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How Successful Entrepreneurs Blog: Phase 2- Turning Ideas into Blogs

posted Feb 3, 2017, 8:52 AM by Rahni Jere Sumler   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 9:47 AM ]

As a writing counselor, I am constantly helping public health professionals with how to deliver heavy topics to the community. Unlike my background in engineering, topics like environmental health notices have much more impact on the well being of the layman then how “their internet” is delivered to them.  The challenge often becomes how to turn public health research into something useful to the community.

This is a process called “conceptualization”, taking research and developing new ideas. I have found that the best approach to the conceptualization process is to make an outline before writing. For our purposes of becoming an expert in our field,

Phase One prepared us by identifying what the community is asking about and organizing possible ideas. In Phase Two we will create an outline and identify points of interest before writing. 

this is an outline for how entrepreneurs blog and organize their ideas
Community Diary by Rahni S.
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In this series I will be breaking down the writing process into two phases, this week’s being organizing ideas using an outline. Many other blogging how to steps omit the writing process but this is critical to this series for the purpose of examining our efforts and measuring results. After all, if you want better results then you should examine the process.

Preliminary Items: Purpose and Theme

Lets begin with some preliminary items. Refer back to the research guide from Phase One. For more information on how to complete a research guide, I highly suggest going back to Phase One. From your topic and the sort of questions asked by the community, determine the purpose of your blog post. This will indicate the tone and how much work you will put into your outline before writing. It is also important to note here that “pre-writing” steps like outlines can be done for multiple blogs before writing them. After all, the purpose is to organize your thoughts before writing so that you can reduce the amount of time spent on writing them. Outlines also are not the final product. Many items from the outline can be omitted later, especially if they do not contribute to the theme of your blog. Be savvy, remember to always keep the purpose of your blog in mind. 

How to turn Ideas and Research into something Meaningful

In this phase we will be focusing on organizing points and the support for those points into a formulaic outline. This formula is familiar to most readers and makes your writing easier to follow. I will be using the I-B-C formula: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. This basic outline structure is very general and can be applied to any area of focus while being recognizable to everyone. There are many other organization methods that can be modified to suit your needs such as the evergreen method. You can check out Nikola Gege’s explaination of the evergreen method here. The commonality among all outline schemes is to identify what is useful and what is needed to convey your idea.

Explanation of points & support for those points

While some support is found in Phase One, we will be determine the usefulness of these sources in this phase. The outline will also identify other points and support that is needed. This is done through reviewing and revising the outline to see if the ideas flow together well. This is easier to do in Phase Two because it is easier to move bullet points then to move paragraphs in a piece of work. In this review and revise process it is also easier to identify support needed before writing. Items that would need support are claims that require validation from an authoritative source. Examples include most scientific things, statistics, and quotes from notable individuals. 

 In the outline, leave space for items that need support. When you do research for items is dependent upon the purpose of the blog.  For light research projects, it is critical to do research after writing the blog. This prevents wasted work. Conversely, for academic stage or for heavy research projects all research should be finalized at the outline stage.

Formulaic Outline: I-B-C

As an engineer, I organize my ideas best into flowcharts. In this flowchart, it shows the process for creating the I-B-C outline. On theleft there are the inputs, or the things needed to complete the process. Click here for a closer look. Here the inputs are the items from Phase One:

  • Topic
  • Questions from the community about that topic
  • Support from answers
  • Initial prompts (both questions, answers)
  • The inputs also include the initial items for phase 2 that were discussed:
  • Purpose of the blog post (Entertainment? Information? Both?)
  • Central theme of the blog (What question are you answering? What theme are you addressing?)

The center describes the I-B-C process itself. Items from Phase One are organized into the three headers: introduction, body and conclusion of the blog post. The introduction is used to, not only introduce the idea, but to entice audiences to read further. The body of the blog post composes most of the information and will be organized and fleshed out according to the initial items for Phase 2.

Unlike what is taught in many primary schools, the conclusion is not a summary of the body. Instead, it is a place to build a relationship with the audience before closing. This may be through discussing about next steps or leaving the audience to consider new possible ideas. For the purposes of most blogs, the conclusion is crucial for encouraging audiences to continue the relationship formed while spending time reading your blog.

The most important piece of the process is considering your vision when adding ideas in the center process. Vision with the means to deliver it is what will eventually make you an authority field over time. It is not possible to develop visionary sight until you recognize what is needed in that moment. I highly suggest revisiting Phase Zero for a critical “big picture” consideration while blogging. That being said, when flushing out the items in the body portion, do they support your vision? When building a relationship with the audience in the conclusion, did you share your vision with them? How is it worth their time to continue this relationship?

Conclusion

Phase 2 is important for identifying what is important or what can be omitted BEFORE writing. This saves times and helps with organizing ideas into something meaningful before phase 3, writing. As an added benefit, it also reduces editing time of the blog and ensures you have a supported blog that you can share with interested parties (i.e, the sources you used). Tabulating interested parties will lead into phase 4, sharing with the community. Closing my own blog post, I also invite you to continue this relationship and a view of my own vision.

The AC Pharos is an online community to combat economic injustice. Specifically, the goal is to increase access of economic activism to those who are effected the most by it, giving them the tools to inform and guide the movement. This blogging series in particular can be applied to many areas and will be a crucial tool for empowering the community. This blogging series will also eventually be used to create an online workshop, so I would like your feedback. The goal of this series is to give simple research guide that builds your authority reputability and is an active means of fixing the problems in this country. Does this series thus actually help meet this goal? What are some ways to get towards this goal?

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