Hi all, and welcome to our new Blogging section of the new website (officially launched September 2013).
Whether you are already a blogger or have no experience at all, you'll find these definitions and guidelines helpful.
What is a blog and weblog?
[blawg, blog] Show IPA noun, verb, blogged, blog·ging.
noun 1. a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.
verb (used without object) 2. to maintain or add new entries to a blog.
1995–2000; shortening of Weblog
noun: A website that displays in chronological order the postings by one or more individuals and usually has links to comments on specific postings.
What is a high quality blog?
Top 3 Characteristics of a High Quality Blog, Totally Simplified - by Gabriella Sannino
Full article with images here: http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/high-quality-blog.html
A high quality blog is unique
Unique doesn’t always mean one of a kind; that’s a misconception. It can mean unusual or remarkable. In blogging, it just means standing out from the rest.
Stand out from the rest:
- Add humor, when most blogs in your niche aren’t funny (hint: images can lighten up a heavy blog if “funny” isn’t your strong point)
- Turn difficult or technical concepts into easy-to-understand ideas – if you can take a difficult concept and make it easy, your blog will stand out
- Use well crafted infographics (good infographics are rare for most subjects)
Summary: If the above points won’t work for your blog, don’t worry about. Look at your competition and compare them. Where are they most similar? How can you do something different?
A high quality blog is free of errors
Become a perfectionist:
- Once a blog is finished, read it out loud; you can catch a lot of errors this way.
- Use a spellchecker with all options set to “On”. Once you’ve tried this a few times, you’ll learn what options you can afford to turn off.
- Don’t rely solely on your spellchecker. It’s a program made up of code and itty-bitty parts. It could be wrong.
Summary: Errors diminish the quality of a piece of writing. Errors also diminish perceived authority, which is even worse. If grammar, punctuation and spelling aren’t your strong suit, hire an editor (or bribe someone with food, drink, vestal virgins – whichever).
A high quality blog shows passion for the subject
The great thing about this one is you don’t have to do anything to make this happen. It just does. That is, if you really care about your topic. Now, if you chose a blog niche because it looked like a good one and you don’t know or care about the subject – oops.
Passion for a topic shows in your writing. It’s a natural progression from enjoying the subject to writing about it.
The “Passion” checklist:
- You read other blogs about the topic just because you want to
- You talk to others about it until their eyes glaze over
- You ask other people’s opinion about the topic… and argue if you disagree
- You share links to other articles about the topic because their valuable to your readers – not because you expect something back from the link
Summary: If you love what you write about, passion will show. If there’s no passion in your writing, your blog will die a slow and painful death. Sorry – no, you can’t fake it.
- Stand out from the rest in some way
- Get as close to error-free as possible
- Be passionate and let your passion show
And now for my last suggestion :)
Make it a rule not to copy and paste. This wll help you avoid a few things.
- First, you won't post content that probably goes somewhere else. This includes press releases, event annoucnements and other newsy or marketing content. If you are asking "why," please re-read the info above.
- Second, it will make you focus on getting it done quickly. If you open up a Word document, you'll keep going back and over-thinking, making changes and never getting it pubished.
Good luck blogging, and let me know if you have any questions!
Sr Web Content Specialist