“Planning your writing is thinking forward about what you are going to write about.” (Quote mine)
Planning your writing is when you record your thoughts and ideas, organize them, and gather all the information that you need.
It has been said that writing is the action of thinking. If your thoughts are not in order, your writing won’t be either. When you plan your writing, you are organizing your thoughts in many different ways (as we are going to see in this post) before giving birth to your article, post, or even book.
Why should you plan your writing? Because as in everything else, planning makes perfect. The more you plan, the better the result of your written piece will be, especially if it’s a large piece such as an eBook or a book, but this goes for blog posts as well.
Those really valuable and detailed blog posts with thoughtful links, charts and images are very much planned in advance. No doubt about that. In turn, we know that posts like that are very popular and attract lots of traffic. Thus the need to plan for a blog post as well.
If you are not sure how to plan your writing, here are 6 ways that you can use to do so. Let’s see what they are.
1- Apply the 3 W’s
- WHY are you writing?
- WHAT are you writing about?
- WHO are you writing for?
The very first question you need to ask yourself is WHY am I writing? This is like the base of everything you write. If there is no “why” there might as well not be any writing either. Your WHY is your strongest motivator when you write.
My WHY is what makes me write NO MATTER what happens to me that week.
Then of course, your very next question is WHAT am I writing about? The what is your “plat de resistance.” Without it your reader will go hungry. You’ve got to have a “WHAT” to create your article, letter, blog post, or book. No matter what you write.
WHO am I writing for? This is what will give the tone of your writing. You are not going to write the same way if you write to your lawyer than if you write to your mother. Always write for your audience appropriately – that’s one of the strongest ingredients of the recipe of writing.
2 – Have a Vision of your Story
Whether you tend to think of your topic long in advance, or are more of the type who writes on the burst of the moment, try to have a vision of what you want to tell. What is it that you want to convey to the reader?
If you can’t visualize what you want to tell the reader, most likely your writing will get stuck at one point or another, or worse even, you may deviate to a totally different direction without even noticing. In the end the flow of your work might be completely broken.
As a helper for your vision, write down (in just a few sentences) what you want to tell.
For example, for this article I could have written: “I want to explain to the reader what are some of the best ways of planning their writing. I want to make sure that it’s something they can understand easily and apply the next time they need to write. I want this post to be useful to any level of writing.”
This would only be a guide for your vision. From there you can start visualizing what your piece is going to be. It works with a blog post, a letter, a book, even a resume. No matter what you write, it’s always the same thing – you need to start with a vision.
3 – Create a Written Plan
This is good especially if you have a hard time with writing, or if you are going to write a long story such as an eBook or a Book. But again, you can use this method even for a simple blog post or article.
You could make one of the three following visual helpers to create your writing plan
A mind map
Of course, these are only simple examples that I just jotted down to show you. You can (and should) make much more elaborate ones.
4 – Plan your Writing when you are the Most Alert
If at all possible plan your writing when your mind is the most alert. If writing doesn’t necessarily come easy for you, do not plan on writing when you are the most tired or sleepy. If you are a morning person, make some time to write in the morning. If you are a night person, make some time to write in the evening or at night time.
In my case, I don’t trust my writing at night. If I write at night I make a point to edit my work in the morning when my brain is the most alert because I’m a morning person.
Choosing the right time to write is also part of planning your writing well.
5 – Find the Right Place
Whether you write on a computer screen or on paper, you should have a special place to write that inspires you. If the place where you write is a place that you don’t feel good in, it won’t be motivating to work there.
Find a place well lighted, organized, and appealing to you so you can find pleasure in being there and be more inspired to write.
Also, make sure you are comfortably seated, not hungry or thirsty. Any discomfort of the body will take your mind off your concentration. The body has a strong way of demanding what it needs and that’s how it does it. The body says; “give me what I need, and I’ll give you your mind back.”
6 – Give Yourself Enough Time
Start writing long enough time before your work is due. Even for someone who can write rather fast, I noticed that the longer time I give myself to write, the better the quality of my blog post or eBook will be.
Writing is not something that should be rushed, and I must add that it’s the beauty of writing.
You can take all the time you want and edit your work a thousand times; nobody will have a problem with that. On the contrary, the reader will actually be very thankful for the time and dedication you’ve put into your work in order to come up with a superb written piece, well thought out, well written and as error free as possible.
