These blogging tips from the Huffington Post will help you blog better – and perhaps elbow your way into a HuffPost blogging job! At the very least, these tips will help you attract more traffic to your site.
Remember, fellow scribes: the more you read and practice tips like these, the better you’ll write. The better you write, the happier your editors and publishers will be. And behind every happy editor is a happily published author.
Before the tips, a quip:
“I went for years not finishing anything,” said Erica Jong. “Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged…I had poems that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.”
One tip for great blogging is to blog often – which means you can’t pull a “Jong”, and re-write instead of publishing your posts or pitching your magazine article ideas. If you’re not a happy blogger, read The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging
Here are the Huffington Post editors’ tips for great blogging…
The Huffington Post’s Blogging Tips – How to Blog Better
1. Own your blog niche or topic. Think of your blog topic as your “beat”, like reporters or cops have their beats. “Know who the key players in your area are,” write the Huffington Post editors. “Read their books. Interview them. Have them guest blog.” The more information you provide on your blog — and the more solid it is — the more readers you’ll attract and keep.
2. Perfect blogging or writing? Forget about it! Let go of the compulsion to write or blog perfectly. “It’s fine to write a bunch of OK posts,” write these editors. “In fact, a bunch of OK posts is probably better than a perfect post that took so long to compose the event that was old news by the time you hit ‘submit.'” If you struggle with blogger’s block, use the “tried and true” tips for overcoming writer’s block.
3. Write short blog posts, about a single topic. “A good post is a single thought or observation or anecdote, clearly expressed and directly conveyed,” says David Bromwich, a professor of English at Yale, in The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. “An essay may cover several topics; a post easily grows tiresome if it aims for more than one.”
4. Respond to your readers’ comments. Knowing your audience and readers will ensure you keep posting entries they’ll read and appreciate…and one way to get to know your readers is to read and respond to their comments. Of course, this is if you’re lucky enough to get comments! Only 1 in 10 readers make comments – so if you get a few comments on every post, you’re doing good.
5. Study blog posts and web articles that you admire. How do other bloggers draw you into their posts? Why do you want to comment on them? This blogging tip is just like learning how to be a better writer. You learn by studying what works, by scrutinizing the writing of authors you admire. Don’t copy other bloggers; learn from them.
6. Blog often – but not just to increase your readership! “Blogging is like anything else: you get better the more you do it,” write the Huffington Post editors. “Writing often will help you figure out what your authentic voice sounds like an dhow you can access that voice every time you sit down to type.”
7. Blog like you speak. Whether you’re blogging or writing for a national magazine – write naturally. Let your voice shine through…it takes practice, and you’ve probably heard it before, but it works! Don’t have a blog voice yet? Read How to Find Your Blogger’s Voice – 8 Tips for Bloggers.
8. Focus on specific details. This is another tip for writing well that leads to great blogging. If you absolutely must blog about your breakfast, don’t say “I ate breakfast.” Instead, say, “At 5:14 am, I devoured my warm banana nut chocolate chip bran muffin, dripping in golden, melted ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!’ topping.” Like that, but better.
A bonus tip for blogging better: If in doubt, write it! This wasn’t one of the Huffington editors’ blogging tips, but I like it: “If you think something is news, post it.” Don’t agonize over whether or not you should write about something, just go for it. Many bloggers are surprised at their most popular posts – which aren’t always the ones they spend the most time on.
The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging is a worthwhile read, fellow scribes. These editors and bloggers have found blogging tips that work, and they’re willing to spill their secrets!
If you have any questions or thoughts on the Huffington Post’s eight tips for great blogging, please comment below…
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