Actually, it’s more along the lines of how I write my blog, but what the hey. This is a blog, and I do write it, and I do have some general guidelines that I follow. So here goes:
I try to keep my posts short. This is not a cop out, I’m writing for the busy business owner that wants some quick fact or info they can immediately implement. My goal is a max of 500 words (like this one) but I usually have less. Sometimes I’m short on time, but more often it’s because I want to be readable. If you really want to concentrate on page rank in the search engines, you might want to aim more toward the 1,500 words mark.
I try to stick to 3–4 sentences in paragraphs. This helps me to keep on track with the info I’m sharing. When I get verbose (no comments thank you) the reader can get lost then I’ve wasted their time and mine. (If you still read a newspaper you’ll see how they do this.)
I have a tendency to be verbose (over wordy), I am also a lover of words, particularly obscure British ones. When I’m blogging I try to avoid flowery language and aim for words that I believe will be the best conveyance for the information! The point of a blog is to be read, to communicate, and, if you are in business, yes frankly, to drive traffic. Putting off your readers would be pointless.
I work hard at keeping sentences short too. Being a Brit involves overriding learned structures like compound sentences and multiple thoughts all jammed together. Try to write in short bursts, with periods to break up the flow, especially if you are giving instructions. This gives sense of progress to the reader, bullet points also work well for this.
I read stuff every day. Even if I only take 10 mins to check out an email that came in from a news group, or a new blog post, or something on Facebook. I follow a number of people and groups to help me keep up with changes and to provide “fodder” so that I can write to you guys and pass on the skinny.
Once you get to the point where you have a few posts under your belt, start thinking about linking. (You should already be linking to source content you used for information and giving credit where it’s due.) I’m talking about making internal links to your other stuff. That way you can link ideas and threads without having to write those 1500 words! Did you notice I did that already in paragraph one? I’m not bragging, my aim is to be helpful to my readers by giving them options to learn more – and it’s also good for SEO.
I often go back and add links later, either in the text or at the bottom, to link up related items and to add value. I’ll probably add a link to the piece of jargon “SEO” at the end of the last paragraph, when I get around to writing a post explaining that. Watch for “6 Must Have Components of a Blog Post” – coming soon to a screen in front of you.
Go for it. J