Blogging for Project UNIFYThe Special Olympics Project UNIFY blog is an open forum where youth leaders,educators and staff share their knowledge, experience and information aboutProject UNIFY as they advocate for inclusion, acceptance and respect in schoolsacross the United States.To get you started, here are a few helpful tips to help you create a relevant andwell-written blog post for Project UNIFY.CHOOSING A TOPICThere are so many amazing things you could cover when blogging for ProjectUNIFY, and for that reason, it can sometimes be daunting to simply choose a topic.It most cases you may be given some direction for your post, but if you’re lackingideas, use these tips to help you come up with a topic: - Choose something you’re passionate about: as a blogger, you need to stay motivated and excited by what you’re writing. To do this, make sure you choose a topic that excites, inspires or encourages you (adapted from About.com). - Do you have enough content within YOU as an author or access to enough other sources of content and inspiration: your passion and firsthand experience with Project UNIFY is going to drive a lot of your blog material; however, if you’re ask (or want) to write about something you’re not as well-versed in, it’s important to make sure you can find out the information you need to make the post helpful and informative (adapted from ProBlogger). - Do some brainstorming and ask yourself: What am I interested in? What do I feel strongly about? What would I like to know more about? What interesting topics are in the news that I find interesting and relate to PU? Will my audience be interested in this topic?ANATOMY OF A BLOG POSTEvery blog post can be broken down into five essential components (from MichaelHyatt’s Anatomy of an Effective Blog Post): 1. Lead Paragraph: grab readers and excite their interest. Make it relevant to your audience and make sure to let them know what’s to come in the rest of the blog post (just like you would in a school paper). 2. Images: Images pull readers in by illustrating your point. Use images in all sorts of ways to keep your post interesting: slideshows, screenshots, videos, individual photos, etc. Just remember, your photos can be anywhere in the post, not just the end. 3. Main Body: This is the meat and bones of your blog post. Share your story in the body, but make sure to make the post scannable by using short paragraphs, bullets and lists. 4. Personal Experience: Be honest and transparent and share your personal experience within the post – you are experts in the field of youth leadership, so share that knowledge, even if it means admitting some faults on the way. 5. Discussion Question: Blog posts are a great way to start conversations about important topics. End your blog post with a question or discussion topic to get the conversation started.
Blogging for Project UNIFYWRITING PROFESSIONALLYUse the tips below to help you write a blog post that is both professional andpersonal (adapted from Forbes.com and LifeHack.org): - Use simple and concrete language: be clear and precise to help your readers understand your point. - Omit needless words: there’s no word count minimum on blog posts, so don’t add excess words to be flowery or make your post look longer. - Stay active: when you use active verbs vs. passive verbs, it makes your writing more engaging. - Be professional, not necessarily formal: blogging is a great medium because it’s actually rather informal and allows you to share your personality through your writing. It’s okay to write a little more informally when you’re writing a blog post, but remember you’re still representing PU, so it’s important that your post is professional and easily understandable. - Remember your 5 Ws and an H: answer the who, what, where, when, why and how for each post you write – this will ensure your post won’t leave out important information for your audience - Don’t forget a call-to-action: your audience took the time to read your post, now give them something to do to keep learning or developing. Ask a question, direct to external site for more information, etc. - What’s in it for your readers: benefits engage readers. Make sure you tell readers how the information in your post will make their lives better, easier, more enriched, etc.Also, when writing a blog post, make sure to utilize the writing process, just likeyou would for any academic paper or essay (adapted from Blogging, the WritingProcess): - Research/pre-writing phase: determine what you’re going to say (you should know the end goal of your post before you even start writing) and research any additional information you may need to write knowledgably and coherently. - Write multiple drafts: write, read, edit, re-read, edit some more, and then read again. Ensure you’re putting together a well-written blog post that represents yourself and Project UNIFY in a good light by taking the time to read, edit and proof your blog post. - Get Feedback: ask for feedback from PU staff or other YAC members, they may be able to provide new insights into your post.HEADLINES: MORE ON HOW TO WRITE A GREAT ONEYour headline determines whether or not your audience decides to read your post,so make it a good one. Use the different types of headlines as a guide fordetermining what type of headline is best for you: neutral, news, declaration,humorous, controversial, tutorial, resource, opinion or product review.The ideal length of a headline is 5 to 15 words. Make sure to include key words orphrases that will help feature your post when searched on Google (adapted fromMint Blogger).