Monday, May 05, 2008

Writing better blog posts

Sue Waters, of The Edublogger, says, "Here’s My First Five Tips For Writing Better Blog Posts — What Are Yours?"

My five tips, to add to Sue's five would include:

1. Use of humour - especially if I find myself telling a funny anecdote more than once. That usually tells me it's worth repeating as a future blog entry. (It's amazing how often I check back through old entries now, and find humorous stories I've almost forgotten writing. If they hadn't ended up in the blog, they'd perhaps be gone forever.)

2. Know your topic(s). I think that sometimes bloggers try to be too eclectic. Focusing on a few topics you know well helps the audience to anticipate your future blog entries in those areas. You become "the guru" on a topic.

3. Know your audience - but also remembering that your audience may well be bigger than you think. (If you miss blogging for an extended period, you are likely to hear from them! I had no idea my two young nieces regularly checked my blog - until I was on vacation, far from an Internet cafe, and they emailed me wondering where I'd vanished to.)

4. Keep in mind the international nature of the World Wide Web. Be prepared to be informative by embedding a few clues in your posts. Remind them where you are writing from. Some quirky, localized things will seem quite bizarre to those of your readers not familiar with certain terminology, places, customs, the local slang, etc.

5. A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture can help explain many of the above mysteries for international web surfers. Most of my new visitors seem to come via people following a link to posts after locating one of my Flickr photos, which they found during a search of Google Images!

1 comment:

Therin of Andor said...

Re my comment about eclectic blogs - I must admit that this (personal) blog is quite random - although I do warn people that they may well encounter frequent posts about "Star Trek", Andorians, "Number 96", superheroes... and Jack Russell terriers. So a happy medium: the freedom to blog about anything and everything, but with a tendency to specialise.

My interstate nieces reckon they only skim the blog when I'm raving on about "Star Trek" again. They demand their daily chuckle, but obviously aren't into science fiction, even when I make it funny!

Early this year, I started up a more professional learning blog, "Booked Inn: Heroic adventures in teacher-librarianship", and my teaching anecdotes tend to turn up over there. Again, the humour is important, and breaks up more serious posts. I tend to be a glass-half full kind of guy, and a little comedy can help me see the positive aspects of even the worst professional problems.