Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Top 5 Blogging Tips From the Guy Who Knows Everything

I know everything about blogging, and here's the top 5 things everyone should do when they blog.

1. Write a Good Title

That's what it's there for. Tell your readers what the post is about. Make it as short as possible while saying what you need to say. Use the right words, the kind of words people understand right away, and use the most common words when you have a choice.

If you can't think of a title that sounds good, maybe your post isn't worth writing.

2. Say Something Worthwhile

People read blogs to learn or to be entertained. If what you're writing isn't informative or entertaining in some way, forget it. People don't have to spend time at your blog. They have a few choices, as it were. If your post isn't something you can imagine someone else reading from start to finish, don't write it. Being funny can substitute for being informative, but again, there are a lot of funny people out there. If you want lots of people to read your stuff, you'd better be pretty funny.

3. Have a Voice

Blogging is more like talking than like writing a book. You can't expect your reader to linger on your page for hours. Use a conversational voice to engage your reader. You must assume a certain amount of knowledge in your reader (this comes from understanding your audience) so that you only say what needs to be said, and no more. Remmber that another website is always only a click away. Your audience is not captive. Use a voice that people will listen to.

4. Be Concise

Say what needs to be said, and no more. People don't have time to read stuff they don't want to know, or already know. Of course you don't know what everybody already knows, or precisely what everyone wants to know, but you should have a good idea about these two things. Write only enough to get your point across. Use plain language. Make it obvious what you're talking about so those who don't care, don't read. No one wants to talk to someone who doesn't want to listen, so don't bother trying.

5. Read Your Post and Edit

If you don't want to bother reading your post even once after your write it, it's probably too long and boring. If you read it just once, you'll probably find some ways to make it better, or at least correct some typos, which would otherwise annoy the hell out of your readers. Or you might realize that it wasn't worth writing at all, and be too ashamed to hit "Post". That's a good thing. If it sounds good reading it back, then go for it and hope for the best. Remember, you can only expect as much attention from your readers as you pay towards your writing, so the more you write, the more you need to edit.

That's all, and everything you need to know about blogging. Now go do it, minons!


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