Words on a Page Writings about writing

How to write effective roundup posts

Getting quotes from an interview subject

Sometimes, you need a quick and easy way to come up with a post for your blog. While writing listicles fits that bill, there are times when you want to do something more. Or, at least, something different.

Enter the roundup post.

Roundup posts are a way of curating news and information. You collect a bunch of blog posts — whether your own or someone else’s — summarize them, then link back to the originals

They’re similar to listicles, but roundup posts go a bit further than listicles. While they take a bit more work to produce than listicles, I think they’re the more effective type of blog post.

Let’s take a look at how to write effective roundup posts.

A few links for the end of the week

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How to make your blog posts lean and useful

Sign with the word 'BLOG' on it

In late 2015, a friend sent me a link to a blog post on writing that he described as great. He thought I’d be interested in reading that post and was convinced that I would learn something from it.

I did learn a lot from that post. But what I learned wasn’t what my friend expected me to learn. While the information in the post wasn’t bad, that post illustrated a lot of what I find wrong with a number of blog posts these days.

The post was way too long. Not in a TL;DR way, but in a let’s stretch this out as far as we can way. On top of that, it wasn’t particularly well written. Which is ironic, since a central argument of the post was that good writing is a key to effective content marketing.

The post was also packed with keywords. Just about every paragraph started with the words content writing, content writer, or content writers. That post’s biggest sin in my eyes was all the useful information was buried under that bulk.

Sadly, that post could have been useful. It might have been if it was half the length and better written.

Once again, my belief that blog posts don’t have to be long to be effective was reinforced. Blog posts can be lean and useful at the same time. Here are some thoughts about how to make your posts both lean and useful.

How to develop articles

A ligthbulb on a slate

Sometimes, I have to remember that not everyone who writes for a living actually writes articles. Or even blog posts. And I’m not just talking about fiction writers. Many of our fellow scribes write longer-form prose, like documentation or marketing material.

While what they write can be similar in structure or style to an article, there are definitely differences in approach and tone. That said, many people who’ve never written an article actually do have something to say in that shorter form.

They can also be quite effective at it, too. Whether they realize it or not, many writers have the basic tools for writing articles. Like what? A knowledge of structure, interviewing and research skills, and at least some ability with stringing words together.

Over the last year or so, a number of people — either professional writers or people wanting to write for a living — have asked me how they can go about developing articles. Here’s the advice I gave them.

A few links for the end of the week

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