Content? Not Content. My Tips for Writing a Great Blog Post

Beetleypete has a useful post today reminding new bloggers that content is king. He’s right; if you’re going to write a blog post you want other people to read, you have to make it worth their while. There’s so much stuff vying for our attention that if you’re going to invite readers to yet another blog it has to be interesting. And how do you know what people are going to be interested in?

A while ago on this blog I did an experiment; I asked people to tell me what they liked and didn’t like. I didn’t get that many replies but they virtually all said ‘Carry on as usual.’ That was quite gratifying in a way because I’ve never been able to make this blog stick to just one subject; though the main theme is ‘a writer’s life’ it can go in any direction – politics, sport, philosophy, travel, decorating, gardening and probably a whole range of other topics I haven’t even thought of yet. So I think the first rule of being interesting is to be interested; to be engaged in what you write about. Otherwise, if you’re not interested how can you expect anyone else to be? To be engaged is not to be obsessive (as OH’s blog sometimes is; I know OH won’t mind me saying this because often zerothly’s posts are a ‘brain dump’) – you can’t expect all but a handful of people to follow you through nineteen long paragraphs full of technical detail. So the second rule is to know your audience. This is of course impossible because unless they like or comment, how do you know who is reading? What I do is to have in mind a sort of mish-mash of all the readers I know about plus an idea of someone of reasonable intelligence who is interested in ideas. I also write for friends and family who very often keep up with what I’m doing via these posts.

So; be interested, don’t ramble on for nineteen paragraphs, and know your audience; those are my top tips for producing great content. Except that I don’t like calling it ‘content’ – it sounds like toothpaste in a tube – so let’s just call it writing. Which after all is the point…

Have a great Wednesday. I am now waiting for the doctor to call.

Kirk out

Update: doctor called as I was posting. I now have to call back to arrange more blood tests.

3 thoughts on “Content? Not Content. My Tips for Writing a Great Blog Post

  1. I refer to ‘content’ because it is not always writing. Many bloggers I follow mainly post photos, and some mostly review films or books that they have not written or produced. But as with writing, if they do not post regularly, their readers, viewers, and followers have nothing new to keep them intrested.
    Content has become one of those words that I once hated to use in this context, but have wearliy succumbed to using.
    Thanks very much for the mention.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I do tend towards longer posts, which is part of my reasoning for posting only around once a week (I couldn’t do more and I doubt people would want to read that much). However, I do try to make my posts properly piece that start, develop and finish in a rounded way. They often need a lot of rewriting before I’m happy.

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