Last week was quite a trail for me. I was assigned my first blog post here at my internship. Not that I’m unfamiliar with writing blogs, but it’s a different story when I know it’s more than just a homework assignment that will just receive a grade and some feedback. This is real life. I have an organization that I am representing and my writing needs to meet the high-quality and standards of that organization.
Not to mention that my supervisor who would be editing my blog post was previously editor-in-chief at a well-known publication here in Oregon. She has been surrounded by some of the best and most experienced writers. To say I was intimidated to turn in my first draft is an understatement.
After some stressful hours of writing I turned in my first draft. The following day I had a meeting to discuss my work. Luckily I was told that I had done a great job but I had also made some errors. From this experience I learned major lessons about what it takes to successfully write a complete and compelling post. Some of these may seem like common sense but it never hurts to review:
1. Fact check
Never assume you know the correct information. Always check directly with the source or others that are familiar with the information. Also, don’t rely on the Internet for all answers because the Internet doesn’t always have the correct facts. Whenever possible seek out those most familiar with the subject matter, you will get the most accurate information.
2. Know your Goal
When writing a blog post or story it is important that you know your ultimate goal. Knowing this will allow you to gather all necessary information. It will also allow you to let interviewees know what you are trying to accomplish with the information that you are gathering from the interview. Making them feel more comfortable and aware of their role in your story.
3. Edit, Edit, Edit
There can never be enough editing done on writing that is going to be published. Take great care in editing your work multiple times. Then have others look over it; the more eyes the better. It could be your colleague, sibling, roommate, or even a parent. This extra editing will decrease errors and ensure a stronger first draft, which will impress your supervisor.
Now that I’ve reviewed these tips and gone through this trying experience I am more than ready to get started on my next assigned blog post.