Post # 316 since December 22, 2011. Haven’t missed a day yet.
1 No one cares what you did. I write a horse blog. Suppose I wrote, “I went to the barn. My horse was good.” Even my mother would get tired of reading. Interesting data can be killed with bad writing. “I climbed Everest. It was high. I was cold.” Snore.
As bloggers our job is to add value. Tell the story in an amusing way. Tie your events to a larger pattern. Add insightful commentary. I’m not claiming I achieve this, but such is the intention.
2 Aim for one screen of text. You want to encourage return customers. Chances are if you’ve gone beyond that you need to edit anyway. Spatial dispensation for the superfluous kitten picture.
3 Accept that you will not hit it out of the park every day. Sometimes just getting it done is enough.
4 Consider how the first paragraph will look when you post a link on Facebook.
5 Use everything. My friends find text from my emails reappearing on posts.
6 Be professional.
7 Don’t be too professional. You’re not getting paid. An ungoverned blog will suck up an infinity of time.
8 Don’t look back. Aside from obvious typos, resist the urge to fiddle with past posts. This is another bottomless pit. Move on.
9 Pictures rock. Pictures are a pain. One photo is at least as much work as 1,000 words: taking, loading, cropping, uploading, captioning, placing, and so on. Learn the copyright issues involved. Or for an easy fix, learn to take your own photos.
10 Assume the worst. Your boss will see it. Your kids will see it. The one person you dread will see it and interpret it in the worst possible light. On one hand, this leads to self-censorship. On the other hand, it forces you to stick with what is real, accurate, and provable, thereby avoiding speculation or blame. Voila, better writing.
Bonus Tip: Resist the temptation to post a picture of your cat. Feline photos will take over your life.
Previous posts on the subject of blogging.
Gratuitous Kitten Pic