Four Basics of Good Blog Writing

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If you’re new to the world of blogging, this might come as a surprise to you.

The rules of writing structure you were taught in school don’t apply to blogs.

Some people might take exception to such a direct statement. But it’s true.

Four Basics of Good Blog Writing

  1. Paragraphs on blogs are often only one sentence long!
    • This is because of the way people read blogs and online articles as compared to how they read books. (in any format)
    • You “sit down to read” a book.
    • You scan blogs and online news looking for “tid-bits” of information or enjoyment.
    • The ideal paragraph length is between one and four lines on-screen.
    • Long paragraphs often equals lost visitor.  Use at your own risk.
  2. Bold text and Italics are randomly included to accentuate points.
    • Use bold text to highlight a key point in your ultra short paragraph.
    • Bold and italics catch the eye and helps make reading easier and faster.
    • I often alternate between bold and italic to make it look more natural.
  3. Use lots of headings.
    • In traditional writing paragraphs were the way you partitioned off your points.
    • Online, since paragraphs are short, the use of larger one-line “mini-titles” segments off your content. Again making it easier on the reader.
    • Headings can be used to beautify your page by styling them. (different font, different color, full-width lines underneath them, etc.)
  4. No Rules, Just Right!
    • Call it the Outback Steakhouse School of blog writing.
    • You can combine ten words with hyphens.
    • You can put suffixes in parenthesis to look smart(er).
    • You can use [brackets], {curly brackets}, or (real parentheses), interchangeably (much to my personal dismay).
    • Just about whatever else you want to do, you can.

Wait! There are five rules. I almost forgot one.

5. Always… include… a picture.

Oops… six.

6. Use lots of numbered and bullet-point lists. Easy to read quickly.

Ok, now you have all of them.

- Tim & Kim

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Comments

  1. Great tips! I’m working on being a better blogger (of course, actually writing something from time to time helps!), and keeping it short and sweet is a trouble spot for me. I’ll work on that in my next post. Tkx!
    m

  2. Great points. Length is so crucial and as a reader as well as a writer, I won’t read the blogs rivaling “War and Peace”!

    • Tim & Kim says:

      Hi Barbara and Malaika,

      Your comments both remind me that I didn’t mention the optimum length of blog posts. Shorter than you might think. 300 – 700 words. We’ve often seen that shorter posts get more comments, but I usually have too much to say to stay down in the 300 word range!

      Thanks for the comments.

      Tim

  3. I haven’t started blogging yet, but as a reader I also like to have a link to another article or site that describes the information in more detail. So that if I’m interested I can learn more.

    • Tim & Kim says:

      That is such a good point! I often neglect to do that because I’m always in a hurry to hit “publish”, but the habit of leaving a few links to related resources is really what turns a site into a “go-to” place for information over time. Thanks for the reminder! – Tim

  4. thanks Tim and Kim its always good to be reminded of the paragraph rule!! I think keeping the writing lose and conversational as you mentioned it really important. I like to call it edited stream of thought.

    • Tim & Kim says:

      Hi Meredith,

      Funny, when you think about it being “edited” stream-of-thought. That’s so true. I’m not so sure the world could handle my un-edited stream of thought. It would sound like a crazy man wrote it. I’d be talking about faith, blogging, etsy, remodeling, raising kids, and my bills all at one time! Thanks for adding your thoughts on this one! Tim

  5. Thanks for the tips. They are helpful while making the transition from “traditional” writing to “blog” writing.

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