Writing a blog post

Choose a catchy title for your post

The idea of a blog post is to get people to read it, so make your post title interesting. You should also give an indication of your argument or opinion in the title.

Keep it short

Blog entries are usually under about 300 words, and some can be just a couple of lines. Your reader will not stick around if you are rambling, and people won’t comment on your post if it looks too long. Watch for putting too much into the one post: one point per post is a good rule of thumb. If you feel you need to make several points, then think about splitting the entry up into a number of different posts. Of course, occasionally you may want or need to write a longer post – but as a rule, keep it short.

Keep it focused

Blogging is an exercise in focused writing. If you are rambling and incoherent, and if readers can’t follow your train of thought, then they won’t comment on your post. And you want comments (not least because you may be marked on how many you get …).

Write simply and clearly

Blog language is less formal than essay language; however, you must still use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Use simple, jargon-free language, and make clear statements about your ideas, reflections, opinions, commentary, whatever.

Break up your text

Write short paragraphs, even to the point of breaking an otherwise unified and coherent paragraph up into several bits. If you are writing a longer post, break it up by inserting sub-headings. Your post should be easy to scan.

Link to other things

Blog readers love links to useful and interesting material. Linking to related content or embedding videos or images will keep your readers coming back and will also demonstrate the types of intellectual or reflective connections you are making on the topic.

Lists are good

Providing a bulleted list will help your reader digest your material much more quickly, and will give a simple structure to what you’re trying to get across.

Express your opinion

People read blogs to get opinion. Don’t shy away from writing what you think, but make sure there’s some critical reflection going on – not just rant or unfocused ramblings.

Put some of yourself into it

Blogs are a less formal type of assessment than are essays, so you’re allowed to put a bit of your personality into your posts. Just make sure that personality isn’t too irritating … . Humour is good, as is a bit of emotion or passion. But be sensible in your writing, and be aware of things that might offend or put your readers offside. To some extent, this is an exercise in marketing yourself to a broad readership.

Think carefully about categories and tags

Categories and tags help readers navigate your blog, so choose carefully. Do not use tags that are too ‘way out’ or indecipherable, and make sure your categories are general enough to capture the main areas of content in your blog.

Edit your post

Edit for style, tone, grammar, spelling, and focus. If your blog host has the facility, do a ‘post preview’ before you hit ‘submit.’ Poorly structured and worded text will put readers off.

Links and resources

Ten tips for writing a blog post, by Darren Rowse at ProBlogger

Licence

Megan Poore. Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Australia

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