Of course, a very important part of planning is editing. There is no good writing without editing, and that’s why it’s so important that you give yourself enough time before publishing your writing.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and will start applying those tips now. Please, let me know what you think and add your thoughts down below in the comments.
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44 thoughts on “6 Ways To Plan Your Writing For More Valuable Blog Posts”
Oh my goodness Sylviane! I’m so bad…
I seldom plan anything out. I’m serious! Even when I was writing my free report I had some thoughts in my head of the direction I wanted to go but I never wrote any of that down. I just start writing and everything just started coming out at that time.
Now for my product I’ve been planning that out because that’s a much bigger process I think. As far as what I’m going to say in each video yet I haven’t planned that out. I don’t think I really could because I wouldn’t be able to read what I wrote while shooting a video about it at the same time. Yeah, I’m not so good at doing two things at the same time when it comes to something like that.
I’m such a planner in my life though overall so I’m really surprised at myself that I’m not when it comes to my posts or reports. Is that odd? Am I weird or what!
I guess some people just need to plan things out especially if they need to get their thoughts in order. For some reason once I get an idea everything else just starts to flow.
Thanks for sharing this Sylviane and you always know how to help us plan things.
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No, you’re not weird I’m a lot like you myself. I wrote more stuff on the spark of the moment than by planning it, but I also know that planning does help, and especially those who have a hard time with writing.
Obviously this is not a post for those who are doing great without planning anything, but again, as you said about your product, at times we need to. But this is a post mostly for those would like to plan but don’t exactly know how. Or who feel that they really need to.
Also, my goal on the blog is to (over time) cover all the areas of writing 🙂 and this is one of them
Thank you for coming, Adrienne and have a great week ahead.
As I have mentioned before (not sure it was here, but I think it was here), I don’t plan that much.I have tried both ways – writing with and without planning (I brainstorm ideas, convert them into titles and save them as WP Drafts).
Personally, I prefer writing without much planning because I enjoy it more.There have also been instances in which I planned the article very well but didn’t publish it because I didn’t like the end product.
But, I think it is better to plan, at least a little bit. It can really help to organize our ideas :)Right now, I plan extensively – Thanks to Evernote (I plan to continue that extensive planning with my upcoming blog :D).
I find myself thinking about each step, planning ahead, and I feel great. I can see situations in which mistakes could happen and I can take precautionary actions.
Great tips mentioned here 🙂
I think we should experiment with these factors – expect for first two). Try writing in a different environment, or try writing at the last minute (might want to be careful here. Perhaps write a backup article? Who has time anyways?). Experiment with writing and planning.
Anyways, thanks for the tips, Sylviane 🙂
Is sure is nice to have you around blogs again and enjoy your comments.
When it comes to planning I think we all have done it with and without it. I like to plan because it makes me dig more and accumulate more ideas, but I’ve written plenty of times without planning it at all.
Either way, I just thought this would be a good post for people who are looking for info about planning their writing.
Have a great day!
Sure glad to be here 🙂
I agree. Planning can really help (but, it can also hurt. Never plan too much 😀 Take action!)
It’s not a good post – It’s an awesome post, particularly to writers 😀
I like when you said “Writing is the action of thinking”… I never heard of this saying but it rings!
As I was reading I was nodding my head in agreement. I’m someone, at least now, don’t have a lot of time, so whenever I get an idea, I jot it down, type it out on my computer later. Also I write down key points within the idea. Lately I’ve been doing this quite often so that i don’t fall to far behind.
Once i have the main ideas on microsoft word, that’s when these tips really come in handy for me. I pick my favorite spot, which is my bedroom, and I can elaborate from those different ideas much easier without being in a rush. These tips really comfirms what I’m doing is right!
Thanks for sharing!
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That’ s great, Sherman, seems that you have your planning going.
Of course, planning is good if it helps the writer, if it doesn’t then one may just go as they wish.
As for me I do both, but I feel that when I plan my writing my blog posts are better.
Thanks for coming and have a great rest of the week.
I think these tips you’ve described for writing are incredibly important and all very true and to the point. Excellent. I love the ‘have a vision for your story.’ I do this all the time., otherwise I have a hard time writing. I have to know what I’m writing about. I can’t just have a title with no ‘meat’ behind it.
However, I do not have a plan for the actual blog. That takes up too much time, although I may have jotted down some of the things I planned to write about, just so I won’t lose my thoughts.
