Remedial Blog School: How to Write an Excellent Blog Post

by Marinka on July 13, 2009

Photo courtesy of my wonderful friend Suzmanella. That’s me, writing a blog post. At the lake. I don’t know if it’ll make it to the blog. Many blog posts are called, but few are chosen.

Welcome to Part 3 of Remedial Blog School–How to Write an Excellent Blog Post. Make sure to review Part 1–Welcome to Remedial Blog School and Part 2–So, You Started a Blog before proceeding. I cannot guarantee your safety unless you do.

Top Ten Ways To Make Sure That Your Blog Post is Excellent

Disclaimer: Most of these rules can be and should be, on occassion, broken. Just not a lot.

1. The hell if I know.

2. Do not start a post with “this is going to be long and boring and annoying.” Because people heed those warnings.

3.Write about something that you are passionate and excited about, keeping in mind that “passionate and excited” does not mean “insane”.

4. Short paragraphs.

5. Shortish post. If the CIA contacts you to see if they can borrow your post since waterboarding is now frowned upon, it’s time to edit.

5 (a) Read your post out loud. Cut out at least two sentences and five words. Do it. Proofread, spellcheck.

6. Don’t tell your best story. I’m holding my best stories in reserve for blog sweeps. And it helps me feel that I never get writer’s block.

6 (a) For the love of everything that is holy, do not blog about your writer’s block. Unless there’s a celebrity cameo in there somewhere.

7. If you realize in the middle of a post that it’s not working, do something to change direction.

7 (a) I have no idea how to change directions, but some people like to do memes.
7 (b) I don’t like to do memes.
7 (c) Although I have nothing against people who do them.
7 (d) Except the boring ones.

8. Don’t oversell a post. If a post starts with “The funniest, most hilarious thing ever happened!” chances are it will fall short. And yes, just about now I am sort of wishing that I took the “excellent” out of this blog post title now. But I won’t. For teaching purposes.

9. Make sure people know who you’re talking about. I had this problem recently when I assumed that everyone knew that John was beloved gay friend John and then someone in the comments assumed that he was my husband. Awkward.

10. Don’t lie. Really. It’s not worth it. It’s like a sin or something. And also it’s hard to keep your shit straight and not contradict yourself.

Next week in Remedial Blog School: I’ll answer an email full of interesting and important questions. If you have any burning questions, see your gynecologist! (But if they’re about blogging, let me know!)

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