I know I’ve said before that I like to write my post titles first because it helps me stay focused on my topic.
Some bloggers recommend that you write the article first and then give it a title.
And everybody recommends that no matter what you do first, your next step should be a killer opening paragraph.
But what if none of that works?
Start writing the middles of your posts, first.
It’s a given that your title is one of the most important elements of your post. However, sometimes you can’t come up with just the right title until after you’ve written the article. Sometimes you use a killer turn of phrase in your closing paragraph that would make the perfect attention-grabbing title. And sometimes you have an idea but you don’t know where it’s going to end up.
It’s also a given that you need a strong opening paragraph to grab the reader’s attention. Your opening paragraph should basically tell the reader what you’re about to tell them in the body of your article. But sometimes you don’t know where your article is going to lead – you just have an idea in mind that you need to get down on paper.
But sometimes you can focus so intently on these two key elements that the actual idea for your article begins to seem almost boring. Maybe even irrelevant. I’ve spent so much time worrying about titles and opening paragraphs sometimes that I’ve completely talked myself out of writing the post, even though it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time.
You can sit there all day trying to think of the perfect title or the perfect opening paragraph but if you really don’t know which direction you’re going to take yet, you might never get started writing. The only solution is to get that idea down on paper while it’s still fresh in your mind and worry about the title and opening paragraph later.
This idea works particularly well when you’re writing list posts or how-to posts. Both of these types of posts typically have a lot of detail and/or a lot of links, content you really need to focus on so you get the steps in the right order or prioritize the list properly.
It’s fine to listen to advice from other bloggers but very few blogging rules are carved in stone. It really doesn’t matter where you start – title, post, closing or opening paragraph. What works best for one guy won’t work at all for the next. The key is to know what works best for you and just get started writing. And really, in the end, nobody but you will know you started your post in the middle.