Finally, I like the ‘plan while you’re alert.’ So many times I’ve started something late at night and then have to continue in the morning. Most times I can finish, but occasionally I peter out before I can finish so this makes perfect sense.
Thanks for the tips. Excellent post.
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Thank you Barbara,
Yes, big planning takes time, but when you write a huge piece such as a book, then it worth taking the time. I personally know someone that didn’t have enough of a plan and now that his book is been published he’s told that some things are not right. In a case like that a plan would have been well worth it.
In the case of a blog post, of course that’s not so important.
I’m glad you enjoy the post, and thanks for coming.
Most of my ideas almost every time do not come while I’m working. I know I work best this way. So, when an idea comes through my head, I’ll jot it down in my phone and carry on about my day. I used to be bad about not writing stuff down and I’ll forget what it was that I was trying to remember. So, when it comes to sitting down and writing it, I like to keep it simple and sweet. I realize that most visitors do not have a long attention span so I’ll make at least 3-5 points so that they can understand my message. I like what you said about writing when you are most alert. That is to the blogger’s advantage. Why not use short bursts of time to push through a blog post when you’re alert? Sounds like a great plan to me! Thank you the informative post!
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I know those ideas tend to flee so fast. An idea that you don’t jot down right away will be gone for ever. It’s vital to write them down and I’m glad you do that now.
Yes, it’s vital also to write when we are the most alert. I know I have too 🙂
Thanks for coming by.
Sylviane, I love this chart. I sometimes get out of whack, you know commenting and the social sites can get yourself lost at times. This helps to keep the focus. I usually get my visions in the shower or driving, and hard to write it down at those times. I should use a tape recorder. Thank you for these tips.
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Yes, I certainly know what you mean.
Ah that shower. So many people are saying they are getting ideas in the shower. I do to.
Glad you enjoy and thanks for coming.
Hi SylvianeFirst,bayou should write an ebook on this subject.I love all of the W\’s you mentioned. Each of them are essential in the start of writing.When I am getting ready to write I start with a \”vision\”. I kind of practice speaking to another person what I am trying to convey to my readers.I love charts, mind mapping and any type of board that helps me with the why, what and the who.Thank you for this post.Gladys recently posted….ReWrite Your Life By Changing Your Beliefs
I’m glad you enjoyed the 3 W’s. They really help to situate your writing you know.
Charts are good because they put a visual item in front of your eyes and that helps a whole lot to.
I’m glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for coming, Gladys.
I like the post. It is very … planned and organized and crafted.
When I brainstorm ideas I write them into an Excel file. I make two columns: 1) the idea (that will become later the title); 2) what the post will be about.
Now, after reading your article I am thinking to create a third column: what I want to tell to the reader. Those 2-3 phrases with more detailed explanations might help very much.
I like the idea of visual helpers. I use lists but the chart method might be better. Mind map? Not bad for things that are more complex and needs an imaginative effort.
Have a wonderful day
Sorry to insist but when I try to make a comment, your blog tells me that I have not java script enabled. This is the only blog where I have got this message so far.
Last time I cleaned my cache and it worked. I will try the same trick.
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I see that you are well organized already, but I’m glad you could still take something home from this post.
I have no idea why my blog does that to you. There is a blog I visit each week that does that to me a lot too and that’s also the only blog. I have not had anyone else telling me this, yet. Sorry about that, but I’m glad you found the trick. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Have a great day!
You’ve touched upon a few ideas that I consider important. Some people are visual learners, so the use of mind mapping software or drawing your writing ideas out on paper is important. I use iThoughtsHD on my iPad primarliy, but I also have a paper form I developed for my writing with 36 spokes on it which I jot down my ideas on. Either way is handy for coloring and connecting related thoughts. Where ideas coalesce, you have the formation of paragraphs and chapters.
What I would add to your article is the concept of planning time to write every day, even if you don’t plan to publish something, do it for the purpose of honing your writing skills and becoming more proficient as a writer.
In addition to that, I suggest writing in a daily journal all that you consider important that you have learned about yourself, experiences you’ve had, etc.
This also has the later benefit of reflection for personal growth.
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Great suggestions, I appreciate that. That’s why comments are great for.
I have had a journal for years (almost 30 of them) with just a few years here and there where I kind of drop off the wagon, but for the most part I always written about what’s happening in my life and my thoughts.
Yes, planning some time to write each day is a very good habit that will most definitely improve your writing.
Thanks for coming.
