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Being a Better Blogger

So it seems that once again GIO is finding homes for new bloggers that just want to talk about everything and anything that comes to mind.  And as is the nature with things like this it becomes apparent that the current system of having a set of 'unwritten rules' in place is lacking at best.  I know that I and other members of the community have tried to give people an easy way to write good blogs and get involved in the community, but things like that can only go so far.

Sometimes you have to skip the carrot and go straight for the stick.

But what if the carrots are sticks?

Now let me say a few things about this idea.  No one will be called out on this.  The issue at hand is not that these people are doing this, it's that there is no reason for them not to be doing this.  This is not a place to lynch people for posting and it should never be acceptable.  I am also not sitting here claiming to be the king of blogging.  And if there are parts/things people want to disagree with or add on I would gladly welcome any/all suggestions.  After all this is for the improvement of the community, not just because of my pettiness. 

What this is however is a guideline.  A set of ideas that I (and hopefully others) think should be thought about before blogging.  Not just for the sake of the community, but for the sake of the writer as well.  After all is it really satisfying to write one paragraph, post it as a blog, and then do nothing with it?  I can't honestly believe it is. And really I think you're fooling yourself if you disagree.

This is especially because even on some small level, we all do blog for the attention of it.  It's the thing that keeps us checking on the comments on our blogs, keeps us up wondering what people thought of it.  Makes us curious if we're going to get herded.

So why post something that shows no thought, no creativity, no talent, and really nothing about you?  Instead, why not show the readers here something good.  Something special.

That's why I'm writing this down.  To share my personal guidelines to blogging here, as well as to get the community's thoughts on blogging as well.  Because I think that everyone that writes here can be great if they just take the time to think a little more.

#1 - Pick your idea

I know it's obvious, but you'd be surprised at how often things can get jumbled when you don't just focus on something to write on.  If you're blogging for the sake of blogging you are doing it wrong.  Blogs should be focused with a clear topic and a clear statement of thought behind them.  This is honestly as easy as it comes once you get into it.  I know though it is as difficult as it comes before that so it is the reason why I run the WGWC.  Because I know that for a lot of people the issue isn't actually writing, but figuring out what to write about.  Therefore if you want to blog, but are having issues with actually picking something to write about check that out.  

#2 - Expand on your idea

While it is great to be short and to the point, blogs are a chance to state who you are and what you think about something.  It is a chance to be heard without interruption, and is the way good debates go.  Therefore it is in your best interest as a writer that if you are going to make a statement that you can explain the wonderful question of 'why.'  Why is it that you feel the way you do? Why is your opinion correct?  Why should I care? If you can't do that then maybe you need another topic, because if you're not bothering to do that then you're not really bothering to make a blog.

#3 - Be clear and concise about your idea

This is the most difficult part of the list, and something I struggle on as well, but hear me out.  While you are expanding on points you need to be careful not to just be repeating yourself or going around in circles.  Try to keep a straight flow of thought to one topic without getting into tangents.  The best blogs don't meander and stray off onto other ideas.  They focus on one thing, they get to the point, and they make sure they drive the point home.

#4 - Make a conclusion about your idea

Or better yet, make the reader come to a conclusion about your idea.  Wrap it up nicely and leave the reader with something to think about.  Make them want to continue the discussion in the comments, whether it was because they agreed with you, or even if they didn't, the best conclusions make people see the whole blog and come away with a new thought on the subject.

#5 - Proofread your blog

tHere is nthonig wsroe tahn mispellings in a great blog.  So be sure to double check once you are finished writing to clear up any silly little mistakes you may have made while writing.  Also this gives you a chance to go back and edit anything that you might not have worded as well as you wanted to.  And for your convenience there is even spell check right here on the blogging box itself.  So please use it.

 

#6 - Use images to spice up your blog

Long blogs that are nothing but blocks of text look awful.  They read like newspaper stories (no offense Jolt) and really just make a blog feel dead.  Blogs need color, they need life, they need something to break it all up.  With how easy it is to place and format pictures (the site defaults to scaling pictures at max of 610 pixels) there is no excuse to not do them.  Especially because they look so much better than this or this or this or especially this.

Those are the big 6 for me personally, but as I said I am not the overall authority on this matter.  The community in the end is, and as such I'll be keeping an eye on this blog for any/all suggestions on it.  After all this shouldn't be just for me by me, it should be a group effort.

That is why I am also posting a link to it in the GIO Writer's Guild as well as a forum topic.  Where people can easily find the blog without having to search through all of my blogs first.  So if you ever want to link people to it, or find it for yourself there will be a dedicated space solely for this blog.

I hope that this helps out the bloggers here especially the new people to blogging in general.  If you have any questions the community here is awesome so don't be afraid to ask someone.  Almost everyone here will give you a hand.  Thank you for reading, and of course

Happy Blogging,
BHW

Follow me on twitter @loupinconnu for all my latest blogs/musings, whatever they may be.

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