How to maintain a good blog?

I thought I will put down a few points I learned from different places and from my own experience, on how to keep a good blog.

Language:

1. Please use language which sounds and looks like the language you originally intended to write in. It is cooler to have more traffic than have more slang.

For example, read this: “dis mornin i wz gonna do sum gr8 lotta shoppin”  Now
imagine a whole blog that goes like this. It is a strain to the
reader’s eye and mind.

Now read this: “This morning I was going to do a great lot of shopping.” Easy and straightforward.

2. Try avoiding slang, short forms and jargon which only you might understand.

3. Expand acronyms and abbreviations when you use them for the first time. It will help readers relate better to your topic.

4. Avoid using passive voice. It can make your post redundant and complex.

5. Address your readers directly. A little bit of personal touch will work wonders.

6. Keep sentences short. The reader is not going to stay on your blog all day.

7. Avoid using big words that may intimidate readers. You are trying to communicate an idea. There is no point in burying it under heavy words.

8. Run spell checker. A single word can change your density.. oops.. destiny! πŸ™‚

9. Use proper punctuation. Avoid too many exclamatory marks or nested parantheses.

10. Avoid long-winding sentences with too many clauses.

11. Avoid using profanities, words that insult a certain gender, culture or race.

12. Avoid idioms and phrases relevant to a particular culture, which cannot be understood by readers from another culture.

13. Try to remember that people from both genders read your posts. So use the word “one” as the pronoun, instead of “he” or “she”.

For example, read this: Nowadays, man suffers a lot. He has to manage several aspects of his life at once without much support from other men.
Now read this: Nowadays, people suffer a lot. One has to manage several aspects of one’s life at once without much support from other people.

14. Take care of your grammar. If you start a post in a particular tense, finish it in the same tense, unless you want to switch between tenses deliberately.

15. Develop your own style of writing over time. People will come back to your blog if you establish a good style.

Content:

Of course this is the crux of your entire blog.

1. Take up a subject on which you have adequate knowledge. What is it that you want to give to the readers? Is there something extra you want to tell them apart from what they already know? These are questions you should ask yourself.

2. Do not exhibit your ignorance on your blog. It will do permanent damage to your readership. Do not take up topics for which you cannot answer questions in the comments area.

3. Organize the content. Do not mention something in the first paragraph and explain it in the last paragraph.

4. Maintain a sequence and arrange your thoughts accordingly. Prioritize information. Edit unwanted content ruthlessly.

5. Imagine the reader’s perspective and write accordingly. It is always good to write like you’re writing for a child. Nobody will hate it.

6. Specialize in the subject you are writing about. Do proper research before you write.

7. Give quotations wherever possible with appropriate acknowledgments.

8. Give links to topics which you cannot elaborate in the blog. Your readers will follow them through.

9. Provide links to other bloggers or writers who inspired your blog post. You can also provide links to related content.

10. Use graphics to emphasize ideas or to provide a clearer picture. Do not litter your pages with images. Graphically-heavy pages take a longer time to load.

Template:

1. Use a template that is easy to navigate through.

2. Do not use bright colours that hurt the eye.

3. Use big fonts that will help readers with vision problems.

4. Highlight important information by using a bold font or by using a different colour.

5. Avoid distracting images, animations, flash files, advertisements and such around the main content. The reader will be on another site before you know it.

6. Place accessible links to other areas of your blog where your reader might find more information.
Eg: Archives, Categories, Trackbacks, Comments

7. Place syndication and subscription information at accessible places and not in some unnoticed corner of your blog.

8. Avoid graphic rich templates.

9. Update all images from time to time.

10. Check for dead links.

Interaction:

1. Place tagboards and shoutboxes to interact with your reader.

2. Reply to every comment.

3. Provide contact information if you want your bloggers to communicate with you.

Happy blogging! πŸ™‚

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20 thoughts on “How to maintain a good blog?

  1. hey…hard to comment! “commenting”, according to me, should have some spice. i see no scope here!!

    anyways, useful piece. neatly embellished πŸ˜€
    i’ll spread the word πŸ™‚

  2. awesome work, ure a nice blogger since i have seen u, thanks for this article on blog writting i think u can also post this on the other journals which will help people to write a creative blog.

  3. “Should I write a post on β€œHow to comment?” Heheehe… :p ”

    There is a wordpress blog on that too (don’t remember the URL). Well, these two posts, I guess, cover almost everything. Now, if only someone would teach me how to write.

    BTW, the book, “Elements of Sytle” by Strunk and White is a very good style manual. $7 in the US.

  4. “Now, if only someone would teach me how to write.”

    You have to go back to school for that!!

    $7??..I have only one Murugan dollar!! :p

    Yeah Lorelle’s blog is good. I have seen it before. πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: How to blog and how not to comment « Sparks Team Blog

  6. This is a very good post for people who have just started blogging πŸ™‚ I found my way here through the Sparks Team Blog. Thank you for sharing these tips with us πŸ™‚

  7. πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping by EclecticGeek. The other monk is also very cute but I could nt show him in this header. 😦

    But I think this one makes up for it! πŸ™‚

  8. I used Techsmith’s Snagit for those torn edges effect on images. Very neat and easy.

    Thanks to Geetesh (indezine.com) who has presented it to me.

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