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Arment Dietrich

Short and Sweet: Five Tips to a Better Blog Post

By: Arment Dietrich | July 27, 2010 | 
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Guest post by Jason Verhoosky, creative director/owner of Old Beauty Design & Media.

As the father of a two-year-old, I am constantly reminded that it is not always necessary to tell the long story to get your point across. In fact, my loving wife reminds me on a daily basis that my daughter tunes me out after the first four to six words.

I share this little look into my life because it runs parallel to the way I think about writing blog posts and online communication in general.

We all know that time is a scarce commodity and that more and more demands are placed on our time every day. With the desire to stay in the loop, receive information in direct, digestible sound bites, and to maintain your readers’ attention, I submit the following five tips to a better blog post.

Use Headlines to Break Up Your Post

This is a great way to organize your post, sum up key concepts, and allow your readers to skim for what they need. It also offers a nice visual break for the eyes/mind.

Keep it Short

http://www.flickr.com/photos/misocrazy/

The occasional long post is acceptable, especially when you have something important to say or a story to share. That said, try to keep your posts targeted, on point, and under 500 words.

A Photo is Worth a Thousand Words (A Video is Worth More)

Use photos to create intrigue and sum up the overall theme of your post. So much can be said through a wisely chosen photo. In addition, don’t be afraid of video! It is a great way to communicate with your audience, more accessible to some, and a fun way to mix things up!

Ask Questions

Open up the opportunity for you and your readers to continue the conversation through comments. This adds so much to the depth and quality of the conversation and gives you the opportunity to elaborate on the topic.

Break up Larger Topics into Series

If you have a large topic that you want to cover, break it up. This allows you to focus on key points, go into depth, and deliver everything you want to say while still staying directed and on topic.

So there you have it. My thoughts on blog post construction in 376 words!

What did I miss? What would you add?

Jason Verhoosky is creative director/owner of Old Beauty Design & Media, author of StreamingCreative, father of Molly and Will, keeper of “Bubba,” and a huge fan of anything with two wheels. His current life goal is to find a way to mount a camera to the back of a moped to film video blogs for Gini Dietrich!

12 comments
Davina K. Brewer
Davina K. Brewer

Jason, Good tips. I use subheads to break the flow; bullet points and selective images are also good for that.

Brevity. I gotta learn to keep it short and sweet (subject of my post yesterday actually). As Shelly mentioned, EDIT! Less is more. Like the idea splitting detailed topics into multiple posts in a series.

Thanks for the ideas.

Jason Verhoosky
Jason Verhoosky

Davina- Anytime! I agree that bullet points and images work too. Anything to help the mind segment, and give you a visual break.

Kat Jaibur
Kat Jaibur

Good tips, Jason. Agree with them all (except they're called Subheads, but shoot me for being nitpicky).

I also agree with Daniel: Read your posts out loud. It's the best way to catch a word missing, a redundancy or something that doesn't make sense. And yes, break long posts into a series. I've had this happen more than once (my Perfectionism posts, for instance).

One last thing: If you find you have a lot to say in comments on someone else's blog -- that's a sign to write your own post and reference theirs. Advice I need to start taking for myself. :)

Jason Verhoosky
Jason Verhoosky

Thanks Kat! And thank you for the subheads correction (I am always up for corrections, and proper titles)!

As for you write a post vs. a long comment...I couldn't agree more, and I also need to do a better job at taking this advice myself;)

Simon Landon
Simon Landon

The key is the conversation. So many bloggers out there don't respond to comments which is the whole point of keeping the conversation going!

Jason Verhoosky
Jason Verhoosky

Simon- I agree that more than half the message lives within the comments. That said, I try to respond to most comments, and allow the conversation to grow.

Angie Zerbe
Angie Zerbe

Jason,
You made me laugh. A SHORT blog post about writing short blog posts.
Angie

Shelly
Shelly

Hey Jason - I like all those points! Only other suggestion I would say (and I have been guilty of this myself) is to EDIT... walk away from the post and then come and re-read - make sure you are using the right words, grammar, etc... and with spell checking so prominent everywhere, I cringe when reading misspelled words.

Jason Verhoosky
Jason Verhoosky

Thanks! As for Editing, AGREED! Getting a little space between your thoughts and your post allows you to clarify, and be certain that you are sending your intended message clearly.

Daniel Hindin
Daniel Hindin

Hi, Jason! I'd add write like you talk. If you read your post out loud, do you sound like you would sound if you were talking with a friend?

A lot of times people hide behind jargon and long words hoping that it will make them sound more professional, but it usually does just the opposite.

Jason Verhoosky
Jason Verhoosky

I couldn't agree more! Keep it real, show your personality, and make it easy to digest.