Creating a Writer’s Blog
Definition of a Blog
The term “blog” is actually short for “web log” and it is commonly updated more frequently than a normal website. A blog can be a simple journal or expression of one’s thoughts on a particular subject or about life in general. It can also be expanded into what is sometimes called a “blog site,” which can greatly resemble a normal website and yet be much simpler to update.
Elements of a Good Blog
- The posts should be interesting and entertaining enough to draw readers back to read more.
- It should be updated regularly: once a week, twice a week, bi-weekly, monthly (but that is pressing it).
- Provide concise information on a subject, keeping the posts short.
- Encourage comments from readers.
Elements of a Good Blog Post
- The post should have one particular topic, be well defined, and develop something interesting to read.
- It should reveal something of the author’s personality in the style of writing.
- A good post will have links to other relevant information.
- The post should have a title that draws a reader’s attention when they see it on an RSS reader or check out a topic on a search engine.
- The opening line should draw the reader’s attention even further than the title did.
- Be sure to proofread the post before publishing it.
- Use special formatting of bold, CAPITALS, italics and underlining wisely. Don’t annoy your readers.
- Use pictures that relate to the topic discussed. Readers are drawn to the visual and can be drawn down a page by pictures.
Elements of Good Design for a Blog
- RSS and Email Subscription: It is important to have a way for readers to join your mailing list and be notified when updates have been made to the blog. You want the readers coming back.
- Comments Section: Letting readers make comments on blog posts is important. Personally, I recommend being sure you (the owner of the blog) make the decision about which comments will be allowed to be posted. From experience I have found it easy to receive 500 or more spam comments daily. These can be a real nuisance and time-consuming to sort through.
- Good Footer Design: This is the last part of the page that a reader will see and should be linked to key posts or pages. A footer can contain links to: popular blog posts, RSS and mailing list icons, archive links, Twitter updates, tag clouds, and contact information.
- Related Posts on Articles: Links to other posts or articles can be at the bottom of an article to keep the reader more.
- Social Media Icons: You can add icons for various social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) below posts. This can encourage readers to share your article/post with other people.
- Header Design: An ugly header or site design can drive potential readers away. The header design should be unique to your personality and memorable. A header can contain a RSS subscription icon, your branding logo, a search box, and a link to your Twitter comments.
- Categorizing Articles: You want to make it easy for readers to search through what you have written for information they are particularly interested in reading. Sort the various posts into appropriate categories.
- Search Bar: This will allow readers to look for specific articles.
Additional Elements to Consider for a Writer’s Blog
- List of your releases with links to where they are sold
- Links to your social media: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linked In
- Books you are reading or have read this year
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Your covers
© 2011 Starla Kaye