Remedial Blog School: Happy Ending!

by Marinka on January 9, 2011

Welcome back to Remedial Blog School!

Today’s topic is writing an excellent ending for your blog post.

As in, you better do it.

Because when your blog post just peters out, the reader becomes unhappy.  “Why the hell did I read through the whole post?” the reader wonders. And seethes.  And plans for revenge.

We all have our personal styles, and for me the ending is the most important part. It’s what gives the post a punch and makes the reader remember. It’s hard to describe exactly what makes an blog post ending a good one, so I like to revert to the United States Supreme Court definition of pornography: I know it when I see it.

Don’t believe me?  I asked some of my favorite writers to weigh in on a good ending to a blog post.  Enjoy!

Jill, Scary Mommy A good ending makes me want to share the post or click that magical little button called continue reading for more. It also prevents me from screaming, “what the fuck” at the computer screen. All are equally important.

Neil, Citizen of the Month A good blog post should end like a soap opera episode, teasing the reader to return tomorrow if they want to find out more about the sex-change operation that you just scheduled…

Lisa, Smaksy I like a little twist or a surprise to end with.   I sometimes I like to jolt the rhythm of the writing by ending right before it feels like the ending should be.

Alice, Finslippy The best endings have made me catch my breath. Usually they have some arresting image that seems to come out of nowhere but perfectly ties with the theme of the post. But it has to come naturally, because if people sit around trying to think of an arresting image that seems to come out of nowhere but perfectly ties in, they will either 1) go mad or 2) come up with something execrable.

Heather, The Mouthy Housewives A good ending makes me think. But not too hard.

Ann, Ann’s Rants If you want a lot of comments ask a question. But if the question is a favor you might not get any comments.

Wendi, Wendi Aarons A good ending calls back to something in the first paragraph and ties it up in a bow.

Jenny, The Bloggess A good ending is one that I didn’t see coming.

Kelcey, The Mama Bird Diaries A good blog post ending is one that makes me cry, laugh or remember that I still have salt & vinegar chips left in the pantry to enjoy.

Loralee, Loralee’s Looney Tunes What makes a happy ending? Why, eleventyhundred ‘Post Scripts’ and an emoticon and freshly made baked goods, of course! 🙂 P.S. We ARE talking about a ‘written’ happy ending, right? P.P.S. Because if it were that ‘other’ kind of happy ending, my answer would be QUITE different. P.P.P.S. And I could fill you in on what that could be. P.P.P.P.S. And there are multiple kinds of THAT happy ending as well, you know. P.P.P.P.P. Like, what would be a happy ending for, say, Mr. Rogers might not be nearly as interesting as if we were talking about a happy ending regarding massage parlor with questionable business practices. P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Although, you never know…those cardigan wearing types can be preeeeetty kinky under that woolen outerwear! P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. NOT that I would know anything about THAT or anything. P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Cookie, anyone? P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. 😉

What about you?  What kind of blog post endings do you like? Ones that ask a question? Ones that save the best for last?  A surprise? A cliffhanger?

OMG.  What’s that coming towards-

One year ago ...

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{ 2 trackbacks }

365 ways to taunt a perfectionist | She Suggests
January 10, 2011 at 1:21 am
Backpacking Dad » Blog Archive » Blog Post Endings
January 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

b.a. seagull
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Are you all right? Marinka? A great ending is the one that you (almost) always come up with.

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Awesome dude January 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

The options are actually very few just like the end of life.

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Loukia January 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Mmmm salt and vinegar chips….

Sorry, what was the question?

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Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) January 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Oh no! Now I wonder how I’ve been doing on my endings as I’ve never thought of this before. Obviously, if all you important bloggers think it’s a good idea then I should probably …

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alexandra
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

A good ending is one where I feel connected to the blogger. Like she posted for me, some kind of intimacy,,,,it makes me feel like she is part of my daily life.

Like you, dear Marinka…

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Dana
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm

A really good ending comes out of left field. It makes you piss yourself with laughter or knocks the breath out of you.

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Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

A good ending is so full of resonance that it seems both familiar and unpredictable all at once.

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Cheryl
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Does anything ever truly end?

Oh look! I see Kevin over there in the little picture box. How nice.

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deborah l quinn
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Resolution without shutting down possibility. And laughter. Endings are way harder then beginnings and your list o’blogging geniuses (genii?) has a great set of ideas (salt-vinegar chips being prime among them). When I read this list it reminds me, yet again, that “blogging” is just that thing that used to be called “writing” — and some of the best of it happens to happen out here, in Internet Land. Thanks.

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Yuliya
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Why would you want to make us ALL better bloggers? I thought you were going to hand select a few of us (hint: me, pick me) and nurture us on our way to blogging superstardom .

Quit trying to level the playing field.

The end.

Or is it?

It is.

(See what I did there? Like it? No? Okay maybe you should do another post on how to end blog comments….)

