Writing

Writing for a blog is similar to writing for the web in general. The key to successfully writing for a blog is to do it often. A good guide is at least twice a week but more often is highly desirable. If you cannot commit to updating a blog on a regular basis you should think twice about starting a blog. There are plenty of 'lost' blogs out there, set up with a burst of enthusiasm but now forgotten by their owners.

One way to improve the chances of a blog surviving is to create a group blog. That way varying content is produced by a number of people. Responsibility is spread between everyone.

Some blog-specific tips:

  • Write often
  • Don't go on and on, keep it short.
  • Write headlines that grab attention.
  • Link to other sites. A lot.
  • If you get an idea for a post from another blog, acknowledge that blog.
  • Don't plagiarise. Use blockquotes when relevant.

Some more general tips:

Style

  • Identify your audience(s) and write in a style that is suitable for that audience
  • Keep text brief and meaningful, readers tend to scan text
  • Delete unnecessary words, limit your use of adverbs and adjectives
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs
  • Avoid repeating text
  • Ensure consistency in style if you have multiple authors
  • Put the most important message first
  • Use the shorter word where ever possible, eg, "now" not "currently"
  • Avoid circumlocutions, eg, "at a later time" for "later"
  • Wherever possible, use the active voice, eg, "Vet Science had a BBQ" instead of "The BBQ was held by Vet Science".
  • Check your syntax, punctuation and spelling

Layout

  • 'Chunk' your content so that the page is not one large block of text.
  • Use bullet point or lists
  • Use sub-headings to put content in context

Links

  • Use descriptive link labels, eg, "Postgraduate timetable" not "Click here for Postgraduate Timetable"
  • Link to further information wherever possible but be careful not to over-link, ensure links are relevant

Further resources