Writing a blog is definitely a skill that is acquired and refined over time. I know that I am learning more each time I blog about both the software that we use to maintain our blog as well as my own writing abilities.
Here are some of the top tips I try to follow when I am writing a post for the CEGSA blog
- Have an appealing title
- Know your audience
- Make it reader-friendly
- Check and check again
- Give credit where it’s due
Have an appealing title
I feel that a good title can either make or break a blog post. There is so much out there to read and so many other calls on our time that if a post’s title doesn’t grab the reader then it is highly likely that they will find something else to do with their time. It is also important if your blog site has a preview page which only shows a snippet of your post, to check that what is shown in that snippet is engaging to your potential readers
Make it reader friendly
Nothing makes a blog seem less appealing than a great chunk of text that is not formatted to make reading easy! When reading online people tend to scan for important content, so it is critical that you place visual cues to help the reader; such as the use of different text features (bold, colour, bullets etc) Make it more appealing too through the use of eye-catching images and other graphics such as charts, diagrams or screengrabs.
Know your audience
Before you start writing your blog post, work out who your potential audience is and aim your writing and the resources you provide at that targeted audience. Try also to engage your readers in discussion through email or the comments section of your blog
Give credit where it’s due
If you are posting about an article that you think your readers will be interested in, give the original author credit for their work and provide a link directly to the original source of their work. Not only is this the right thing to do in providing due credit, but it may also create a trackback which creates a link between their work and your blog and perhaps provide you with some new readers. This may also help your credit ranking with Google’s Page Rank, which counts outgoing and incoming links. You also need to make sure that you credit the images and other resources that you use on your site. If you don’t create it yourself – make sure that you are doing the right thing by the people who created it and either give credit or find something else that you are legally entitled to use.
Check and check again
One of my pet hates is to have to read texts which have not been checked to make sure that they are spelled correctly and are grammatically correct. To make the reading experience a pleasurable one for your readers your post needs to be checked thoroughly and not just by a spell checker but a critical human eye – whether it is your own or a friend with good skills in this area. Part of this check is also making sure that there are no extraneous details in your post that don’t really need to be there. A good blog is concise and gets straight to the point!
Here is a list of resources that I have used while creating this blog post and which may be of use to you as well:
The best advice I can give is to get started writing your first post and keep improving from there!