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marathonmom January 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Thanks for taking me back to 9th grade English with that ho with the bird ankles.

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elizabeth-flourish in progress
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm

this is too advanced for me.

i just learned when to use “led” and “lead” just yesterday, so I’m just going to work on some basic spelling for now.

when i’m to this level (beginning, middle AND END?? jesus.) let’s talk.

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elenka January 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

anything that makes me LOL!!!!!!!!!
I love a good, outloud laugh.
(which is why I keep coming back to YOU!)

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GrandeMocha
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Wow, now I have to check Neil’s next post!!!

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suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I confess, I have never thought of how I like my blog post endings to go. If it’s an interesting post, it’s an interesting post. It doesn’t all come down to the last line!

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suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Unless, of course, the entire post is a set-up for a joke, in which case that last line damn well better be funny!

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Trish@Show and Tell
Twitter:
January 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Any ending that makes me want to read more, laugh, cry, or even think. Crikey!

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The Flying Chalupa
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 12:22 am

Yes! A fan of coming full-circle to some obscure thought mentioned earlier! And the PS’s – love ’em!

Endings are so important and so often overlooked. I try to tell my masseuse that and he just doesn’t understand.

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Shafeena
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 1:17 am

I always end with… until…. But i dunno maybe shud try something new !!

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Diane January 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

I read your blog hoping that some of your wit and wisdom will somehow convey into my rapidly deteriorating brain cells and you and your pals give me this today! GREAT! And it’s archives will live digitally forever so when I’m trying to wind down post – I have all of your solutions for reference. Great way to start the week. Thanks!

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Miss Britt
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 8:43 am

My endings suck, generally. Once in a while I’ll have one that ties back to the first part of the post in an unexpected way – but that kind of magic is rare.

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dusty earth mother January 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

The ending should be breathtaking, spectacular and hilarious. You do them well. But apparently not as well as Papa, who is anticipating his earthly exit line.

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Tonya
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

What about the endings for comments? These are also important.

I think I might have tertiary syphilis, which is apparently contagious through the internet.

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Mom101
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

Such a fun post! I think that 97% of ending a post well is simply knowing when to end it, as Loralee points out.

The other 3% is making sure not to end with an emoticon.

😉

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Loralee
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

“The other 3% is making sure not to end with an emoticon.”

BWAHAHAHAHAH!

And?

LIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

😉

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Megan January 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

A good ending is any one that makes the post feel complete. Done. It should leave you with all the emotions you experienced in the body of the thing and make you shake your head yes. Possibly even “God, yes!”

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Wendi
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

I thought my email said that I like to end my posts with: SO LONG SUCKERS, SEE YOU IN HELL!

Or was that how I like to end my family vacations? I can never remember.

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alice January 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I always want to end them, “ALICE OUT” and then knock over something breakable. Which, strangely enough, is always how I end family vacations, whether or not I want to.

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Issa
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Personally I love Loralee’s way of ending. She’s my hero. I’d like to end all of my posts like she does…but then people would be all, dude, Issa is COPYING Loralee.

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Loralee
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Awe! That just utterly made my week. xoxoxo

Reply

Dana
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Here’s an example from Bueno Baby of an ending done right:
http://www.buenobaby.com/nuevo/content/4-am-thoughts-oprah

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Christy @ cat fur to make kitten britches January 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

If it makes me want to light a cigarette and wonder if it was as good for the blogger as it was for me, well, then mission accomplished.

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Neil
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

In all seriousness, this is an excellent writing topic, and one that I struggle with a lot when I write a post. I find it quite easy to start a post. Wrapping it up is another story. All the suggestions in the comments are good ones. Having a bit of a twist or a clever turn of the phrase at the end is important because that is the last thing the reader will remember, and will most likely be the deciding factor of whether or not he makes a comment or likes the post. There are plenty of pretty good posts out there that just end on a dud, and ruin everything. Remember — in the last post from last week — how Marinka’s son’s joke was going so well, and then she interrupted at the end, screwing up the rhythm of the joke?

The truth is you are only going to get a truly good ending to a post infrequently. That is the post that wows everyone. The rest of the time, you need to use some of your writing chops to fake out people, so the post’s ending looks more clever than it really is — a funny gag, a link to the Bloggess, insulting Sarah Palin — anything that ends the post with a crowd-pleasing punch can be that important literary band-aid that saves the day.

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Jenni Chiu
Twitter:
January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

A good ending always makes me utter a sound. A giggle… A sigh…. A sniff… A “huh?”… something.
No sound- no good.
Exception- if an ending promises me a cupcake, it is automatically good.

Reply

alice January 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Jenny said what I was trying to say, only a lot more succinctly. Only she didn’t use the word “execrable” so I’m pretty sure I win.

Reply

the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
January 11, 2011 at 10:16 am

That salt & vinegar chip idea is brilliant.

Reply

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