DIY blogs are definitely on the rise. I could wax political about the possible reasons for this: the recession, a backlash against our convenience-oriented world of mass-manufactured goods, etc. By and large, however, I think it’s simply that DIY-ing is both a pleasant way to spend some free time and an activity that lends itself well to blogging.
As I researched DIY blogs for this column, I noticed that the most successful posts (those that most made me want to try my hand at the project myself) followed a sort of template. Obviously, not every great post included all of these components, but you can easily follow this formula to DIY your own DIY post:
- State your purpose. What’s your motivation for this project? Thrift, boredom, environmentalism, inability to find the right thing elsewhere? Also, what will you use the finished item for? Why is it necessary? Sometimes DIY projects can seem arbitrary. Avoid this by including some good reasons why we might want, say, a fabric pouch to hang by the bed.
- Include a “before” shot. What are you starting out with? Old milk cartons? An ugly kitchen? A pile of beads and string? Showing us the before shot sets us up to be impressed by the finished product.
- List your supplies. Tell us the tools this will require, the amount of fabric we’ll need, the type of paint. Break down the amounts and costs of all materials. Include any practical information that your readers can use to determine if they’re interested in trying your DIY, or if they’d rather just read about it.
- Take us through the project step-by-step. While it’s true that not all of your readers will duplicate your efforts, the basic idea of DIY post is something that other people can, well, do themselves! Make this easy for them by including photos and time-estimates for each step.
- Expand on the topic with any related general instruction you can provide. For example, if you are spray-painting old radiators, tell us what you’ve learned about spray-painting in general. If your readers don’t have radiators to paint, they can still apply those tips to spray-paint a bench or a flowerpot.
- Reveal the “after” shot. Arguably the most important part of a DIY post, the “after” shot is what entices your readers and makes them want to stay tuned to see how you created something so amazing. In fact, the “after” shot is so crucial, why not lead with it? Whet our appetites at the very beginning by showing us what all this sawdust and scrap metal is leading up to.
Do you like to craft, sew, build, fix, or create things? Have you ever tried any DIY projects you read about on a blog?
Browse the DIY topic page for fantastic DIY ideas on WordPress.com!