Blogging: It’s Like High School All Over Again (Except For The Bitches)
When I blog it feels like homework. The feeling of a task uncompleted, the responsibility to do what I said I was going to do. The unwavering feeling I’ll never be good enough (I know I’m good enough, dammit). Beyond the usual reasons blogging can feel like homework lies the framework from which we blog. The very composition of each blog post is a lot like a high school or college essay.
Central Theme With A Beginning, Middle and End
Each blog post should be a neatly wrapped package with an overlying message or theme. Start with an interest-grabbing beginning, fill the meat of your essay with juicy information and facts and wrap the whole thing up with conclusion that reiterates your points and drives them home. Like every good essay, your blog post must make sense and have at least of little bit of rhyme and reason (unless you’re writing about alternate universes).
Cite Your Sources
No, you don’t have to go to the library and deal with the ornery woman who’s been working there for decades (unless you like ornery women, in which case we should have coffee sometime). Still, like the school essay, if you draw inspiration from something or quote directly you must cite your sources. Instead of leaving time and space for a bibliography, a link will do just fine.
Word Count Matters
My sister has been a word counter for years, and she’ll be the first to tell you that word count matters; remember that quality, not quantity is the key to word count. Yes, most search engines love to link to naturally written content (specifically blog articles). Blog articles that are 600-800 words in length will have a greater chance of incorporating more keywords naturally. Consider your search engine optimization when writing blog articles, but keep user experience in mind as well. Will someone read, enjoy and SHARE a verbose article on a non-interesting topic? Probably not. Use your judgment and find that balance.
By the time I’ve finished writing my outline, citing my sources and counting my words (you did notice my font of choice is Courier New) I swear I’ve been slingshot into my high school English class. Don’t think of your blog writing as homework, but do refer back to solid, simple writing principles to make your articles sensible, interesting and comprehensive.