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What Makes A Good Blog Entry?

I ask this question both of myself (to try and answer in an actual blog post… how fascinating!), and also of you all, dear readers. What does make a blog entry “good”…?

One thing to keep in mind is that I am not talking about a “blog” from a personal standpoint. This is work-work related (as opposed to hobby-work related), so the goals and methods will be slightly different. Are there any “professional” blogs that you follow? If so, what aspects really drag you in?

Here are a couple of my own thoughts:

Authoritative Tone
You know me well, by now — any writing that I do very purposefully takes on a tone of authority. If you simply act as if you know what you are talking about, it is all the more convincing! This is not something I am too concerned about, since the folks I will be calling on for articles have that authority… and I am the final word, anyway, so I get to copy-edit anything that needs it.

Be Personable
What makes a “professional” or “corporate” blog different from a standard press release is not just the tone, but the delivery. There needs to be a real voice. It can be a fine line walking between conversational and professional, but it can and should be done. Guest writers of relevant notoriety can be a huge help in lending a personable, yet authoritative, tone.

Outbound Links
Again, you know how I operate! If there is a source, it must be cited. Providing links to something other than your own website shows that you live in the real world and acknowledge that other people have ideas and opinions.

Make a Statement With the Post Title
It is a little basic, but it is true — grab the reader’s attention.

Know Your Goals
What do you want to actually accomplish with this blog? Do you want readers to comment? You need to ask them a question each time, then. Do you want to be picked up by news media? Be sure to mention your blog in conversations and other cross-promotions, have it readily accessible from your navigation… all the good ol’ regular stuff.

Maybe the best question to ask is: what makes a bad blog entry? What are some tell-tale signs that something is “off” and perhaps not credible, researched, authoritative, and even worth your time? Things like grammar and aesthetics (while important) are blatantly obvious, so we can skip past those!

1 Comment

  1. Well, with big-time companies like CNN and the New York Times going as far as getting twitter accounts (granted, they link to their main website, but still I find the prospect interesting), I think actually tagging the word “professional” to any blog seems a bit strange to me.

    I wouldn’t actually go as far as saying certain blogs are more “professional” than others, since in the whole scheme of things, everything is just part of the giant cesspool that’s the internet. Rather, I’d just say that I prefer the certain styles of blogs more than others.

    One major thing I personally like to see in the blogs I follow is a professional, yet personable, tone of voice, expressing their opinions/educating their audience in a way that the reader will enjoy. I know whenever I try to make an entry, I try to integrate some of my own “Gabe-isms”–stuff my friends could actually see myself saying aloud in a normal conversation–while still entertaining and educating my audience.

    It’s stuff like this that really makes me think about being an English major. *sigh* if only I weren’t so practical :/.

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