What Makes A Good Blog Post?

>> Feb 17, 2010

Since lasts week offer of help to bloggers finding their feet, I have received a few emails asking questions about blogging.

I'm no expert, but we are all bloggers and blog readers, I think together we can come up with some useful stuff and probably all learn a thing or two as well.  I am sure there are plenty of things I could do to learn.

This week the topic is blog posts.  What makes a good post?

These are my thoughts:
1. Short paragraphs - reading stuff on a computer screen can be hard on the eyes, break your post up into short paragraphs to make it easier for your reader and put proper gaps between them.  Confronted by a long block of two or three paragraphs that scroll off the bottom of the screen can be daunting and I have, on more than one occasion, simply closed the page rather than read.

2. Use pictures - it breaks the page up a bit, gives the eye something to look at and can really help the reader focus on the topic at hand or quickly understand what the topic is.  And a bit of colour on the page never hurt.

3. Use description and dialogue if telling a story - rather than just saying the woman at the hairdressers was rude, write out the dialogue with each speaker getting their own paragraph.  It is easier on the eye, keeps peoples attention and is fun to read.

4. Interesting title - first impressions are important, if the title looks dull or is the same name of the same meme that a hundred other posts have, are you likely to attract anyone in from their google reader? A lot of people, myself included, don't read google reader in google reader, we use gadgets and gizmos from various home pages like netvibes or igoogle which means that only the title shows.  So your opening line might be hilarious, your post could be brilliant but if your title looks dull I'm unlikely to click on it.

5. Don't blog about why you haven't been blogging - unless the reason is really interesting, and even then, why mention the lack of blogging, just get straight into the subject.

6. Appeal to peoples emotions - make them laugh, cry or think.

7. Ask people questions - people love to be asked questions, maybe it's because we feel we need to be invited to offer our opinion, but I have noticed an increase in comments on the posts where I ask questions and even people taking the post and writing a post of their own in reply.  And that's what you want really, isn't it?  For people to feel engaged and a part of the conversation rather than just being talked at.

8. Be interesting.  Read it back, would you want to read it?

What are your thoughts?  Is there anything that really bugs you that people do in blog posts?  What do you think does or doesn't make a good post?

And if you have any questions about blogging you would like to be asked here, email me, contact me on Twitter or ask in the comments section.  Don't be shy, there's no such thing as a stupid question.

And in a strange coincidence, Babyrambles posted on this exact same thing today and has a wonderful list well worth a read entitled What is A Good Blog Post

Other posts on blogging.
Word Verification. A filth filled rant
Tots 100 Index. To know or not to know?
Feeling Excluded From The Blogging Community?
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