Monday, February 24, 2014

Before Writing Your Blog

A woman blogs: Image in the style of Pablo Picasso
Woman with Blog after Pablo Picasso
Image by Mike Nicht
Thinking of writing your own blog?  Want to grow the readership of your current blog?  There are a few key ideas to keep in mind that will help you attract and keep your readers.

You Talkin' to Me?  Well, I'm the Only One Here.

When writing a blog post, pick an intended audience and let your readers know right away who that might be.  Use your title, description, or opening lines to define your audience using succinct, specific language.  Readers are drawn to posts that promise, right away, to meet their needs and answer their questions.  Follow through by including information that applies to that chosen audience.  Take a look at this blog post, for example.  Can you tell that my intended audience is "people who are thinking about writing a blog or people who want to grow their current readership?"

Well Said!

When you write a blog post, you want your readers to exclaim, "Well said!"  The key word there is "said."  In order to be a better blogger, study public speaking, and write your blog posts as though you were delivering a speech.  While you'll still be writing well, you will not need to adhere to all of the rules of academic or more formal writing.  For example, it's okay to use contractions in a blog post, and it's okay to address the intended audience or readers using the second person pronoun, "you." Additionally, create headings and leave white space to help your readers see the look of your speech on the screen, and include images related to the topic to add visual interest.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Even though you're allowed to relax the rules for formal and academic writing a bit, your blog posts should still be well organized and concise.  Keep your audience interested by sticking closely to your main point and by providing relevant and informative content (and attribution for that content where necessary).  Write informatively about a narrowed topic instead of having a surface discussion about a broad topic.   Try to stick to 300 - 500 words by writing well-crafted, unified paragraphs that offer strong evidence.  Reduce wordiness by cutting away long transitional phrases, sentences that do not support the topic sentence of the paragraph, or the weakest evidence.

Keep your readers interested, in short, by not only being a good writer, but by being a writer who writes for a specific audience and follows through by delivering concise content with high informative value.

Want to Read More about Writing?  Try

An Overview of the Writing Process
Avoid Unintentional Plagiarism
Myths about Writing Essays

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to reproduce.

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