This post is as much for myself as for my readers.
I’m beginning to take notes as things work and as things don’t as I blog on the blog hoping to help myself and anyone who reads this compendium of evolving experience on writing as I grope my way through the blogosphere.
So here are my words of wisdom to myself.
Use lucid and concrete language: The dictionary says lucid means easily understood and clear. Blogs seem to be to the world of written forms what M&M’s are to the world of candy. Even people otherwise used to involved logic and extended arguments may not expect it or like it on blogs. Concrete can mean vivid imagery, anecdotes and clear stories (or direct information) as compared to abstract ideas. More points if you can add and pull off some whacky humour.
Use web-friendly structure: The structure of the post is very important. Both in terms of language, chunking, layout and images/visuals. I wrote about it a few days back.
Avoid wordiness: This is important in any genre but in blogs there is no forgiveness for talking more than necessary. If you take too long to make your point or have too many redundant words, readers have a million other links to click on and windows to open, some of them with no words at all. Garrulousness is the blogger’s suicide weapon.
Use clear signposting: Many people will tell you that headings, subheadings, bullets, chunking of ideas etc. are terribly important. I’ve said so myself. But the truth is, your form has to be true to your style and readers will be receptive to that style even if it does not follow conventional wisdom. What you need to really do is weave in some signposting–make it easier for the reader to know, right at the outset, and periodically from then on, what to expect in whatever way suits the post.
Present a light, attractive surface but point towards depth: Remember that lightness of tone and subject matter underpinned by seriousness is a must. This is really the most important quality I’ve found in good blogs. They sound simple, often conversational with an engaging tone but gently point towards more important issues or ideas. The subject is not treated in depth in a blog post but if there is no indication in the post that the writer has an in-depth knowledge of the subject, his/her merely attractive surface does not work. Or at least does not work for long because the person soon runs out of ideas.
©bottledworder, 2013. http://bottledworder.wordpress.com
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