fans will risk venturing into the unknown and that’s no good.

    Another awesome tip I got forced into by the SEO by Yoast plug-in is that of making sure that headline is around 120 characters or less. Turns out this is a blessing because it ensures that your awesome headline is easily tweetable.

  • http://www.spencermcdonald.net/ Spencer McDonald

    Thank you Michael. I really like the simple blog template you gave us to follow. I plan to use this with my next post to see if I can continue to improve my blogging skills. Again, thank you.

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  • Joe Robinson

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for sharing this great information. It has helped me to understand what I need to do to write more post. Right now, I write without any template at all, however; at this point I am going to put this template to use right away to help me with my writing.

    Thanks again for sharing this valuable information