Ten years ago this weekend (July 8, 2002) I wrote my first on-line newsletter. Blogging was new so I sent the newsletter to the email addresses of a few friends. Now with both email and blog formats I keep trying to improve and have no plans to quit. If you are a fellow blogger or thinking about blogging how can we create what Michael Hyatt calls “killer blogs? (www.michaelhyatt.com June 20, 2012). And how do we find the best blogs from the millions out there? Here are guidelines to help answer both questions. The first six are adapted from Hyatt’s post.
- Who are the intended readers? Try to reach everybody and you risk missing everybody. I write for leaders and emerging leaders, especially coaches, counselors and people in ministry.
- Create good titles and opening sentences. Titles sell readers on whether or not to keep reading.
- Use a relevant photo. In light of American Independence Day is this week’s photo interest-catching or merely cutsey?
- Include a story that readers can relate to. Be vulnerable in sharing about yourself but….
- Keep it short. My blogs are 370 words max – which might be too long. Long blogs are short on readers.
- Use headings and bullet points. This lets people scan and get information quickly.
- Ponder your motives before you start. Why do this? What do you want to accomplish? One of my motives is to share selected recent resources (like a link to Hyatt’s blog).
- What makes your blog unique? Why would anybody want to follow your posts?
- Can you keep it going? Where will you get fresh ideas? Mine come from reading and from interacting with people like the intended readers of my posts—including people who are different from me.
- Carefully consider the design and technology. Who can help you with these? I like my blogs to be simple and free from clutter. Bad design can distract from good content. I pay a fee to keep advertising off my posts.
- Conclude with a great question – maybe like this one:
What have you learned about blogs and blogging? Please comment so the rest of us can learn from your experience.