What I’ll look for in your blogs
Below is a repeat of my blog-writing tips. But first: Your blog should accomplish several simple things– and these are what you will be graded on:
Does your blog:
- Invite me in as a reader — a compelling lead
- Give me the heart of the story — the so-called ‘nut graf’
- Then proceed to give me context and background that unpacks the nut graf
That doesn’t mean that all your blog posts need to be structured the same way, but you should aim to deliver on those three parts in each blog post. If you can.
More guidance on what I’ll be looking for:
- Help me as a reader better understand your reporter’s area of coverage (whether that something as specific as architecture, or as broad as local news)
- Help me as a reader understand what kind of journalist your reporter is; if I’m looking for insights or information about your reporter and his/her coverage of his/her topic area, I would come to your blog
- Do not give me much more than a hint of your opinions, even though many blogs are opinion-sated. Consider yours a news/topic coverage blog
- Are you communicating simply and clearly and compellingly? See blog-writing tips below.
- Are you using the strengths of the blog format as fully as you can? (Are you linking out, etc.)
- Are you doing a little digging and giving me background and context on the topic that your reporter may not have unearthed or bothered to include?
KARLA’S BLOG WRITING TIPS:
- 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
Here is my entire earlier post on blogging.