Writing a blog post is like taking a photograph. They both communicate a message that should be clear, truthful, interesting and timely. Why read or watch something that is ambiguous, unreliable, boring or irrelevant?
This post shows how to improve your blog posts.
The clarity of a photo depends on camera settings such as the aperture, exposure time, ISO setting, and focal point. If these aren’t right the image may be too dark or too light or blurred. Instead we usually want sharp images and correct lighting.
So tell the reader what they need to know. Is the message readily understood? Is it written in simple language? What is the main point? Include it in the introduction and the conclusion. Subheadings can help to follow the logic of longer posts. Also tell the readers how to respond. What should they do?
But clarity isn’t sufficient, a blog post also needs to be truthful.
With photo-editing software, it is possible to modify photos so that the final photo is different to the original one. For example, models can have skin blemishes brushed over and removed. So photos can be deceptive.
The quality of a blog is also influenced by the truthfulness of its content. Is it objective truth or subjective opinion? Opinion is OK provided it isn’t presented as being factual. To whom does the post apply? To everyone, or only in particular circumstances? Does the content have a reliable foundation? Can you trust the author?
But clarity and truth aren’t sufficient, a blog post also needs to attract and keep the reader’s attention.
The quality of a photo also depends on the subject being photographed and how it is composed. Recently I saw three marriage groups being photographed in a medieval French village. They were arranged in attractive surroundings for their wedding photos.
Two ways to capture a reader’s initial interest are the title and images. The title may be all the reader sees in the results of a search of the internet. Is it concise? Is it informative? Does it attract attention? The same applies to the first sentence.
Is the feature image visually appealing and relevant to your post? It may appear in social media.
Illustrations can maintain interest within a blog. These can be taken from your experience, from current events and history, nature, science and the arts, or any other story you can find on the internet. They are like metaphors and similes which help us understand one thing in terms of something else that we are already familiar with.
But clarity, truth and interest aren’t sufficient, a blog post also needs to be relevant to the reader.
If the subject is moving, the quality of a photo depends on the moment it’s taken. Also the lighting can be affected by the weather and the time of day. I have learnt to not put off taking a photo, because it will probably never look the same again.
In July I thought of writing a blog titled “Is there more to life than sport?”. This idea came from the death of a football coach at the same time as the Tour de France, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, and Australia playing international cricket and rugby matches. But the moment was lost when I didn’t take the time to write the post. A blog post has more impact if it links with current events.
Finally, it takes time to produce a clear, truthful, interesting, timely and thought provoking blog post.
Before a photograph is used in a blog post it can be improved by making adjustments such as cropping and resizing.
Likewise, it helps to allow time to revise the post. I write my posts in a word processor so they can be edited continually until they reach the desired standard. Have someone else read it to comment on the logic and grammar. I find it best to wait a few days for your thoughts to develop before publishing.
Let’s make our blog posts clear, truthful, interesting and timely so they are worth reading.
Happy blogging! Happy reading! And, happy commenting!
Written, September 2015
Also see: Prepare your messages
The ultimate guide to successful Christian blogging by Edmond Sanganyado