Do you plan your posts or do you just write them free flow as they come?
Mark talked in the thread about how he does both (sometimes he uses bullet points for his main points and then writes on each point while other times it just comes) – but I thought it’d be an interesting question to open up to everyone.
What’s your approach?
My own approach is mixed and sometimes starts with one approach and ends up as the other but in general the way I work depends upon the type of post:
Pillar Content – in most cases if I’m setting out to write what I refer to as ‘pillar content’ (or a big post that is on a central theme of my blog) I generally like to have some kind of plan before I start. Like Mark I’ll usually start out with a list of points that I want to cover that I’ve brainstormed (and perhaps a quick note or two on each). Then I work systematically through the points one by one and write a paragraph or two on each.
Other Posts – other posts that are not quite as structure in their form tend to be written in a more freely written way. For example if news breaks on something relevant to my niche I will generally bounce off a press release or another blogger with a few of my own thoughts. If the post is like this one and is more of a ‘reader question’ type posts I again will usually write it without a formal outline.
I should say that often my posts are a bit of both. Sometimes I’ll be halfway through writing a free flow/non outline post and I’ll suddenly be hit with inspiration for about 5 other things that I’ll want to say in the post. I generally stop writing at this point and capture the points that I want to cover and in doing so write a bit of an outline for the rest of the post before coming back to where I was.
Other times I might be writing a post that I’ve got an outline for and the post will evolve in a direction that makes a lot of the points I’ve outlined irrelevant and I’ll scrap them (or at least put them aside for a future post).
What about you?
Are you someone who plans posts in detail? Or do you write best when you’re writing in a more freely flowing style?