At its inception, blogging was all about listening and chiming in with your own thoughts. People would find something that someone else said interesting, quote it, add their own take and share it with their audience. While it’s great to come up with your own original take on something, it’s hard to do that week after week. Your audience follows you for a reason—chances are if you find something interesting they will too.
Don’t be afraid to use a lot of quotes
I think some bloggers stray away from this type of blog post because it almost feels like “cheating” that you’re writing about what someone else is saying. That’s not the case—people love to hear when you agree with them and no one is going to be upset that you’re formulating a blog post around one of their ideas.
Quotes are your best friend in this situation. Even if it’s not the case, assume that your readers aren’t going to read this other piece and only yours. Don’t just tell them why you found an article interesting enough to share—show them. Include the best parts of that post and then insert your commentary. Essentially, you’re listening to someone else and just speaking back—only in blogging form.
Open doors and form connections
You can begin your post bluntly if you want: tell your readers you found an article interesting and explain why. I do this all the time on LexBlog’s publication, 99 Park Row. If I come across an article on digital publishing trends or writing, I’ll lean on it heavily to formulate a blog post.
It’s simple, doesn’t take too much time and is a great way to build connections.
My last post was about a piece I read on what makes a good story. I thought it was fascinating so I wrote up a blog post in less than an hour. When I shared it on socials, I tagged the writer who I was referencing and now—because of my blog post—we follow one another.
The nice thing about these posts is that they’ll never be too long, maybe somewhere in-between 400-500 words. That doesn’t sound too bad—especially when you remember that a lot of that word count is made up of quotes.
An easy way to go about crafting a post of this nature:
- Don’t be afraid to use a first person narrative and tell readers where you found this article, why it peaked your interest, why you read it top-to-bottom and why you’re now sharing it with your audience. Don’t feel pressured to include all of that, though.
- Insert a block quote—it can be lengthy since it’s essentially the meat of this piece.
- Offer one or two paragraphs with your own insights—why you agree/disagree with this writer’s statement, why people need to pay attention.
- Repeat that formula as many times as you see necessary and cap the post off with a summary of your thoughts.