The Exchange : 8 ways to be a better blogger

8 ways to be a better blogger

 

So you want to write a blog for the American Numismatic Association? Writing for the internet isn't quite like writing a paper for school or an article for a magazine. Below are eight tips to get you started.

 

Plan before you write: Take five minutes before you start writing to plan your blog post. Jot down briefly what you want to write about. A quick, short sentence or bulleted list will work well.  


Use your own words: Don't plagiarize. If you plan on doing some research for your blog post (which you should) and you find a cool fact, don't pass it off as your work. Give credit where it is due. (ie. John Smith writes in his book, Collecting World Coins, that coin collecting is the coolest hobby ever.)

 

Keep it short: Try to keep your posts between 300 and 500 words. If a post is too long you risk boring your readers. However, don't feel like this word count is set in stone. If you need to go a bit longer to make sure you thoroughly cover your topic, do it. Just don't go overboard and write a book.


Some good ways to keep your writing short:


Stick to your topic. Don't pick a subject that is too broad to cover in 500 words. Instead of American paper money write about the $2 bill.

If you can say something in five words instead of 10, pick the shorter one.


Scannability:  Readers tend to scan blog posts rather than read them straight through. There are a few things you can add to make them stop and read what you have written.

 

Pictures: People love to look at pictures, so try and find one that relates to your topic. Be sure to credit your source.

 

IMG_1697_opt

(See? You looked, didn't you?)


Lists: A numbered or bulleted list is easy to read and a great format for a blog post.


Bolded words: A bolded phrase screams, "This is important, read me!" Be careful bolding words. If you bold too much it will lose its punch.


Links: If you find a neat website with more information on your topic, like how to write a scannable post, link to it in your post. That way you don't have to write about everything on your subject.

 

Get noticed: Top your blog post with a short, catchy headline. Not "The life and times of Roman Emperors and their coins," instead use "Roman currency and Julius Caesar."


Read what you just wrote: Once you finish writing your blog post take a minute to look over it. Read it out loud. It can be easier to find mistakes and awkward phrases when you hear the words you have written.


Spelling and grammar: Poor spelling and grammar deter readers and make you look less knowledgeable. Read through what you wrote one more time and check your spelling and grammar.

 

Have fun: Don't forget that writing a blog should be fun. Pick a topic you enjoy and have fun. We can't wait to read your posts!

 

- Lauren Springli

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