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

  1. The posts should be interesting and entertaining enough to draw readers back to read more.
  2. It should be updated regularly: once a week, twice a week, bi-weekly, monthly (but that is pressing it).
  3. Provide concise information on a subject, keeping the posts short.
  4. Encourage comments from readers.

 

Elements of a Good Blog Post

  1. The post should have one particular topic, be well defined, and develop something interesting to read.
  2. It should reveal something of the author’s personality in the style of writing.
  3. A good post will have links to other relevant information.
  4. 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.
  5. The opening line should draw the reader’s attention even further than the title did.
  6. Be sure to proofread the post before publishing it.
  7. Use special formatting of bold, CAPITALS, italics and underlining wisely. Don’t annoy your readers.
  8. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Related Posts on Articles: Links to other posts or articles can be at the bottom of an article to keep the reader more.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Search Bar: This will allow readers to look for specific articles.

 

Additional Elements to Consider for a Writer’s Blog

  1. List of your releases with links to where they are sold
  2. Links to your social media: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linked In
  3. Books you are reading or have read this year
  4. Sign up for your newsletter
  5. Your covers

 

© 2011 Starla Kaye

The Smarts

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This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.