Monday, June 14, 2010

Writing For Blogs: Pretty Good Advice, and a Seven-Point List

"Writing Tip: Articles Must have Substance"
Dragon Blogger (May 25, 2010)

"Readers have a choice of millions of web sites to read, and even if you do manage to SEO and keyword your article to make it into the first page on Google search for your related topic you risk losing your audience and gaining any sort of repeat viewership if you do not have substance to your articles. When I am talking about substance here I mean real depth and meat, this means you will not retain constant viewers if all you do is regurgitate or summarize other posts, news stories online but you must have a detailed and thorough article that provides the user with more information and possibly answers than they had prior to reading your article.

"By engaging your readers and posing a few questions or challenges you can also add substance to your article, but make sure you ask questions that are on topic and invite your reader to respond or think about the questions you have asked if no response is required.

"I myself am guilty of sometimes writing quick articles that are nothing more than highlights, summaries or very high level overviews of something that I found interesting. I do these more to show off and point the reader at another article I found rather than re-hash the same material on my own site with my own words...."

There are seven points, starting with:
  • "Does my article have a clear topic and message?
  • "Did I get my point across?
  • "Can reader understand my message?..."
They're all pretty basic: 'Writing 101' stuff. But 'basic' is important - it's the foundation for everything else. Which is, I'll grant, a hideously over-used metaphor.

Bottom line? That post is either good reviewof, or a good introduction into, how to write a blog post. Or just about anything else.

I think I've said this before, but: in my opinion, there isn't that much difference between writing for blogs and any other sort of writing. Apart from having to
  • Keep firmly on-topic
  • Bulletize where possible
  • Write tight, clear prose

A tip of the hat to dragonblogger, on Twitter, for the heads-up on his post.


Dragonblogger said...

Thanks for the review, sometimes I think "review" and refresher information on even basic tips can be helpful to not only new bloggers and writers, but to those who somehow forgot the fundamentals along the way.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


My pleasure.

And about review: I read 'introductory' pieces like this fairly often. Not necessarily because I've forgotten the fundamentals - but to keep them fresh in my mind. (This from someone who's been writing for a living off and on since the seventies.)

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