How to Write a Memorable Discussion Post for Your Blog


Write about Something You Care About

Possibly the best thing you can do for your discussion post is being passionate about it.  Write about something that really interests you, and ask your readers questions you truly want to know the answers to.  If you’re not interested in your own writing, it will be a hard sell to get others interested in it.  So write about what matters to you, whatever that is, and be wary of drafting what might ultimately be a “filler” discussion post.

Add Something New to the Conversation

You don’t have to brainstorm a topic that literally no one else has ever spoken about.  You don’t even have to write about something that “only a few” bloggers have written about.  A topic that seems overdone to a blogger who has been around for six years will still seem new and interesting to someone who just started blogging six months ago.

So what you really want to do is add to the conversation.  Maybe 100 bloggers have written discussion posts about commenting back. That’s fine.  But is there something they haven’t said about commenting back?  What’s your unique perspective on the topic?

This is also where considering your audience comes into play.  What do they already know? What don’t they know? Based on that, what do you need to tell them?  Is your post introducing people to the topic or are they already knowledgeable about it?  It might be silly to write a blog advice discussion post that says “you need content” because bloggers already know this. However, if you’re directing the post to very new bloggers or prospective bloggers, then explaining what various types of content they can post could be quite helpful.

Make The Post Long

You’ve probably seen some headlines and research suggesting that people don’t do “long” reading on the Internet, that they’re more in the market for bite-sized posts when they get online.  While this is true to some extent, it’s also possible to make your posts too short to really be of interest or help.

I’m always disappointed when I see the title of what sounds like a fascinating blog post, only to find that the blogger wrote two short paragraphs or just three bullet points, then ended with “What do you think?” to start a discussion in the comments.  Comments are great, and I love when I find something valuable in them. However, I don’t want the comments to be far more interesting than the post itself.  That might lead me to follow the blogs of the commenters rather than the original blog.

You should also be aware of post “competition.” This is not to say that you are literally competing against bloggers and they’re the enemy. However, realistically, if you list three reasons someone should read fantasy novels and another blogger has a list of 15, it’s reasonable to assume readers will be more interested in the longer post because it has more information.  It’s likely that list includes the three things you talked about, PLUS 12 more.  So consider making your post long enough to be seen as equally valuable.

Consider Subheadings and Bullet Points

If you have a particularly long post, you might consider breaking it up with subheadings and bullet points. I don’t always do this myself, and it’s not a “rule.” However, it can be helpful. Think about your own reading habits and how you digest information.  Is the topic one that would lend itself well to subheadings? Are there natural breaks or changes in topic that it would be helpful to signal to your readers?

End with a Question

Discussion posts often lend themselves easily to, well, discussion, so concluding the post by asking your followers a question may seem unnecessary. Theoretically, readers will have a response in mind simply because your post was thought-provoking.  However, posing a concrete question is never a bad idea when you want to start a discussion with others.  Think about being in a classroom setting.  Are/were you more likely to participate if the instructor just said something really interesting and waited for responses, or was it easier to engage if they posed a focused question?  Asking your readers something specific will give them a solid place to start if they want to leave a comment.

What do you think makes a great discussion post? Have you ever encountered a discussion you thought could have been better?

28 thoughts on “How to Write a Memorable Discussion Post for Your Blog

  1. Claire Wells says:

    This was such a helpful post Briana! Thank you. I’ve always thought discussion posts should be on the shorter side so I won’t take up the entire conversation but that sounds really stupid now that I think about it. Haha! 🙂


  2. Ali (@thebandarblog) says:

    Yes, the length of the post is very tricky. I think long is okay so long as it is broken up as yours is: headings, main point bolded. People can glance at the paragraph and see if they want to read more about it. I can’t stand huge blocks of text (essay style), because I just won’t read the entire thing. That’s partly a blogger issue, I imagine, though, as we go rapidly blog-hopping and try to digest as much information in the shortest amount of time! Great post!

    Ali @ the bandar blog 


    • Krysta says:

      Honestly, I think blog hopping is part of the problem when we look at the way we are engaging with each other in the community. We often receive comments on our blog (and I’m sure you receive the same) where people clearly only read the title of the post, then left a comment so I guess we’re inspired to go comment back on their blog. But then it gets awkward when people are assuming that I said literally the exact opposite thing than what I said–because they read the title only and assumed I must have written what they would have written.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Puput @ Sparkling Letters says:

    Great post!! I’m grateful (and proud) to say that I’ve been doing (almost) all of these tips 😛 I mean, I always make sure to write my original opinions out there, but I can’t be sure if that opinions are new haha sometimes I struggle to create a question that is really provoke discussions. I see a lot of bloggers do well on that department so I’m still learning on that. Other than bullet points and subheading, I also put a couple of pictures (mostly photos from my bookstagram) on my post 😀 I put them between paragraphs under the same subheadings when I feel like they’re too long. Thank you for sharing! ❤


    • Krysta says:

      You can always try to respond to what other people are saying if you find they’re starting up great discussions. Everyone appreciates a link back to their content, after all, so it’s fine to say “Hey, this blogger made me think about this topic and I have a different view–but you can check out their opinion, too!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      Pictures are a great idea! I haven’t really mastered the art of bookish photography and often can’t think of a photo to take that would even be related to my discussion in the first place. :p But I definitely encourage people who are good with photos to go for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Krysta says:

    Frankly, I’m routinely disappointed by discussion posts because they’re often 1) about topics that don’t leave much room for discussion and 2) too short to provide a valuable perspective.

