Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How You Should Blog (Even If I Don't)

I just read "5 Commandments for Blogging" and I really disagreed with most of it. So I'm giving my own, according to what I like to read. I may not follow all of these rules, but I'd like to. That counts, doesn't it?

1. Don't write for the masses
If you are only writing because you want to see a higher count or because you want to get known, just don't bother. Be yourself and write about what is important to you, even if it's not important to anyone else. Don't change your public persona to be popular. This doesn't mean don't think about your audience. It means keep a balance between who you really are and what people want to hear.

2. Be passionate
Go ahead and post your most extreme ideas. It is passion that really makes an interesting article. This is not the same as emotional or insulting or troll-ish. Passion is what stirs your soul, not what others react in you. Write on what you love, not on what you hate.

3. Quote
Most bloggers don't quote other works or they keep quotations brief. But if you read something amazing, especially if it is little-known or out of print or simply unpublished, please take the time to share it with the rest of us. Just remember to say where you got it from, who wrote the quote and keep the length under copyright limits. Ask permission if possible.

4. Use pics
Text is dull by itself. Use a pic that reflects the mood and subject of the post. It's an eye catcher and makes us more likely to read what you have to say.

5. Not too long
I have a blog that is only a sentence or two each post. And another that is only pics. And I have writings that are more than a thousand words long. Frankly, I know for a fact that no one will read the thousand word posts. They are just too long. This is the internet, not a novel. No one is going to take an hour to read a blog post. It's just a fact of life. However, if you have an idea that takes a long time to explain, you can do it in multiple posts.

6. Not too personal
If we are writing about what happened with our neighbor the other day without any relevance to anyone else, why put it on the internet? A blog, like Facebook, is a public journal, not a private one. I don't want to know about your sex life, the things you hate about your spouse, or the tiny details that make up your life. That doesn't mean I don't want personal info. Tell me what movies you really like or really hate; tell me briefly about your top ten pet peeves-- that's fine, especially if it's funny. But let's not get into exclusively private territory.

7. Be entertaining
We can't be entertaining all the time. Not every post will be earth-shattering. But something in each post should be dramatic or funny or informative or thought-provoking. Not necessarily the whole post, but something. The title is a good place to start.

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