Online writing is different than old-school journalistic writing. It’s different than academic writing. It’s not fiction, poetry, or essay. Sure, all of these elements may be found in online writing, but there are some basic rules that apply to blogging.
Keep It Short, Simple, And Scannable
Peoples’ attention spans are not the same as they were 20 years ago. Technology has taken its toll. Most online readers want content that’s quick and easy to read. They also want content that adds some kind of value to their lives. If you waste your readers’ time, they may not become return customers. So here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Keep Blog Posts Short, But Not Too Short
Generally speaking, blog posts should not exceed 1000 words. There are exceptions, but if you write a long post, it definitely needs to be well organized and broken into smaller pieces. Most posts range from 400-800 words. Any shorter, and the post can feel as though it lacks. Again, there are exceptions, but for this course, your posts should be a minimum of 400 words.
2. Use Subheadings, Bold, And White Space
In the top left corner of your toolbar, you have access to a variety of subheadings. Use these to help break up content. Use bold for main points on numbered or bulleted lists, but don’t overuse bold. White space is aesthetically pleasing. Make sure you use a little white space. Italics work for titles of books, movies, and songs. Never use underline. Readers will think it’s a link.
3. Use Numbered And Bulleted Lists
Lists help readers to follow you post easily. Lists keep your content organized. Use numbered lists for step-by-step instructions or reasons to complete a task. Use bulleted points for list items that don’t require much elaboration. You can use the numbered-list function in the toolbar. The toolbar function does not leave spaces between items on your list. For lists with longer points, I like to create them manually to add some white space. This post is a manual list.
4. Give Readers Something They Can Use
If your blog does not offer valuable information readers will not come back. You need to offer your readers something they can use. Teach them something that will help them become more successful. This means you need to know your niche and your readers. What do they need to know? This post teaches students the fundamentals of online writing.
5. Include Helpful Links
Links are helpful to your blog in many ways. First, some links to other blogs that give your readers more information are always appreciated. It also lends you credibility. Internal links can help keep readers on your blog. Include a combination of both internal and external links.
You can always dig deeper and learn more. Search the Internet for best methods of writing blog posts, but keep these basics in mind.