WRITING A BLOG FOR CAP
A CAP blog is a short opinion piece with relevance to planning in the Commonwealth which is posted on the CAP web site.
How do I write a CAP blog post?
In writing a blog for CAP it is important to remember the diverse and international nature of our membership and try to identify why what you are saying may be of relevance to the Commonwealth family. That having been said not all subjects are of interest to all, so it is important to think about who and where might find what you are saying of interest.
There is no prescribed length for a blog, but most are between 600-900 words about a page and a half of A4. Much less and it’s a paragraph or short article, much longer and it becomes an essay. It is always possible to insert a weblink to other documents which the reader may find of interest. Pictures, diagrams, graphic and other visual aids can add interest and understanding. Any links to the Sustainable Development Goals would also be of interest where relevant.
Think when writing if what might be obvious to those in your nation or continent will be understood elsewhere - so avoid abbreviations, shorthand or colloquialisms. If naming an organisation in a sentence explain its remit or purpose. Think to about things such as seasons - Spring in one hemisphere is autumn elsewhere in the Commonwealth. Ask yourself when writing if planners elsewhere in the Commonwealth might read things in a different way.
It helps to;
Have a clear title or headline which catches attention and helps tell the reader what the blog is about.
Identify which part of the Commonwealth the experience or subject covers.
Identify the issues or subjects covered early on.
Describe in an opening paragraph what you be exploring and why.
Think about what you hope to achieve with the blog – is it to share information and learning, persuade, offer a solution to a problem or a call to action or something else? This will help you shape your blog.
Describe the problem your audience is facing.
Have an opinion.
Other issues and tips
If you are writing a blog on behalf of your organisation please check its approval process before you submit it to us. It should still reflect the individual writer for maximum interest but an organisational blog still needs to respect (or at least not contradict) the organisation’s positions and priorities.
Try to be direct, interesting and engaging about a topic. Blogs must not to be offensive. Passion and real interest in the subject of the blog can assist with making it interesting. Try to summarise the evidence or experience that informs your views - your main audience will be planners after all.
Think about the structure of the post – what will keep the reader reading it to the end? Read other blogs to appreciate the variety and flexibility available.
Include a picture or graphic to add interest to the blog.
What happens next?
Send your outline or draft blog to Annette.o’firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be reviewed by one or more of CAPs Blogs Editors who might make suggestions about content/structure. Once the blog is finalised, Annette O’Donnell will arrange for blog to be uploaded to CAP web site.