A weblog or blog can be used for several purposes including personal updates, tutorials, news distribution, training guides, etc..., as a blogger your goals are to share information and to establish an audience. This guide will hopefully give you some guidelines to follow that can assist you to write successful blog posts and establish a loyal audience.
I use my Linux.com blog to post guides, tip-of-the-day entries for my groups and share my thoughts. The fact that I cover multiple subjects adds to the complexity of writing, but it also allows me to establish readers or multiple interests. My chosen base topics were decided based upon feedback from members on Linux.com so I have to write my posts to cater to the needs of my readers.
When writing your blog posts you must also cater to your audiences needs or you risk loosing them. The primary needs of your audience are:
- Organization of Information
- Intriguing or Informative Titles
- Well Written Entries
- Proper References to Your Sources
- Proper Research Conducted
- The Opportunity to Discuss the Topic or talk-back
If you address those needs you can have a reasonably popular blog with a loyal audience of readers.
Now let’s look into the details of the Needs listed above.
Organization of Information
In this case I am referring to the Titles used and the contents of the post itself. When speaking about Organization of Titles it may seem unnecessary, but if you use a single blog for multiple subject based post you will want to include some descriptor in the title to tell your readers which base subject the post is included in. With my blogs I start their titles with "Linux Security tip-of-the-day:", "Linux Security tip-of-the-day:" or "How-To:" to reflect the base content, or if it is unrelated I do not need to add any special tags to the title. This naming convention makes it very easy for my Security readers to know which post relate to their interest so they can avoid the materials that are not of interest to them.
Now for the contents of the post: When writing a post you want to consider writing it using heading, logical orders and a clean structure which will make it easier for people to scan the post to find the contents that they are interested in.
Intriguing or Informative Titles
The title of your blog posts is quite important because it is the lure that you use to capture the readers' attention so they will read the contents. You will want to make sue that the subject related directly to the contents and includes key words to quickly grab interest. It is considered bad practice to use shock-value titles because they often misinform the readers which can lead to negative comments and a tainted reputation.
Well Written Entries
It is very important that your blog entries be well written. You do not want to rush a posting, you want to read it several times prior to posting it to make sure the information is in logical order, without spelling and grammar issues and compelling to the readers.
References to Your Sources
If you are writing a blog post for news, opinions or technical information it is important to reference your sources. You want the readers to be able to easily find the sources of your information so they can trace the path of the information from start to finish. In addition you should reference your sources to give them credit for their work, which your reader may do in their own posts when they use your information.
Proper Research Conducted
Do not just pump out blogs posts with incomplete information and assumptions. Do your research so the readers can trust your information and use it in their responses. If you fail to do this your audience will catch you on it and it will hurt your reputation.
The Opportunity to Discuss the Topic or talk-back
People enjoy reading the input of others, but many also enjoy being able to add to the content by adding their response to give additional information or letting their voices be heard. At pivotal points in your blog post you can excite the audience's curiosity by asking question or asking for their input.
Please share your thoughts on my list and feel free to add other tips and hints to help blog writers write better posts and better contribute to the global community. If you have found a related or better guide to writing blog posts feel free to post it here so the readers can get the highest quality resources for their needs.