    For example, a lot of discussion posts read something like “How many books are on your night stand right now?” There’s nothing to say there. People can come on and post how many books they have and maybe variation of two justifications: I like to focus on one book at a time when I read or I like to read several books at once so I can switch between genres/read what I feel like at that moment. Then the conversation is over because there’s really nothing more to be said about the fact that Person A has five books on her night stand.

    And often discussion posts really are three bullet points. I know people are convinced that no one on the Internet reads, but if you don’t give yourself enough space to actually say something, you risk looking like you had nothing to say. I often feel betrayed that I clicked on a post so I could hear someone’s perspective–and then they didn’t say anything.

    Plus it’s very difficult for other bloggers to start a meaningful and engaging conversation in the comments when they have nothing to draw upon. It’s like walking into a seminar when the professor says “Okay, you’ve all read Dante and I don’t want to take over the conversation, so I’m just going to let you talk.” Then everyone stares blankly because they’ve never read Dante before and don’t know what they’re supposed to be looking for when they read and discuss him. You need to provide some sort of direction for people to get them started.


    • Briana says:

      I’ve seen a lot of discussion posts that are really just three sentences. I think the blogosphere has come to the conclusion that things like memes and tags might be filler, but discussions are not–but I think it’s completely possible to write a discussion post that isn’t saying much and is essentially functioning as filler. When I read a post, I want it to say something, to be worth the time I spent clicking through to it and reading. It’s disappointing when there’s basically a question raised and no answer given.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. saraletourneau says:

    You made some great points here, Briana. When I draft a discussion post (or any blog post, for that matter), I always think about structure and appearance. How do I want to organize the post? Where do the headings fall? What would look better as a bulleted or numbered list? The fact that I tend to go long in my posts also makes these formatting bits even more important. And I always end with questions for the very reasons you gave. They serve as conversation starters, a way to continue the discussion and encourage readers to offer their own opinions.

    Regarding the bit about uniqueness: It’s good to read a few articles on the topic you plan to write about. That way, you can gauge your reaction as you read them and what’s already been said as well as what hasn’t been said before, and that can help you figure out how to put your own spin on the subject.


    • Krysta says:

      I actually have a tendency to write the whole thing, realize it’s huge, and then go back and reformat it for legibility. But I think that mapping it out ahead of time could also work very well and provide some direction for the post.

      And your advice about reading up on the topic is spot-on. That’s exactly how academics approach their work.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kirstyandthecatread says:

    Brilliant post, very helpful! I especially agree about being passionate about what you’re discussing. I’m a firm believer if you are passionate about something it will shine through in which ever way you outlet it


  7. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    This is a really informative and helpful post! Thank you for sharing it! Discussion posts are something I struggle with because I’m not the best at writing coherently or thinking of topics. It’s definitely something I want to work on though and incorporate more into my blog. I love your point about headings and bullet points. It’s so much easier to read something when it’s broken up into sections!


    • Briana says:

      Thanks so much! I don’t always use headings because I think there are times the subject doesn’t work well with them, but I do think a lot of readers prefer text online to be broken up.


  8. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    I’m not good about using headings, but they can be really helpful. I will try to remember to incorporate them more in my discussions.

    Your other points are things I definitely try to do, but hadn’t consciously thought about. Very interesting post!


    • Briana says:

      I don’t always use headings either. There are some times when they don’t necessarily make sense or work with the post they way I want. It really depends on the topic, for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lunch-Time Librarian says:

    Great post! Honestly you’re fantastic at creating great discussions that talk about topics I haven’t read about before or great new spins on discussions.

    Something I’ve found help with discussions is to be current. For example, if there’s been a big drama on Twitter about diversity in lit then i’ll consider a discussion about that. If the community is already buzzing about it, then you’re more likely to get people interested in the discussion and commenting and sharing


  10. Vinayak SP says:

    Great informative post! Copywritting is one area I have to work on. When I first began blogging, I was guilty of long posts full of long paragraphs with no subheadings.

    So I try to ensure to live by the rules you pointed out, mainly the short paragraphs and subheadings.

    Something else to keep in mind is allowing the reader’s eyes to ‘breathe’ by using short paragraphs and enough white space.

    Great post!


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