The art of blogging is closely related to the art of writing.
There are many forms, formats, and types of writing. Blog writing is no different.
A well-formed blog post can have many forms, from a few words and a reference link to a fully-formed essay.
One of the first things you need to know about writing for the web, and blogging specifically, is that now is not the time to be cute. Clever, yes, but cute not.
Don’t waste the visitor’s time with clever titles that have nothing to do with what the post is about.
Tantalizing images and photography don’t contribute or reflect the purpose of the content. They may actually interfere with the visitor’s experience and expectations.
Make your publishing decisions carefully and judiciously to benefit the visitor and reader.
Sift your content through your site’s goals to stay on topic and focused.
Here are some things you need to know about the format of a well-formed blog post.
- Write a post title that describes what the article is about.
- Include properly formed links as words, not link dumps (the whole link in the post content like http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/) as they are ugly and hard to read.
- If you reference a post post, link to it.
- Write short paragraphs, usually one point per paragraph.
- Use emoticons (smilies) rarely and carefully. 😉
- Use bold for emphasis rarely and carefully.
- Use italics for book, magazine, and movie titles – and air quotes (don’t use “quote marks” for air quotes as those are for dialog).
- Never combine bold and italic. All caps is screaming. Bold and italic are hysterical screaming. Mix in bold, italic, and all caps and we call the police.
- When adding photographs and images, choose to place them to the right, left, or center so the text will wrap around them.
- If the article is long, separate it with headings such as <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, and <h4>, ranging from largest to smallest in size, like subtitles and section titles in a report. Doesn’t make sense? In WordPress, choose heading formats from the second line of the toolbar (click Kitchen Sink, the furthest right button).
- Spell check and check punctuation. The grammar police are always lurking ready to strike.
- Choose one or more appropriate categories for the post.
- Add tags with words people would search for to find this post.
Lastly, let your writing reflect your personality, the you that you wish to share with the world.