I get asked that question often because I teach a social media course at Western Iowa Tech
As online editor at the Sioux City Journal, I read a lot of posts on our community web site, Siouxland Voice, and I regularly encounter posts that aren’t worth my time – they lack a viewpoint, are boring or plagiarized.
In the name of helping others understand what makes for a good blog and in promoting community conversation, I offer these ideas.
Make a point: The biggest failure of too many blogs is they lack a point of view, fail to develop one or espouse the views of someone else without attribution. Make a point, back it up with your opinion or links, then invite feedback.
Links, links, links: The web offers the ability to link to everything that you discuss, pontificate on, etc. Links build credibility with search engines and offer instant attribution to others whose opinions you share. Links are essential to good blogging practice. Add them generously.
Vary your posts: Readers will return more often if they know they can read posts quickly and move on. This is not to say that all posts have to be two paragraphs, but you should aim to mix it up a little – some short, some medium, some long. Also, consider adding a video or photo.
Write regularly: Readers who routinely find fresh, original content on a blog will come back if they like what they read. If you write too often, fail to follow good blog practices (see above) or are a bad net citizen, your peers will likely call you out.
Play nice: Too many blogs are one-off digs at other netizens. These posts are unwarranted and unnecessary and only hinder others from continuing the discussion about topics that matter. They are not allowed.
Use tags: Use the tag feature on your blog. Categorization helps readers find more info on the topics you write about and tagging helps stories show up on Google when appropriate terms are searched.
Encourage interaction: Encourage reader feedback or ask for reader ideas on what interests them. Tell others about your efforts on your Facebook or Twitter account. The web is viral, and good content will get passed on and shared with others. Also, remember to comment on the good work of others.
Have fun. Blogs don’t all have to be serious. They can be entertaining, funny, emotional or sad. Bottom line: Don’t despoil the commons! Respect other people’s opinions, privacy and norms.
Now it’s your turn to interact. Let me know what else you think makes your favorite blog worth reading.