Tips and Tricks to make blogging less painful and more effective

When I saw that blog writing was a large part of this course I cringed.  Writing blogs is one of my least favourite things to do at work, and now I’m tasked with writing not one, but six blogs in my spare time for school.

Recently Jared Lenover, who is master of all things web-related and one of my co-workers, led a training session for my office on how to make blogging less painful and more effective.  I thought I would share with everyone some of Jared’s key points.

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Blog Length

Blogs should be short and sweet and to the point! 200 – 300 words is an ideal length.  Any more than this and you could risk losing your reader.

You want to make your blog conversational. 

In the work environment, people use a formal business writing style, however, this is not the most effective writing style for blogging. Bloggers should try to write their posts at a grade 8 level in order to appeal to the majority of readers as well as keeping the tone conversational.  Short and simple sentences are easy to read and understand when someone is skimming something quickly.

Here is a great readability test that you can try.  Simply add your url or cut and copy your text directly into the program and volia, you will get your readability score.

Using Headings and Bullet Points

When reading blogs which do you prefer?  Blogs that are text heavy or blogs that are broken down into smaller bullet points?  Most people prefer reading bullet points as they are easy to scan.  Readers get the information that they are looking for quickly and don’t have to sort through paragraph after paragraph.

Headers are also a simple and easy thing to add to your blogs that will help to make them easier to read.  By glancing quickly at the headings, the reader is able to see what information is contained in your blog.

 Adding interest with images and videos

Using pictures or videos are a great way to help you accent your point as well as break up all the text on a page.  They can add visual interest and help draw a reader in.

Does anyone else have any blogging tips that they would like to share with the group?

4 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks to make blogging less painful and more effective

  1. This course is my first attempt at blogging, so my opinion is from the perspective of the reader. I believe blogging should be for informative purposes, I want to be enlightened. Tell me something, teach me something, don’t tell me how you (the blogger) feel, I don’t know the blogger. FYI, your blog was very informative and I will apply the lessons learned.

    • My first go at blogging too! I like the keep it simple appproach too and something I can learn from as well! Life is busy and so reading a lengthy blog doesn’t appeal to me..I will also apply the lessons learned too!

  2. Personally, I too cringed when considering that I would have to write a number of blogs as part of this certificate, but professionally it was a means to an end – we wanted to create and maintain a blog for our Waterfront Campus of Algonquin College and this was a perfect solution to get us there.

    All the tips you outline are very practical and easily applied. The readability test was a new and highly welcomed resource for me – thanks for sharing.

    The site, “Habits of Highly Effective Blogging” gathers a large number of tips for blogging in one centralized list, http://www.problogger.net/habits-of-highly-effective-bloggers-reader-submissions/. I think it is best to try not to get bogged down with tips, tricks, magic beans (jj) and put together your own personal or professional strategies. Track your results and modify as need be.

  3. Like jgbrunet this is my first time in the blogging world and to be honest I enjoy it. STVAUGHAN I found your blog very interesting and dead right. When I take a look at a blog the first thing that catches my eyes is the length of it. If it’s too long I have tendency to not even start reading it. Take Twitter for example, why do you think they limited the amount of characters to 140…if the message looks interesting you will click on it and continue reading.

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