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Before you begin, make sure to review your syllabus and assignment instructions for specific guidelines and tips from your professor. Keep these in mind while you plan your post. Outlined below are a few pointers to keep in mind during the writing process.

If you have a general prompt, or can’t think of what to focus on, it may help to brainstorm and make a list of possible topic ideas. From there, choose the ones you are most interested in, or know the most about, and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I have an opinion about this topic?
2. Would this topic interest other people?
3. Can I find a unique angle from which to write about this subject?

Don’t shy away from a controversial topic or issue just because you think it sounds risky or don’t want to anger some people. If you have a strong opinion and know a lot about something, the web is a great place to share your voice. That said, it is important to understand that you’re writing for the public (unless the blog is private or only shared with a select community). Your name is attached to what you write, so make sure you’re satisfied with the finished product.

It’s important to find your own angle; since the web is so dense with blogs and pools of information, you will stand out if you have something new to say. Research what others have said about your topic, so you can better identify and explain your own standpoint. In general, one of the best ways to learn how to write for the web is to read and become familiar with other blogs on your topic. Once you find your angle, think about how you plan to hook readers in at the beginning and what kind of style you will write in. The hook actually begins with the post title, so give some thought to a catchy heading. Blog writing is much less formal than academic writing, so don’t be afraid to write in a more colloquial or humorous way, if it makes sense with your subject matter. It’s also important to make your points fairly concise so as not to bore your reader. You should try and make your blog posts clear and accessible to as many people as you can.

It may seem trivial, but many people agree that how a blog entry looks on the screen directly relates to how many people read it. For example, a long post with no line breaks or paragraphs is hardly inviting. It will be much easier to read if you break up the paragraphs. Someone is more likely to scan or read your post if you keep white space in mind. Similarly, using a large and simple font will make your post more readable. Inserting things like

  • bulleted lists

and relevant links can also be beneficial.

Another great way to make your posts pop and attract more readers is to include images and/or videos. Insert a relevant photograph or film clip (and always remember to pull from creative commons or credit the source).

Lastly, as with anything you write for others, it is important to fact check and read over your post for grammatical and spelling errors before you hit publish.

Have fun blogging!