How to write a blog

Tell a story!!

Playright Kenn Adams once wrote the the most efficient way of telling stories – called the “story spine“. If you start looking, you’ll see that most famous novels, fables, and Hollywood movies all follow the basic structure:

Once upon a time … [beginning]
And every day … [beginning]
And because of this … [middle]
And because of this … [middle]
Until finally … [climax]
And ever since that day [resolution]

In a blog post format, you can structure your story in the shape of a sandwich:

sandwichblog

Top piece of bread – LeadFirst two sentences should catch the reader’s attention and lead into the rest of the article. This is typically done with a detailed, sensational description of something or an experience, an interesting anecdote, or a quote.

Tomato/Lettuce – Nutgraf – Towards the end of the 1st paragraph or beginning of the second paragraph, we should find the “nutgraf”, or the Main Idea. Yes, remember all those exercises in middle school looking for the Main Idea? The MI should be simple and easily recognizable. 

Meat, or if you’re a vegetarian, tofu patty – Meat – I guess it’s still called the meat – this is where you line up your evidence to support your nutgraf. In this section, typically 1-2 paragraphs, really SHOW what you are trying to convey, not just tell. If you hardly slept, describe your blood-shot eyes and zombie mindset. This part is the good stuff – let it be as big and colorful as you want it, but edit to make sure the info you include is pertinent. A good sandwich has quality meat.

The condiment (mayo, mustard, pesto if you’re fancy, hummus?) – Sauce – It’s the part of the sandwich that leads to the Kicker. When the Meat blends with the Sauce, it’s really good – you say “yeah that’s the stuff!” and it all makes sense. This part – a couple of sentences – should be rounding up the story to complete the story arc – there should be a sense of resolution or conclusion.

Bottom piece of bread – Kicker – People describe it as the bow on a present. The finishing touch. Another funny anecdote, an all-encompassing quote, or a clever phrase or detail. Something memorable leaving a great taste in your reader’s mouth.

Finally, the Title – Sometimes a creative title may be what inspires your entire article. But if you’ve written an article and you still can’t come up with a title, don’t worry about it! Have your friends or colleagues take a look, or we can help you as well.

Voilá! There’s your blog post sandwich. Of course, you don’t have to abide by these style rules. Remember to let your personality shine through and let your creativity soar! Check out our Handy Links for more style and content guides, especially How to Craft a Blog Post and 6 Characteristics of a Great Blog Post.

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