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How to blog: the basics


What are they? What defines them? What sets them apart from anything else you read online?

  • Reverse chronological order; latest at top
  • Links out
  • Frequently updated
  • Readers should be able to comment or interact
  • Often unfiltered/unedited
  • Often have archives, permalinks, calendars, categories, multimedia
  • Tend to be one of these kinds
    • Diary or journal-like
    • Opinion/commentary
    • Breaking news or event-related
    • Subject-specific – serious expertise on niche topics
  • But it’s all about the voice

Video blogs or vlogs (rocketboom.com)

Microblogging (Twitter) – think of how it could be used for news on a breaking story

What blogs or vlogs do you use or read? How do you use them?

Blogs have been controversial journalistically because of their more informal tone and lack of editing or filtering. There was for a long time question of whether blogs are journalism. I think that question has been answered. More to the point, it seems to have changed journalism itself. The bad part: lower standards (NYT and McCain story?), blurring the dividing line between news and opinion. The good part: more transparency, a more informal tone, readers being closer to journalists (nyt’s Baghdad bureau, reporters on the job)


  • Write directly and clearly. No long, run-on sentences
  • Write direct headlines. Be more direct, less wittily obtuse

    • “I love creativity. I love funny headlines. I think one of the biggest challenges as a writer is to be funny, creative and informative all in one (and it can be done). But the reality is, you’re going to lose people – perhaps many of them – if you don’t consider the many ways people may want to get your information.” — from comments to Good Blog Writing Style post

  • Be transparent about corrections and updates
  • Source your stuff. Use pull-quotes
  • Link out
  • ‘Hourglass’ is good. But other styles also work
  • ALWAYS allow — and pay attention to and incorporate — comments
  • Edit; spellcheck; fact-check; those standards do not change
  • Read your post out loud to yourself before you publish
  • Use bullets & subheads to make your post easier for eye to read/scan
  • Keep it lively. Write just as you would talk
  • UPDATE: post as often as you can
  • Use images, audio, video –multimedia — where you can and where appropriate

More on good blog writing:

Good Blog Writing Style

Google Blog: Please Get Descriptive With Your Headlines!

The Inverted Pyramid for Bloggers

Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace

Inverted Pyramid

Ten Tips for Writing a Blog Post

Top Ten Blog Writing Tips

Writing a Good Blog

How to Write a Better Weblog

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. November 7, 2009 at 6:15 pm

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