Hello, everyone! ♥
Today’s discussion is about writing a discussion post, so it’s gonna be like a meta-discussion? 😛 Anyway, DISCLAIMER : I’m not trying to be an expert blogger/writer (though I wish to) but I have an 8-months-worth of experience on writing discussion posts, so I thought I’d share them with you and convince you to write (or keep writing) discussion posts as well ♦ ♦ ♦
Discussion posts are my favorite of all kinds of posts. These are 6 reasons WHY you should 1) start writing discussions if you haven’t already, and 2) write more discussion posts than you already do 😛
Before we start, go ahead and check all my discussion posts here! ♥
(1) Discussion post is FUN to write. What is better than having the freedom to be geeky and express all your random thoughts? I could talk about a certain trope in books in 1500 words and people would actually read and respond to them. So. Rewarding. 😛
(2) It’s also fun to read ♥ Seriously, people love reading discussions even if the topic has already been discussed for like 50 other times before. It’s thought-provoking and I don’t know about you, but I love reading people’s opinions. Actually, you should too, we’re bloggers after all 😉
(3) You could talk about the same topic all over again. Like I said on point 2, you could write about something that has been repeatedly discussed and people (at least I) would still read it. Really, I’ve read +10 posts about love triangle in books and yet I’ll definitely check your post if you plan to write about it. Although, it won’t hurt to put your own spin or add something new to the discussion ♣
(4) Discussion posts receive the most traffic. Whoever say they don’t care about stats, they’re lying. At least to some extent 😛 bloggers do care about stats, no matter what we claim, and discussion post is some kind of a stats booster. Book-related discussion post is relatable to everyone who reads books.
Let’s say, you just read Twilight (!!!) and you want to talk about the love triangle or paranormal creatures in it. People might not read your review/discussion about Twilight because a) it’s so last year and b) most people have outgrown Twilight anyway. But if you talk about love triangle or paranormal creatures in general, people would surely read your posts, regardless whether they read Twilight or not.
So yes, discussion posts are for everyone. And the best thing about discussion posts is that people don’t just read it, they will most likely drop a comment and share their own opinions. Sooo discussion posts = + page views + likes + comments ♥
(5) Discussion sparks another discussion. People are responding to your thoughts and who knows, maybe you could turn their responses into another discussion in the future? That’s what I do. At the very least, you have something awesome to talk about with your followers. I mean, memes and tags also receive a lot of comments, but most of the times, the depth of the comments just aren’t the same.
(6) It makes your blog more original. I actually prefer blogs that not only post reviews/memes, but also original contents. Original contents tell me more about a blogger’s voice, preference, and personality than reviews/memes ever could. But relax, I have nothing against reviews/memes, I do them too!
OKAYYY, did I manage to convince you to start and/or keep writing discussions? If YES, let’s proceed to my tips and tricks. If NO… well, please keep reading anyway? 😛
Again, I’m gonna say that I’m not an expert. I’m actually really nervous about it because I don’t want people thinking I’m trying to be one :’) anyway, let’s get started. After 8 months of writing and reading a lot of discussion posts, I learned what works and what doesn’t ♦
Coming up with something totally original is almost impossible, but not unheard of. Original topic is great, but we could also write about something mainstream, because there’s always a way to put your own twists on it. For example, everyone could write about their bookish pet peeves, their favorite tropes, their favorite genres, etc, etc.
My two main sources of inspirations are books and other blogs. Just remember, be inspired but don’t copy 🙂 Generally, inspirations could come from everywhere. I’m a natural thinker, I think all the time, so every time inspiration strikes, I write down my ideas on my phone or notebook. You do have a blogging notebook, don’t you? 😛
- Great ideas don’t always magically appear. Okay sometimes they do, but most of the times, you have to work on it. I do a lot of brainstorming to come up with a lot of ideas. Most of them are crappy and I don’t even use them, but for every 5 crappy ideas, there’s always a great one among them! ♥
- For me, the topic has to be something interesting that people could relate to but haven’t been discussed too often. If you want to talk about something specific that only you feel/think/experience, that’s also fine, but it’ll be harder to get people to comment and share their own opinions.
