Although blogs are the most public form of publication, they are also the most personal. They tend to be the least crafted. And most are written to be read traditionally versus scanned. Great ideas are buried in mishmash. I am asked all the time, what is the difference between a blog, an article, or a social media topic? They all have strengths and uses, requiring specific approaches. The blog is rather between an article and a social media post, and often IS the post. I’ve often mistaken the use of the blog, personal and expressive of experiences, with the article which is more objective and journalistic.
The personal side of this blog contains my pet-peeves applied to blog-keeping. From participating for several years in other blogs and keeping my own, putting on my communication design hat, here are ideas in how to create an easy-to-read blog:
1. Keep word count short. It should not be longer than about three paragraphs or short enough to only require a one-click scroll.
2. Keep sentences short.
3. Scale the theme to a single topic, less than 400 words.
4. Be debatable or inspire additional comments, especially tying into Facebook.
5. Take a bold or controversial position to gain attention with other bloggers.
6. Test ideas—to see what is popular and what debates discussion. Develop the topics that get the most readers.
7. Use brevity. Don’t post a rough draft. Write one day, post the next, and build a momentum. Polishing too much here is not necessary. Better to be faster and less polished, but waiting one day will keep topics most appropriate.
8. Continually improve. If your entries lack frequency, take the blog down. Bloggers check 1) topic and 2) number of responses, and 3) how old the entry is. If it is really old, why should a reader bother commenting? No one is reading it.
There are millions of blogs and few get read. Those that do, however, can reach thousands of people. Content is King. If you aren’t committed to doing it well, you waste your time and leave a public black mark for all to see.
Commitment to a blog is major. Consider: if you spend one hour a day on blogging (or on doing anything), by the end of the year, you’ve devoted one entire month blogging (or performing whatever activity you’ve done for this time)!
What techniques do you employ to be an efficient but involved blogger?
Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.
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