Writing Topic posts
Writing something to publish online can be scary and a little daunting. Here are a few tips to help you get started and get your topic published.
Understand your audience
Who are you writing for? Consider who your target audience is: what is of interest or important to them? By understanding who your audience is and understanding their needs, your posts will generally be more focused and better received by your audience.
Identify your Topic
What are you writing about? What is the scope you'll cover (you probably can't cover everything: what will you include? what will you exclude?) What are the important elements to highlight?
Create your Title
Make the title of your post relevant to the content. Don’t just call it ‘My Post’: focus on what you’re wanting to write about. Think about how newspaper headlines work: try to make your title a compelling headline. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate an action word (a verb) and a thing (a noun): tell your audience about what has happened to what. Add a meaningful adjective to capture the mood: e.g. "Magical biking adventure to the Yarra Valley", "Great project repairing a curb-side bike" or "Saving Lives: making my third year short film".
Decide what type of Topic you are posting
You can just select "Blog" if you're not sure. You might also choose "Guide" or "How To" if your main intent is to provide guidance. You might select "News" if you have a special event or announcement to share.
Following from an intriguing title, when writing your introduction from your post, you want to make sure it's captivating and supports the title. Why? By making it captivating, it allows you to draw your readers in, engage them and encourage them to read your story for longer.
Include pictures or videos
Visual's and Video/ Audio can make the story more vivid and real for your readers, bringing them closer to your experience. You should make sure you choose a good image and upload it for your Topic, as this will get peoples attention in the activity stream and search lists. You can also embed images and video within the body of your post in the Description field.
For tips on finding and using images and embedding video and other media into Holmesglen Online Community posts, you can read some image and video tips here:
The Story body: tell the story of your journey or knowledge quest
Posts don't have to be long, but all good posts are stories that are worth reading: they're informative, emotive and useful. Here are some tips to help you write better stories:
Every Story is a journey, an adventure.
Great stories can be small. Focusing on something small and specific as the core of your story makes great reading.
Ask yourself: How did it start? What are/ were you aiming to do or achieve?
Your quest can be as:
specific as ‘obtaining my cert 4 in IT' or as abstract as ‘find myself’.
monumental as ‘moving to a new country’
small as ‘finding the best place to park at campus'.
You may not start with your quest in mind, but as your journey progresses or once you reach your destination, your quest may become the key thing that makes your story compelling and worth sharing.
Try starting with a question for your readers early in your story
What drew you into your journey?
What ideas and impressions did you start with?
How did they change as you progressed? When you arrived?
End with a change. How did you - your thoughts and experiences - change at the end of your journey.
For additional thinking about these tips, we recommend having a read of this external blog post