Lyndon from Flockblog wrote a great article entitled “Ten Tips for writing a blog post” for Problogger. I am just going to reflect on that post and list my own comments as well.
1. Make your opinion known
People like blogs, they like blogs because they are written by people and not corporations. People want to know what people think, crazy as it sounds they want to know what you think. Tell them exactly what you think using the least amount of words possible.
I really couldn’t have said it better myself. Often times blog authors forget they are a person, and try to portray this big corporate facade for their domain name, when really it’s only them. Hell, even I do it sometime by using “we” when referring to Betaflow as a whole. It’s an old habit from the pre-blog days that needs to be dropped, especially when it’s placed on a blog. Everyone knows a blog is a one-man circus, maybe a few extras on the big blogs, but primarily use “I.” No one will fault you for it.
2. Link like crazy.
Support your post with links to other web pages that are contextual to your post.
Your post means jack-crap if you don’t have supportive links backing it up. If you don’t link to reputable resources, you are just another person either: A) plagarising news articles as their own; or B) spouting off about topics you really have no clue what you are talking about. In addition to linking like crazy, remember to trackback effectively – you can never have to many inbound links.
3. Write Less
Give the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words. Time is finite and people are infinately busy. Blast your knowledge into the reader at the speed of sound.
Most bloggers are blog-readers as well, so when you are writing an article think to yourself, “Would I want to read this?” If it’s to long you are probably not going to want to. At very best you will skim over the article and possibly miss important topics within the article.
4. 250 is enough
A long post is easier to forget and harder to get into. A short post is the opposite.
See number 3.
5. Make Headlines snappy
Contain your whole arguement in your headline. Check out National newspapers to see how they do it.
There is a reason newspapers write snappy headlines – to grab your attention and make you read the article. A blog is nothing more than the newspaper of the future, treat it as such. When people are browsing through Technorati do you think they actually read the excerpts? No! They read the title and if it doesn’t catch their eye they move on – make sure you catch their eye!
6. Include bullet point lists
We all love lists, it structures the info in an easily digestible format.
Although I have yet to do a comprehensive list on this blog don’t think I haven’t though about it. Lists are easy to ready and understand and are great conversation starters (as well as trackback magnets). If you are looking for a few comments or inbound links come up with an inventive list you think others will enjoy reading, will learn from, and most of all will replicate on their own blogs.
7. Make your posts easy to scan
Every few paragraphs insert a sub heading. Make sentences and headlines short and to the point.
Once again we return to the speed reading topic. Remember, when writing articles for your blog, this is not your college thesis. You are trying to reflect your opinion and the facts concerning the topics in the clearest most consice form so your visitors can obtain the knowledge they seek and move on. Treat your content as such. Simple, well formatted sentences work best. Remember to lead into a paragraph from the previous, and don’t be afraid to use subheadings.
8. Be consistent with your style
People like to know what to expect, once you have settled on a style for your audience stick to it.
One of the primary reasons visitors continue to read your blog, or subscribe to your feed, is that they enjoy your writing style and the method in which you portray your opinions to them. Don’t go changing it! As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke – don’t fix it.
9. Litter the post with Keywords.
Think about what keywords people would use to search for your post and include them in the body text and headers. make sure the keyword placement is natural and does not seem out of place.
As our good friends over at Performancing say, “The money is withing the archives.” The only way you’re going to make money off of those archives is if the search engines can find that particular article. Be sure to use relevant keywords, as well as Technorati Tags, to make your articles stand out from the crowd.
10. Edit your post
Good writing is in the editing. Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post and cut out the stuff that you don?¢â‚¬â„¢t need.
No one likes spelling errors or poor grammar – it just makes your articles hard to read. Always go back and proofread your articles prior to publishing them. I intentionally leave all of my Technorati Tags out until after the final edit, so I force myself to go back and proofread my work.