Hugh Laurie is Not Only a Great Fake Doctor, He is Also a Great Fake Blogger
I can only guess that it is very stressful and demanding being a doctor. People depend on you to stay alive. I imagine playing a doctor on TV is also a stressful job as well, but likely not as much as a real doctor. What about writing a hit television show about a doctor? That must be quite the ball of stress as well.
Coming up with a new episode must be a daunting task. Each week you have to conjure up a new ailment, a new sub plot and of course a new cure to said ailment. As bloggers we have the same task as these writers: we need to come up with a new post to excite, encourage and educate our readers. What can we learn from the television show House to make us better bloggers?
Despite having only one episode, the television show “House” was a smash hit.
Wait, did I just say that there was only one episode of House? Yep. Sure did. Think about an episode of House for a moment and you will see that it follows this basic format:
- Someone becomes ill or injured in some way and is taken to Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.
- Dr. House and the diagnostic team determine the best course of action on how to treat the patient.
- Treatment is not successful and the patient’s life is in grave danger.
- Diagnostic team is unable to determine the best course of action for new treatment and the patient ends up near death.
- Dr. House has a random conversation with someone. During this conversation a miscellaneous comment triggers an idea. Dr. House promptly ends the conversation and summons the diagnostic team.
- A new method is used to treat the patient.
- The patient lives for another day.
Using this basic plot outline the writers are able to create a new episode week after week.
Using a Post Framework to increase blogging efficiency
Using the same strategy as the writers from House, I have come up with a blogging framework. I use this on every post that I write and it helps me to more efficiently craft a post that gets my point across.
- The Title: every post needs a title. Create a title that captures the reader’s interest and imagination.
- Interest/Shock Paragraph: This first paragraph is critical. Write something related to the title that grips the reader and entices them to read further.
- Transition Paragraph: Use this paragraph to take the Title/Interest/Shock and transition it to the main point that you are making in your post.
- Headline for the main point: Same as the title, try to capture the reader’s interest while explaining what the post is really about.
- The main point: Make your point. The post content technically starts here.
- Headline for the secondary point: Use this If you need to make another point.
- Secondary point: Repeat this section as needed, but try to keep things on track so you do not end up with a novel.
- Headline that ties things together: Create a headline that ties things together.
- Conclusion paragraph: Use this paragraph to tie the Interest/Shock paragraph to the main point and “hammer” your point home.
- Discussion point: Ask a question or make a comment that encourages conversation around the post.
Never let them see you sweat.
A framework is a great starting point, but try not to be extremely rigid. While you can go back to pretty much every post I have written and see this framework, I make small variations in order to keep things somewhat fresh. Every episode of House basically follows the outlined format, but there are variations here and there so that the story does not become stale.
In order to be efficient, start off with the framework as you start to write your post, and then let the story evolve as you start crafting your post. If each post used the framework in a very “clinical” manner then your posts would seem forced and rigid.
Writing a hit blog post just got easier.
In order to be efficient and successful you need to have a repeatable system. By starting things in the same manner each time, you are setting yourself up to be successful and efficient. The writers of House have exploited the use of a story framework to great success. This framework cannot make you the worlds greatest blogger, or ensure that you have the best content in the universe, but it can at a least ensure that you a solid starting point.