|Blogging, RSS & Feeds|
Blogs like all forms of writing are an art form that takes knowledge and practice to do well.
Writing?Blogs?Blogs are on-line journals where people express themselves through writing. Writing?Writing is the process where one puts down words of a language on a format that others can read. This process has not been around very long, to use one of my writing teacher's favorite sayings, "Writing has only existed for one day in the one year that humanity has existed." Speaking and thinking come much easier than writing. These processes just flow out naturally like a river of consciousness; sometimes we hardly have to think about doing them. Anyone and everyone can write words down on paper but that doesn't mean it's 'good writing', myself included. Like most things in life, our society already takes writing for granted which is proving to expose more of our ignorance. Writing is a new form of expression, and if we want to do it in a way that the masses can connect with our ideas, we have to think much more simply and clearly about this art.
Now that was quite a big paragraph, you've got to wonder if I really needed to say as much as I just did to introduce this article on the best way to write your blogs on the Web. I didn't even mention this main idea, and that's what an introduction paragraph is meant to be for. This is a common mistake in many blogs out there. We try to get too many ideas across in one paragraph, sometimes even in one sentence! The key, as in all things in life-is to keep it simple. Simplicity means that readers won't get confused about what your journal entry is actually about. Introduce your main general topic at the start, and use the subsequent paragraphs to discuss separate ideas that relate to this topic. Try to tie everything up in the concluding paragraph, your main argument and the reason why you've written in the first place.
Grammar and sentence construction are not easy systems to master, especially if you come from a school system that spent more time telling you about historical battles and quadratic equations than on how to read and write. This is a real problem. When we speak we can get messages across to others easily, but if we put these words down on paper, the writing just isn't interesting and doesn't connect with people's curiosities and fascination. When you write you are not talking to a close friend. You can't use slang and colloquialisms that only your local community can understand. The aim is to connect with all the people in the world, so let's make it crystal clear and enjoyable to read.
Your computer has spelling and grammar checks, as well as access to a thesaurus. Use them, but remember that the machine can't decipher all the intricacies of language. Language is a world in itself, and much of its territories are undiscovered by the masses. So, again keep it simple. Short, precise sentences with single ideas are great. Many words in the English language have the same meanings (synonyms). Use the thesaurus so you don't repeat the same word over and over throughout the text. It keeps the story fresh and doesn't turn the reader off. There's nothing more boring than repetition. Using different words can be a lot of fun and a learning experience, just make sure you use a dictionary (also on the computer/Internet) to make absolute sure of the word's definition.
Readability?Simplicity?Make your blog accessible by all people. You can even take into consideration that many readers will have learned English as a second language. As I've said in previous articles, keep to the point-don't go on tangents. Stick with the article's topic, and definitely stay within the realms of your blog's main area. If your blog is entitled "Jazz music", people who go there don't want to hear about how your football team won on the weekend! Please be consistent. How irritating is it to visit a blog that hasn't been written on in months or years?
I hope these little tips will help you on your quest to producing 'good' writing that brings new friends and acquaintances of similar outlooks into your world. If you want people to read, the aim is to produce an emotional reaction in your reader. Pretend you are writing to another form of yourself, if it were not readable, interesting and fun?would you stick around?
About The Author
Jesse S. Somer is a 'grasshopper' writer attempting to inform other beginner writers on how they might one day become masters or 'sensei's'.
Writing Good Blogs
There's a lot of blogs out there on the Web, most of which don't entice one to go back regularly to read updates. What is missing from these on-line journals that would essentially make them 'good' blogs? Well, the answers in life usually come down to simplicities. So let's look at the problem like we were children. Children don't complicate life with miscellaneous information, and when they speak they tell you straight to the point exactly how they feel and think about a subject. First of all, we should ask the questions," Why do blogs exist? And what are they here for?" Well, in an ideal world 'good' blogs would help people connect, sharing knowledge and feelings about issues in life. As they are journals written by individuals we would hope that they'd be readable and open to comment by all other people, not just a select group of friends. The key is speaking in a way that is understandable by the masses, get rid of acronyms and local slang that only few will comprehend. Keep the sentences grammatically simple and generally short and concise. Try to write in your blog as often as possible because if people enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas they'll want to communicate or at least be filled in regularly on 'your world'. Ask questions, comment on other blogs of similar content, start communities with others you've never met, based on your interests. Keep focused; if your blog is about thoughts on war and peace, keep your thoughts on the latest movie and how hungry you are for somewhere else. The idea is to incite intelligent communication so that in time our collective stockpile of knowledge and wisdom will gradually grow like a tree in fertile soil. I think of most importance is the fact that you want this journal to be 'good' reading. Of course we all have ideas about what genres and styles we like, but writing from your heart and soul is imperative for the connection with others that you're looking for. Share yourself; don't hide behind walls of fear of ridicule and judgment. In real life relationships trust, respect, intimacy, and unity are all necessary for a bond to form. It's the same in the 'virtual' world; people want to hear from real people-not just one-sided, highly opinionated arguments from egos that don't want to hear the 'other side of the coin'. Now, in my last article I really tore apart most writers out there, and here I'm giving some pretty complex ideas on how to fix the problem of 'bad' writing. In my next article I'll attempt to go back to the simple basics of how to write for beginners. I hope I haven't come across as too judgmental, I just truly believe the 'blog world' could become a real asset to humanity, and at the moment it's missing the mark. Ideas about sentence structure, grammar, paragraphing, using a thesaurus (varying terms used so as not to sound repetitive), whether or not your blog is suitable for a personal or professional approach, are all important to creating a simple and enjoyable read for the blogging visitor. If you are a beginner, please check out my next article on the basics.
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