- Find ideas from twitter. Sometimes people throw around trivial questions like ‘what is your reading pet peeves?‘ and I decide to make the answers as complicated as possible : by creating a blog post about it.
It’s my blogging notebook, people 😛
Whoever says coming up with the idea is the hardest part is wrong, because really, actually writing the post is the main challenge. Basically, my difficulties are 1) having trouble to systematically deliver my points, and 2) language (I mean, English isn’t my native tongue after all). My #1 solution to this is to create an outline.
I figured that the best and easiest way to write discussion post is in a conversational tone. I write exactly like I talk and it’s a win-win because it’s easier for me and you’d feel like I’m talking to you when you read my post 😛 I guess it’s also important to find your voice, like, do you want to come across as humble? Snarky and sassy? Know it all? I try to be as humble and friendly as possible, but any style could work if you try ♥
It’s also important to figure out how you want to write your post. Do you make lists? Pros and cons? A bunch of long paragraphs? I found that lists and pros & cons work best for me and that’s what I usually do.
- If you’re a super organized person like me, writing outline helps a lot. I write down all the points that I want to say, all the examples or proofs to support my points, and the other necessary stuffs.
- My best discussion posts are the ones that I write ahead of time. That way, I have the time to let my ideas sink in and revise it if I come up with something to add. Rushing a post doesn’t work well for me.
- Don’t be afraid of writing tough/controversial topics. If you find it difficult to deliver your points, take a break. Then start writing whatever you have in mind. They don’t have to be in perfect order, you can always go back to rearrange and edit everything later.
- Make sure you leave a room for discussion. Don’t think that your opinion is the most accurate. Ask questions. Embrace different opinions. Don’t get annoyed if people disagree with you, unless they’re trolls whose sole purpose is to harass people’s opinions, then you can be annoyed and block them.
I actually don’t know the ideal post length, but I know that I probably won’t be patient enough to read a 3500 words post and won’t be interested enough to read a 400 words discussions. I read somewhere that the ideal post length for SEO is around 1500 words, so that’s what I usually strive for. Buuuut there are bloggers out there who could write a 2000++ words posts and I won’t be bored reading them! I think any length could work s long as you know how to keep it interesting 😉
- Every time I come up with an idea, I ask myself whether I have enough things to say about it. If I have very little to say, I’ll just make a twitter thread. If I have too many things to say, I’ll break up my posts into 2-3 posts.
- BREAK THE PARAGRAPHS. Unless it’s a novel, I’m in no way interested in reading some super long paragraphs. It’s just exhausting and not visually pleasing 😦
- Using subheadings could really help to keep the readers’ focus and make the posts seem less boring. I personally use lots of subheadings and photos ♥
I know this is dull, but it’s essential 😛 as I said above, writing discussion is difficult. Proofreading helps to make sure that I manage to deliver all my points in the way I plan to. Besides, you do not want to find a lot of mistakes on your post after you hit publish. Basically here are the things I do during proofreading :
- Check for spelling and grammar errors
- Make sure each paragraph isn’t too long
- Make sure I already cover all my points
- Make sure my writing doesn’t come across as offensive, insulting, or condescending
- See if I’m happy with my writing! 😀
OTHER DISCUSSION TIPS TO CHECK OUT! ♥
Alrightyyy, those are reasons why you should write discussion posts and some of my tips and tricks! Keep in mind that it’s all part of my experiences and I’m not telling anyone how to run their blogs 🙂
LET’S TALK : What do you think makes a great discussion? What are your challenges in writing discussion posts? And if anyone has questions or more tips about writing discussion, feel free to share them! ♥
Find more of me on my social media ♦