By Brian Dargan, Strategy Director
1. DO write about what you care about.
This is the first commandment of blogging. The most successful blog posts are written by people who are passionate about their subject matter. When you write about topics that excite you, your writing will communicate a sense of energy that will attract like-minded readers. Talk about what excites you about your ‘Digital Diet’.
2. DON’T take a too-formal tone.
Blogging is a more informal medium than print, and your writing style should reflect that. Blogging allows you to write in a casual, face-to-face tone, as if you were sitting down for a cup of coffee with your readers. It’s about being accessible not academic.
3. DO edit yourself.
It’s your blog post , right? You can write a 2,000-word essay on what OS you prefer, or wax eloquent about everything that is wrong with Google Algorithms. Don’t do it. Once you draft your post, read through it for redundancies, irrelevant rants or anything that is too Mr Propeller-head. Make is short, make it snappy, make it up!
4. DON’T use tired clichés.
A cliché is a phrase that has been coined for so long that it has become boring. So if you feel that you are ‘Under the pump’ or ‘Don’t have enough bandwidth’ to find a fresh way to express yourself, think of your reader – they don’t need to read hackneyed dribble. Make your prose sparkle and your readers’ minds will shine.
5. DO spell check your posts before you click “Publish Now.”
As a communications agency we should have grammatical proficiency, however many of us do not, including me. Please use a spell check function and then get someone else to proof it. Sloppy writing communicates sloppy thinking!
6. DON’T forget basic principles of good text layout.
Readability is one of the most important aspects of good blog copy. Use line breaks between paragraphs. Use sub-heads, preferably in bold type. Use italics for emphasis. Your goal is to draw the eye and create a smooth sense of flow throughout your post. Make it inviting to look at and easy to read.
7. DO use lists. Most blog readers skim copy rather than read it all the way through.
One way to maximise your copy impact is to use lists. Bullet lists or numbered lists call attention to important points, and ensure that readers who are skimming will catch the most vital part of your post. People like lists, especially men.
8. DON’T use the same format in every post.
Mix it up a little! Some might incorporate lists, while others might be more narrative. Some posts might include a lot of images, while others will be more copy-heavy. Don’t do the same thing every time. Repeating the same actions and expecting different outcomes is the definition of madness.
9. DO create descriptive headlines that let readers know what to expect from your posts.
One of the best things about blogging is that it allows you to be creative. Problem is, what is clever to you might be confusing to someone else. The best way to encourage more people to read your post is to write a compelling post title, and use subheads throughout your post. Sex it up!
10. DON’T sweat it.
We won’t be writing about a cure for cancer here, no one will lose his or her life. If you write with passion and conviction, you’ ll be able to connect with other people, and your writing will improve every time you post. Practice makes perfect!