I had to make sure to stop by today because writing and planning are two things I do so much of! I am one of those people who thinks a lot before I do anything. I think about what I’m writing and how it’s going to sound. Sometimes I write the whole thing in my head before I do it on paper. Of course then I get mad that I had a really good idea that I forgot 🙂 But seriously, it’s a great idea to plan ahead of time. The ideas are pretty easy to come by, but you need to think about how you want to convey your ideas. So writing them down, then making notes, then thinking about it all – really helps! Plus you avoid shooting something off that is poor quality because you’re not really paying attention.
I also like the idea of finding the right place. You definitely need a good environment. It’s amazing what a change in scenery can do. In fact, sometimes you just need to get out of the same place and try another one to write. I find that I can be more productive if I change rooms or just get in the car and go to a cafe. I just bought a new laptop for that! A really small, portable one I can grab and go. It makes the idea of writing more fun. For people like me and you who like to write, that may not seem like such a big deal but for people who just want to get it done it can really help to make it more fun!
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Well, it’s always a pleasure to have you here.
I am not surprised that you are a writer that plans her writing. I can see that in your posts.
That’s funny sometimes I also have almost my complete post in my head before I write it. It often happens during one of my walks, since I walk a lot almost each day in a park for exercise.
Change of scenery is very good for writing, yes. I love to write outdoor in the summer. Lot of new ideas come that way too.
Thanks for your input, Carol.
I am guilty of not planning my writing, I guess that is why sometimes I find myself struggling to come up with something to write.
I like the 3 W’s of writing that you talked about. I will definitely be using that the next time I write my next blog post.
Thanks for sharing this information, it will definitely help me improve my writing. Have a great week.
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That’s great Susan,
What happened with your avatar? I usually can see your face 🙂
If you lack ideas to write about, be an avid reader and it will help you with ideas. Also take notes each time an idea pops up, because you never know when you’ll need it.
Thanks for coming by.
Hi Sylviane,This is something that until recently, I only did when writing for clients. But, on my old blog, I would wait until the last minute to write my posts ;-/Anyway, I think you’ve made some really great points here because I’ve started putting alot more planning into my own content and I really like it. Letting a post sit for a few days and coming back to it always puts me in a position to add a little more before sending my post out.And you know, I wholeheartedly agree with planning your post when you are most alert – I’ve done those late-night-I-need-to-go-to-sleep writing sessions and they’re never good!
I kind of did a lot like you. Plan a lot for clients and none for me, but like you I am planning more for myself too now.
Late writing doesn’t work for me either, not even to reply to comments that’s why I’m so late on this one here 🙂
Thank you for coming.
Great reminders. I think many bloggers never plan their writing. They just write, little check and post. It’s not about they are reckless or else it’s simply have no clue how to plan the writing stuff. I seldom plan my writing though :). Thanks for this post
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Well, it’s not a must, and if you do well without it it’s fine too. But the more elaborate the writing, the more planning is needed though!
Thanks for coming by.
Hi Sylviane, this post is awesome i must say, the layout, the graphics, everything about this post is just great, and again it is timely, i love it very much. the 6 steps you highlighted herein are wonderful. keep doing it right.
Thank you PstBless 🙂 Happy you like it!
Oh like some of the others I do not plan too much. Well I often write points down for my posts but not much planing.
Mind mapping for me is writing on sticky notes and then sorta reordering them
I do what I have done tonight – had a discussion with my husband and sparked some ideas for posts. Then I wrote some word jogger notes and I am planned.
But most times I have an idea and just write without much else. But then I am not a professional writer 🙂
Your advice is great Sylviane. I only wish I could be so planned.
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Believe it or not, I haven’t done much planning for my own writing either, but I’m doing it more now as I always want to get UP THERE in the quality of my posts. I am never satisfied with them and still striving to write more top notch articles. So that’s where planning comes in handy for me.
What you’re doing is planning too I see. Jotting notes down on paper and putting together as you write is better than no planning at all.
Thanks for you input, Sue.
Love this post Sylviane because you’re so thorough and you cover some important points like mind mapping.
I’ll confess I’m not always the planner I should be, but I know the value of planning. and of course I always recommend it 😉 When I make a good plan things always move along a lot smoother. But when time is short my planning is always the first to go, but that’s also when I do my poorest writing 🙁
Your tips are well taken and you’ve got me motivated to really start making a pact to plan better.
