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What Makes a Good Blog Post? — My Take and Suggestions

Feb 05 2013
What Makes a Good Blog Post?

I like to read all kinds of blogs. The niche itself isn't what draws me in. You're getting warmer with the right specific topic of the blog post. You're on the button with a good title that made me click on it, but what about the post to follow?

After reading other blogs and writing in my own blog/s for almost 10 years now (has it really been that long already?!) and working professionally as a ghost-blogger, I've learned quite a lot about what makes a good blog post... or at least, what makes me like a blog post. You might agree with me on a few of these things! These are just suggestions and not the blogging law.

Humor and honesty!

Obviously, not every blog post will be funny. Sometimes the subject is serious. A little bit of humor -- dry/sarcastic, sassy, crazy, naughty -- goes a long way and makes me feel like I'm reading the words of a real human. The best way to do this without sounding overly cheesy (some cheese is good) or worse, fake, is to write how you would speak to a friend. I like feeling like I know you.

One thing that turns me off, though, is blatant meanness. Taking cheap shots at someone doesn't make you look witty, it just kind of makes you look like an ass.

Well-chopped-up paragraphs and organization.

This makes the post much easier to digest. Long paragraphs look a little intimidating and make the post look longer than it is. In the words of Sweet Brown, "Aint nobody got time for that!".

Headings are good. Take advantage of the built-in header tags to title different sections. Use list tags (with bullets) for lists, or add your own little special bullet image.

Your own pictures.

It can be hard to find a relevant picture that you took yourself for every blog post, and that's okay. If most of the pictures in your blog posts are by you, then all the better. Just be sure to give due credit and link back to the original creator somewhere in the post, like in a caption underneath the pic, or at the end of the post.

If you want to go a step further, try fiddling around with different styles and shapes for your pictures. Try making a collage to combine a few different pictures together, add text or make an image into a circle or a different shape. Play around and have fun with it, because this makes your post more eye-catching and awesome in general.

daisy

Decent grammar, punctuation and spelling, with some exceptions.

This can be tricky, but I look at it this way -- as long as the post makes sense and doesn't make you sound like an idiot, then it's good. Common errors that kind of drive me nuts are "you're" and "your" mix-ups (their, there and they're), complete disregard for capitalization rules and a complete disregard for punctuation. This will make anything very hard to read. The exception is when something is translated from another language, which might not go along with English grammar rules.

The exceptions? I like using a sentence fragment here and there, the occasional run-on sentence or a made-up word because it seemed necessary. Used sparingly and wisely, these can be used to make your posts sound more conversational and less like an English paper. Read it over a few times when you're done typing and read it out loud to see how it would sound to someone else. Proofreading is always a good idea and so is spell check. I should know! Here are Copyblogger's 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly and Grammar Girl's whole site.

Did you teach me something? Did you make me consider something that I haven't thought about before? Did you show me something new?

Self-explanatory and kind of a no-brainer, but a major plus in any blog post.

Your turn!

What do you like in a blog post?

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    KylieNo Gravatar
    February 5th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    LOVE this post!

    I just decided a couple days ago that I need to start taking more of my own pictures. I use Flickr (ethically) a lot but I’m at the point now where it takes just as long to find an image I like as it does to snap/edit a quick photo of my own. Like on my “outdoor activities” post recently… That picture isn’t great but it does the job and was taken out my son’s window. I took it, added some text and got it into my post on about 3 min. Loading GIMP took longer than anything! I NEVER find images on Flickr that quickly.

    I also like what you said about style. I went through a rut where my writing was super dry and boring and I realized it was because of the writing I was doing for a client. The style of their project was seeping into all my other work! Not okay! So I really have to keep things in check and only work with those who like my writing style the way it is. :)
    Kylie recently posted..What Are Phthalates?My Profile

    [Reply]

    AmandaNo Gravatar
    February 5th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I think I pretty much agree with most of what you’ve said there. If someone has an terrible grasp of basic grammar, or simply goes on and on about what they’ve done that day in a boring manner, I’d just close the tab and move on.
    Amanda recently posted..i will suck your bloodMy Profile

    [Reply]

    CassieNo Gravatar
    February 5th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes. Nothing like one long paragraph of a blog post with NO photos and obvious grammar errors to turn me off… pretty much immediately. And no one has to be a comedian to be successful, but it helps to have a sense of humor that at least makes you seem human.
    Cassie recently posted..Writing is craftMy Profile

    [Reply]

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