Writing an impactful Blog. A step by step guide…

1. Decide what you want to write about?

This is a platform for you to have your say on the issues that matter to you. But we understand that sometimes when you have so much to say, it can be hard to know where to start.

Begin with finding something you are passionate about. That could be something that inspires you, something that makes you angry or something that makes you laugh. You can read through some of our Editor’s Picks or browse through our different sections for inspiration.

Once you’ve thought of something… try and think about how that issue has impacted you (a blog should have something personal whether thats your experience or your opinion), and how it impacts the wider world (it’s well worth doing some research for this one!)

2. Think about what you want to say

Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to structure your blog. So before you start writing think about what your ‘argument’ is or what question you’re looking to explore. Sometimes it can be helpful to work backwards from a headline. Something like; ‘Why all youth movements should be feminist‘ or ‘Only education reform can unlock an industrial revolution in Africa.’ This doesn’t have to be the final title of your piece but thinking in this way will help you shape the piece with a consistent through-line and focus. The best blogs don’t try to say everything at once. It is better to frame your piece around an argument like this as it helps you to avoid writing an account which can be off-putting to a reader who wants to know what you think, or what you’ve learned.

4. Read our style guide

It makes our life a lot easier, and helps you to get used to writing for a news room or mediahouse, if you take a look at our style guide. This covers things like tone of voice, grammar conventions and referencing styles.

3. Get writing!

Aim for between 400-800 words.

What, who, why, how, when?

This is a useful way to order your piece. First make it clear what the issue is, and who it affects. It’s important to give your blog context and not to assume the reader knows anything about the topic. Give them the information they need to understand your argument as quickly and concisely as you can. This might require doing some research. It’s also good practice to put links to your sources or places the reader can find out more. If you’re using statistics make sure to include your sources.

Then you can get on to the juicy bit. Why is this happening? Why should the reader care? And how can they move forward or take action? This is the most important part of your blog and generally the most interesting.

It’s also important to think about when (though this is often forgotten). Try to demonstrate why this is relevant now (often this is best done in your introduction or conclusion).

Introductions and conclusions

You should use your introduction to grab your readers attention. So try to avoid ‘dry’ openings like dates and context. Hit the ground running with a punchy sentence or image and fill in all those lovely afterwards.

A lot of writers will write their conclusion before anything else. This is because it can help you to ensure the rest of the article builds up to it. Introductions and conclusions work together. By the time the reader reaches your conclusion they should be convinced of the argument you laid out in your introduction. It’s very satisfying for a reader when the conclusion ties up with the introduction. For a great example see this introduction and conclusion from Ines’ piece on Reforestation;

Introduction

Trees. Strong, majestic, a symbol of ecology, swaying in the wind. Fire. Burning, ravaging, destruction, flickering flames on our screens.Trees on fire are a powerful and emotive image of climate destruction showing us the urgency of acting against climate change. This is why many countries choose to offset their carbon emissions by planting trees. It’s also why many people see reforestation, re-planting what’s been lost, as a simple elegant solution to the crisis. However, although it is certainly better than doing nothing, planting trees is far from being the best means to act and the romantic image facilitates major greenwashing. 

Conclusion

We do not want to deal with the consequences later, so we must act today. If we want to see more swaying and less flickering, we must forget the romanticism in tree planting and start protecting the trees already in the ground. 

Be yourself. Be Personal.

You should try to inject as much of your personality into the piece as possible. Whether thats using anecdotes from your own life, or your recent experiences to make your argument or putting a bit of humour into your writing. Think about writing a blog as having a conversation. You need to try and tell your story in the most interesting way possible.

Listicles

If you’re struggling to make your piece flow think about organising your ideas more formally by writing a listicle, like this one ‘7 reasons you should pack in your corporate job and volunteer with ICS.’ Breaking up your piece like this can make it easier to read and these sort of articles get a lot of traffic.

4. Submit your blog!

We have an open submissions policy. That means anyone can submit to us directly from the site, using the link below. Remember to include any pictures you think will go well with your piece.

5. Selection and editing

This is a platform for you. And we will try our best to publish your work, this will often mean working with you to edit the piece. However, in line with our values and standards*, we reserve the right to reject submissions for the following reasons;

  1. They contain racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, ableist, derogotary or prejudicial language of any type. Unless this is used in an attributed quotation (such uses will be considered on a case by case basis and words will be censored in publication, a trigger warning may also be attached to the top of the article).
  2. We believe that publishing the piece could put you or others in danger (we may be able to edit or anonymise the piece to ensure this is not the case).

We will not reject work on the grounds of literary quality, unless it is unintelligible or does not make sense. However we will work with you to improve your submission and your writing skills!

Contributors should expect a response from We are Restless within two weeks of submission as to whether we are willing to move forward with the submitted work. We will then work on edits with you and only publish once we’re both ready to do so.

*You can view our full values and standards in our Editorial Guidelines.

6. Spread the word

Once your blog is published, we will send you a link to it. We want to get your voice out there. So we will share your piece across our social media platforms and where possible we will tag you. If you want people to read it (which I’m sure you do after all your work) please share it with your networks. You should also remember to share other articles on the site that you’ve enjoyed. The more people who visit wearerestless, the more people will see your blog!

7. Join the Creators’ Community

After your first blog is published on our blog you will be invited to create a profile, access exclusive support and all the latest opportunities – making it easier for you to write for us again.

If you still have questions about any of our processes you can download our full editorial guidelines below. Or get in touch and ask us.

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