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Wow, let me take that quote again here “When I make a good plan things always move along a lot smoother. But when time is short my planning is always the first to go, but that’s also when I do my poorest writing ” So well said, and I am SO with you on that!
Less planning usually means poorer writing. Not in a grammatical sense, of course, but in the quality of the content.
Thank you so much for adding this.
I really enjoyed your 6 step plan. #5 in particular has been a big factor for me, finding the right place. I can alway write better at Starbucks. I could never understand that because it’s noisy in there. I read an article recently that it has now been confirmed that the ambient noise of coffee shops increases productivity, particularly for writers. Who knew… it’s science. Turns out, they even have an app for that.
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Sorry for getting back to you so late,
Yes, yes I agree! Coffee shops are good for writing. A few years back I was blogging while having that job in a shopping center, and I was writing at a coffee shop everyday for my next blog post or article, and it did wonders.
The brain works in strange ways at times. I would love to dig on the subject to know why is that the case, though 🙂
Thank you for coming.
Awesome write up as usual. Great!
I think I really need to practice 3 w’s properly. What I usually do is that I wonder who is having problem and what I can do to help them. From there, I compose an article about it.
Now, even though the above is common, I also practice a lot especially when sharing my own experience with the rest. At least, something that I feel is good and could be worthwhile to others.
What I am short at? Planning! I don’t plan my post. I usually write my first post and once done, the recheck is for title, headings fonts etc. The third check will be for images and last check will be on linking etc.
Just my 2 cents!
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Certainly appreciate your 2 cents 😉 and sorry for the late reply, though.
I am finding that a lot people do not plan and I am myself not a natural planner either, but when I do it does work for me, so I thing it’s worth the effort.
You write great content anyway, so I think that you’re doing OK, planning or not.
Thanks for coming.
Writing a quality content is something very important for the success of a blog…and you of course need to plan before writing a well organized article…
It often happens that we get deviated from the actual point of discussion while writing and that drops the quality and purpose of the article…The three questions you mentioned- ‘WHY we are writing? WHAT we are writing about? WHO we are writing for?’ can keep our writing on proper track!!!
I totally agree with the six points you discussed on how to plan your writing…And the chart is awesome…:)
Thanks for sharing this great post…
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Sorry for the late reply. Didn’t forget about you, but I’ve been so busy this past week.
Yes, when we blog no matter what niche we are into, we should always ask those 3 crucial questions; why what, who. It really helps for the writing.
Thanks for coming and see you on your blog 🙂
Sorry, it took me time again to stop by dear…
Excellente! Your 3 WHYs reminds me of the post you written about writing a Portfolio page. Same applies again.
I’m not a type person who aiming for lengthy posts most of the time, but I do write few points up before I start writing Sylviane 🙂 Even they are short ones. I admit that writing is not my best skill eventhough I like it. After my writing, I make sure if the points I wanted to mention is already in there. They are lists though. I know another friend who fond of mind maps rather than lists too 🙂
Having a vision is compulsory. Else, we might end up writing too many stuff that doesn’t matter after all, isn’t it?
As you mention about the right place, I feel bit uncomfortable if someone staring at what I’m writing Sylviane 😀 Even it applies in exams too. Is it kinda normal or just me? But it doesn’t matter if they read after I finalizing my post though.
You have a lovely weekend Sylviane 🙂
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Hi Sylviane Nuccio !!!
yes… Blogging has become a latest & valuable trend to get strong & good quality Back Link. I do see people launched their Blog & they be fail while running their Blogs. Sylviane, Your this post is really helpful for all people but it’s more valaubel & helpful for people/Blogge. Those are new & on Blogging platforum.
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Great article! In life I believe that planning makes things easier and goals accomplished faster. This is the same for writing. Your blogs can be more well thought of and topics can be strategized to match dates and events.
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Hi SYLVIANE NUCCIO
I soo agree with this. I try to follow a plan of attack, but it doesn’t always work out with a good post. One thing I have learned, though, is to save it for another day. It usually needs some major revision or better point of view to make it work, but there is good content there.
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Writing is not extremely easy for me but I am learning.
I do like your instructions on writing though. I think I do most of them. The thing I don’t do though is write my plan down. I always plan everything in my head and always have. I actually think this is odd because I am the master at making lists of things that need to be done but planning a something I do in my head.
I have a photographic memory but not sure if that has anything to do with not writing down my plan.
I do make sure that I am not tired when I write an I try to give myself plenty of time
Dee Ann Rice
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