Writing Clean Posts

One of the questions we get regularly asked is “how come my post looks wrong and the fonts are screwed up” or something similar. Our response is usually to ask whether or not you cut and paste from Word or another word processor.

This is because Word uses a lot of inline style code that when you cut and paste it will follow you to WordPress. If you want to see that, you can click on the HTML tab in editor and you will see lots of <div> and <span> tags.

However help is at hand. Here is a good post on the subject from Rubiqube.

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Writing Compelling Posts – Image Goodness

It can be really tough sometimes coming up with content for your blog, but sometimes it isn’t. If you are stuck, then here is a post about lists. However if you are like me, sometimes you just have something to say and you want to say it. That being said, there are some tips to making posts compelling, even if it is about a stitch that you have just learn’t.

I am a big one for images in your post. I invariably have an image at the start to draw the reader into the post. Coupled with the headline, it should be enough to start the reader down the path. My favorite image repository is Flickr. Flickr is super blog friendly. They explictly support Creative Commons License which means you don’t have to look over your shoulder for pouncing lawyers to make your blog look really good.

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7 Tips for Writing About Politics – Problogger

Writing about politics can be a tricky and sensitive challenge. It is likely to bring everyone out of the wood work and you are going to need some tough skin. Problogger has a post on this subject:

While it’s an exciting time to write about politics, bloggers who ordinarily don’t write about politics can easily be intimidated by just the thought of it. Can I write authoritatively about the subject? Do I know all sides of the issue? What if my readers know more about the subject than I do? What if I don’t have all the facts?

[Problogger]

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To List or Not to List?

I personally am not a great list blogger, I have far too much content, but then again maybe I should?….

Over at Jack Humphrey he has some good reasons for bloggers to list, including offering link goodness to other people and they are fast if your other work gets in the way.  Here is the rest.

I personally tend to agree because a fresh feed (eating too) is good…..

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Blogging – Going Wide or Narrow Focus

This is one of the biggest challenges you will have building a blog, and that is how broad or narrow do you go when writing.

This of course depends on the mission you have set yourself building a blog. If you haven’t thought about what exactly your mission is then you run into difficulty measuring exactly what you are trying to achieve with your blog. It can be quite simple but needs to clear state who you are talking to and why. For example, Dog Lovers with Labradors is an audience.

Once you understand who your audience is you can get a better feel for what type of blog you have and the topic you can settle on. Simon Dickson has his list of types of blogs:

  • The ultra-personal – me and my life and I
  • The expert - a subject matter expert like Problogger
  • The corporate - blogs that are designed to create subject matter experts for companies
  • The project noticeboard -a community event or project used to build awareness
  • Real Time Magazine – like Engadget, Gigaom and Kiwibloke.
  • The list of links – otherwise known as meta blogs, they create lists of other peoples content.
  • The not-a-blog blog – static content such as press release sites that omit commentary.

For example here is Neerav Bhatt:

Most articles on the Rambling Thoughts Blog and Road Less Travelled Blog are researched, written and published by Neerav Bhatt along with irregular contributions from guest writers.

  • My aim is to inform my readers about topics that they won’t read about elsewhere
  • My philosophy is to take the Road Less Travelled and explore niche topics others ignore
  • I aim to write 1 or 2 quality articles/week rather than dozens of useless articles echoing other people’s statements about stale and unoriginal news items eg: american celebrities, iphones, gossip etc.

He has a good quality blog that has good traffic and he makes a living off them. He has found a niche and a voice.

How Deep and How Broad?

Daily Blog Tips has a good discussion on this here:

Suppose one blogger has got multiple interests , like Books, Gadgets and Cars. Will he get more readers and traffic when he writes about them in separate blogs, or if he writes about all of them on a single blog?

Basically if you have a wide interest domain you have plenty of people to talk to, if you are too wide you cannot cover the gamut of information. For example, you cannot cover electronics, it is too wide unless you have a team of writers like Engadget. What you can do well is say the Sony Playstation 3 and it’s community.

However I would hasten to add, don’t get hung up on making your mission perfect. Rough out a path and start writing. Your audience will tell you what path to head down, it will come to you over time.

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