Developing Your Articles

This content is for Fizzle members only.

So now we have our 3 posts we’re going to write, and we workshopped some headlines for them. Now let’s flesh out what will be in the posts.

Over time, you’ll develop your own approach to developing a new article. Some people just sit down and write an article top to bottom, in one continuous flow. Others like to start with an outline.

One approach that can work well is to start with a simple collection of elements you’d like to include in the article. In the notes below, you’ll find some examples of elements that work well, like quotes, research, personal stories and more. These are things we often use ourselves to help flesh out blog posts at Fizzle.

Your exercise in this lesson is to flesh out each of the three blog post ideas you have. Some of you might have a writing process already. For the rest of you, follow the lesson text below to learn some powerful questions that will help you come up with a great way to develop your articles.

By the end of this, you won’t have a fully written blog post, you’ll have notes on what should be in each post. If you want to scribble these down on sticky notes so you can move them around, or write them on the computer, whatever works for you is fine. Just make sure you have notes on what should go in each blog post.

Action for This Lesson

For each of the three blog posts you chose to write, create notes on each of the elements and items you would like to include in the post.

Don’t stall out here worrying about having everything you can possibly think of in your notes. Just do your best and write down several elements and concepts to include in each blog post.

Start by writing down anything you think will be important to include in each post. When you’re done doing that, use the following tools to come up with more ideas:

Powerful Questions to Ask

Before we write anything at Fizzle, we like to ask ourselves some powerful empathetic questions about our target audience for the piece we’re writing.

These questions help ensure we don’t miss any key elements our audience might need, and they put us in the right headspace to understand who we’re writing for.

Write down your answers to each of these questions:

  • Who is this for? Pick one specific person if it helps:

    Imagine someone in your audience already who this post would be great for.

    Imagine a subscriber sharing your article with a friend of theirs. This friend doesn’t know you, nor you him/her. Imagine this person and the headspace he/she is in upon landing at your website. Could you write for this person?

    You can also imagine writing this to your spouse, partner, friend or parent. Chances are these folks don’t know everything about your topic. If you can communicate clearly enough to resonate with them then you win!

  • What do they fear about this subject? This person you’re writing for, what are they afraid of or concerned about this topic? What are they shy or insecure about as it relates to this article? Where would they feel embarrassed or vulnerable?
  • What is the outcome or transformation you hope that your reader will achieve as a result of reading this?
  • What actions does the reader need to take to achieve the desired outcome?
  • What common traps might stop your reader from achieving the desired outcome?

Common Elements to Consider

We regularly use several common kinds of elements in our blog posts. Having some go-to types of things to include in blog posts helps to create an early structure for a new post.

Some kinds of things you might consider including:

  • A personal story that relates to the topic
  • Research that backs up the points you plan to make
  • Images that illustrate your key points
  • Quotes from important people about this topic
  • Links to other resources that add to your article

As you consider each of your three blog posts, think about whether you can add some of the above elements to make your post more engaging and useful.

OK, after these exercises you should have some solid notes on what should be in each of the blog posts you’re planning to write.

When you’re done, I’ll see you in the next lesson.

Bonus: Recorded Coaching Session #6

When this course first launched, we led a cohort of students through the material and assignments over the course of 10 weeks. These coaching sessions are very in-depth (each session was 90 minutes to 2 hours). We spent most of the time answering student questions and reviewing assignments.

These sessions are recorded if you would like to follow along. They will appear here, at the end of lessons throughout this course. Keep in mind that each session covers more than one lesson, so only 10 of the 17 lessons will include recorded coaching videos like this.

Enjoy! Here is session #6, which covers lessons 9, 10 & 11: